“Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath.” John 5:2-3, 5-9 ESV
In this week’s reading, we again witness Jesus’ ability to heal. This week’s passage tells the story of a man who has been invalid for 38 years. Knowing that the man has been unwell for a number of years, Jesus asks him a simple question, do you want to be well? The man’s response to Jesus is one of someone who has given up, as he states that there is no one willing to help him get into the pool, therefore his healing is impossible. In response to what the man says, rather than ask him another question, Jesus gives him the instruction to “Get up, take up your bed, and walk." The man is instantly healed and goes on his way.
I’m sure many of us can identify with the man in this story. Like the man, perhaps you have been battling with an illness, addiction or a struggle and have come to the point where you have given up. Maybe you had a business idea that didn't work out and you feel that now is the time to throw in the towel. Or possibly you’re in a relationship of some sort that is proving difficult and you feel like the only way out is to bring it to an end. No matter what your situation is, today I believe Jesus is also asking us whether or not we want to be well. In follow up to that question, I would like to ask another. Are we going to be like the man and come up with an excuse as to why our situation can’t change or are we going to instantly take Jesus at His word and get up and walk?
My encouragement for you today is to declare that this is your day to be well. Your 38 years of sickness are over! Get up and walk to the glory of God!