(By Lois Robinson)
Years ago, I had a friend make a wall hanging for my office that had the above words on it. They are powerful words that Jesus spoke to one man, only one, at a Pool called Bethesda in the story found in John 5:6. They are words that I never understood very well before I became a counselor.
It always confused me why Jesus only interacted with one man at this pool, a pool that the Bible says many people laid around who were lame, paralyzed, blind or suffering from some sort of brokenness. They were all waiting for the key to their healing that took place at this pool. You see, the Bible says that during a certain season an angel would come down and stir the waters. The first person that entered the pool would be made well of their diseases. On this particular day, Jesus goes over to this certain man and asks him the above question, “Do you want to be made well?”. The man goes into an explanation of why he can’t get into the water, but Jesus doesn’t get caught up in the “why he can’t” reasons. He goes to the heart of the matter. Jesus asks the guy if he wants to be made well, tells him get up and the man does! He just does what he is told to do! Let me say that again: The man does what Jesus tells him to do! He was healed. Later, as the story unfolds, we find something interesting in verse 14. The man encounters Jesus in the temple. The identity of Jesus is made known to the man, and this is what happens:
"A little later Jesus found him in the Temple and said, “You look wonderful! You’re well! Don’t return to a sinning life or something worse might happen.” (The Message)
Whoa! That’s pretty heavy! Interesting, huh? Here are some of my thoughts and questions this passage has evoked over the years, as well as other questions I get from quite a few people. Maybe they echo some of yours:
1. Why did Jesus only talk to the one man?
2. The story also says later on that the man didn’t even know it was Jesus!
3. Practically speaking, this man had been an invalid for 38 years. 38 years would cause his legs to be atrophied, bones fragile, etc, and he didn’t question this guy who says, “Get up!”?
4. Does verse 14 mean that our sin issues can contribute to our diseases?
5. Does God make us sick as punishment for our sins?
6. The invalid must have believed the man who told him to get up off his mat.
I always say I get 3 kinds of people in the counseling room:
1. The Yes People- When asked the same question Jesus asked the man, they answer a wholehearted YES! I want healing and believe Jesus can do it.
2. The I Don’t Know People- They are usually silent for a minute or so, having to weigh their answer according to what the cost will be, what the responsibility will be, how hard it is going to be and the exhaustive list goes on and on.
3. The I Don’t Deserve It People- They step into the role of God and judge themselves, using their veto power to reject the work that Jesus already did on the cross for them. The Bible says we are healed by His stripes. Amen. This group of people doesn’t understand that verse yet.
In working with folks, including myself, I think I have part of the answer for my number one question: Why did Jesus go to the one man? I think it’s because he desperately wanted to be healed, had no excuses and was willing to GET UP! He believed he could be healed, and he wanted to be healed. Plus, he was willing to do the hard work of walking out that healing without excuse. What is Jesus telling you to do regarding your brokenness??
As far as the other questions go, a big resounding Yes to the question #4. Our sin issues can perpetuate our diseases. We can be lazy about doing exercise, eating right and establishing good sleep patterns in order to help in our healing process. On the other hand, a big resounding NO to question #5. God does not punish us with sickness. All of the punishment we deserved for our sins was put onto Jesus Christ when He died on the cross and came back from the dead on the third day, so we too can have eternal life with Him when we say YES to Jesus! That is the good news, folks!
The big point I want to end with is this. It is absolutely, absolutely imperative that you believe Jesus can and desires to heal you. Jesus heals in many ways, three of which I have listed:
2. In a process
3. When we see Him face to face.
I pray for the grace to accept His answer to my healing. I am always wanting an instantaneous healing and will do my part in the process of healing, but will still praise Him if it won’t be until Glory. In Scripture, I find Jesus asking people all the time, “Do you believe?” They respond ‘Yes, I believe,” and then He says, “Your faith has made you well.” Folks, there is something very important about believing Jesus can do it! He can BREAK EVERY CHAIN! Check out this video: Tasha Cobbs ; Break Every Chain. Worship with it; watch the expressions of worship in the video. Ask yourself, “Do I believe that Jesus can really break every chain off my life?”. I would encourage you to check out John 5 for yourselves. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what He wants you to understand in the passage.
Be blessed friends.