First Things First

Do you want to be made well? 

Do you want to be healed? 

The answer to these questions seems like no brainers if we are sick.  Yet, it is often not so simple.  When it comes to many sin issues that plague us in life, the truth can be more complex.  We sometimes don’t really want to be made well if the solution is outside of our comfort zone.  We always wish to avoid suffering.  We often seek to feel better.  We even want to look better.  But being healed by Jesus involves more than just taking away symptoms.  It involves being changed to the core.  God removes not on the symptoms but the root of the problem.  This can involve a cherished sin and can be more than we are willing to accept.  For more on sin read Sin Wants to Destroy You and Wage War Against Your Sin

If we love our sin more than we love our holiness, we often don’t want to be made well.

At the Pool of Bethesda

The man at the paralyzed man at the Pool of Bethesda had a choice to make.  Thirty-eight years is a lifetime for some people. A lot can happen over that time.  For those trapped in continuing sin, almost four decades can feel like ten lifetimes.  Time seems to move slower while being imprisoned by iniquity.

The man by the pool of Bethesda has been crippled for thirty-eight years before meeting Jesus.  He is trapped by a condition that left him in a terrible shape.  He is a slave to a sickness that we learn was caused by his sin. When the man meets Jesus everything changes.  It is the power of God that sets him free.  Yet, the man is given a decision to make.  Jesus or sin, who did He want to follow more?

Jesus puts it in the form of a simple question:

“Do you want to be healed?”

It is a question that has tripped up many a desperate person.   For more on the Freedom Offered by Jesus read 13 Exciting Bible Verses on Freedom in Christ and What Grace Really Means: Freedom and listen to New Podcast Episode | Billy Graham, Holiness and Freedom with Josh Plantholt

Are You Stuck?

The paralyzed man is described in John 5 as lying by the pool of Bethesda every day.  He says he is waiting for the stirring of the waters of the pool.  He believed that the first one in the water after it was stirred would be healed.  His hope was in that pool exclusively.  He placed all his bets on its powers.  There is no mention of prayer in the man’s plan.  There is no mention of Jesus in his hopes.  He has a solution of his own making and he is sticking with it, no matter how futile.

The problem was that the man can’t actually get to the pool.  He is placed near but not in the water every day.  He has no hope of getting there when the water got stirred up.  He had no one to help him.  He was stuck near the cure for his problem.  It was obvious and just in front of him.  His problem prevented him from taking advantage of the healing.  It was impossible for him.  The man’s answer will never work because it is not about God.  For more read Are We Serving an Empty Temple

The man was stuck a prisoner of his disease with no hope, no solution and no way to go from stuck to set free.  The man placed himself in a terrible situation and remained firmly stuck.

Many of us today are unwittingly in the same position.  We are struggling with a major issue in our lives.  It may be porn, alcohol, anger, shame or any other recurrent sin stronghold.  It is dragging our life in Christ down.  We are just as paralyzed by it as the man by his condition.  And every day we drag ourselves out of bed and place our hope in something other than Jesus.

Willpower can never conquer sin.

Mindfulness can never overcome rebellion.

Meditation can never defeat death.

Acupuncture can never drive out evil.

Do You Want to be Made Well?

Our hopes in things other than God will always disappoint us.  They simply are incapable of solving our problems.  We place ourselves in a terrible condition just like the man at the pool.  He gets an amazing breakthrough though.

The man meets Jesus and the entire calculation changes.  Jesus makes the hopeless situation hopeful.  He makes the impossible possible.  For More on Healing read 33 Important Bible Verses on Healing

Jesus sees the man lying by the pool.  The Messiah takes notice of us even when we are in terrible condition of our own creation.  Jesus knows the man was lying there a long time so He gets directly to the point.  Jesus asks the simple question:

Do you want to be healed?

It is the all-important question.  We learn the man’s sin has played a part in his predicament. It was his own actions that left him desperate, alone and stuck.  He is in sight of heDo-You-Want-To-Be-Healedaling but never ever able to reach it because of his own choices.  This is what sin does to us.

We create our own problems when we choose habitual sin.  We build our own prison.  The enemy then whispers in our ear that we have no control over the issue.   We end up under the thumb of sin but at the same time feel desperate to be rid of it.  We become blind to the truth that it is our decisions that keep us enslaved.

I still remember being at this exact spot.  I felt the huge consequences of my sin.  I wanted to be free in some ways.  Yet, I loved my addiction more.  My mind and my life were so intertwined with alcohol when Jesus asked me that great question:

Do you want to be healed?

My answer truthfully was no.  I did not want to be healed.  I would have said yes at the time but I would have been lying.  I wanted to continue sinning but without consequences.

I wanted to not feel the results actions.  I really did not want to be healed.  Not really.  So recovery efforts and religion efforts just did not work.  I was so close to the One who would save me but I turned Him away again and again.

Excuses Stink

The man at the pool of Bethesda is similarly not ready to give up his sin.  He responds to Jesus’ simple question with excuses:

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.

You don’t understand how hard I have it.

Did Jesus ask the man anything about the pool or his problem with other bathers?  Jesus already knows all of this.  He knows the hurt and the pain.  He understands what got us to where we are today.  It is what makes him weep.

But rather than just join our pity party,  He asked the simple question:

Do you want to be healed?Do-You-Want-To-Be-Healed

Jesus then heals the man.  I believe He does it for our benefit.  So we can see clearly the way out.  Jesus came along and set him free in a moment.  Completely totally liberated.  It is our example.

Do you want to be free of the addiction that is killing you?  Do you want to be free of the sin that is destroying you?

Then answer Jesus’ question:

Do you want to be healed?

“Yes, LORD I want to be healed, truly totally completely by you”

Jesus will take it from there.  It may not be as simple as taking up your mat and walking.  It may involve rehab, counseling or other human measures.  Yet, Jesus is faithful and will hear you no matter how many times you said no.  This does not mean physical healing from an illness is guaranteed.  He will certainly take away your sin.  He already paid too much for it on the Cross to let it win now. For verses on healing read 33 Important Bible Verses on Healing

So call on Him today!

Do-You-Want-To-Be-Healed

 

 

Leave a Reply