After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’”
Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”
But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. (John 5:1-15 NKJV)
Do you want to be made well? It is almost a silly question. Doesn’t everyone want to be made well? Don’t we all want to be healthy, both physically and spiritually? I think the answer is yes, we all do, but are we willing to set aside our way of doing things to achieve that healthy goal?
When Jesus saw the sick man, He asked him if he want to get better; and instead of simply replying yes or no, the sick man explained how he had been attempting to make himself better. For thirty-eight years the sick man had been doing the same thing over and over again expecting, yet never obtaining, the result he desired. Thirty-eight years! The Bible doesn’t say this exactly, but I’m guessing this man was getting a little frustrated. I’m also guessing that he kept at this for so long because he didn’t know of any other way to find healing.
Then came Jesus. With one simple question He identifies the man’s need and reveals to him that a better way is needed. Jesus, with the compassion that only He can have, confronts the man and basically asks, do you want to keep doing things your way or do you want to be made well?
This is where the Holy Spirit caught my attention today. Kelli, do you want to be made well? I heard Him whisper, or do you want to keep doing things your way? Of course, I want to be made well. I want to be a made-well wife. I want to be a made-well mom. I want to be a made-well daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, etc. I want to be a made-well listener. I want to be a made-well learner. I want to be a made-well writer. I want to be a made-well whatever God is calling me to be. Period. But I don’t know how. And when I try to apply my knowledge and my skill set to a situation without the leading of the Holy Spirit I get the same results — not being made-well — every. single. time.
Why? Because I am not the maker. I didn’t make myself and I can’t make myself well. If I want to be made-well I need to surrender to the only One who can make me more like Christ. I need to remember that He is the Potter and I am the clay. He is the Creator and I am the creation in-progress. My only responsibility is to trust, listen, and obey, the made-well part is His.
Once the sick man at the Pool of Bethesda realized that his way wasn’t working Jesus gave him instructions. “Rise, take up your bed and walk,” He said. Jesus didn’t give him any other info, He didn’t explain the how or the why, He just gave the man instructions. The man obeyed and he was made-well.
I think the same goes for us today. The Holy Spirit doesn’t always lay out all the hows and whys for us. He doesn’t always explain how He is going to perform a miracle on our behalf. He doesn’t always tell us why we need to do what He is about to tell us to do. In fact, I can’t think of a time in my life when He has, but He is forever faithful to give the instructions that I need in order to continue on the path He has set me on. But in order to receive those instructions I need to first acknowledge that my ways will not work and that I have no idea how to be made-well on my own.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)
Lord, thank You for desiring to make me well. Thank You for Your word, which is full of simply instruction for me to follow. Thank You for taking on and keeping the responsibility of creating a person who is made-well. Thank You for allowing me to return to You for guidance and instruction when I realize that my way isn’t working. Please forgive me for attempting to take Your responsibility from You and trying to be made-well on my own. Please give me eyes, and ears, and a heart that is more attentive to Your voice and a spirit that is more willing to follow Your lead. In your name I pray, amen.
Please remember to always seek the Lord and His truths. Never just take my thoughts as fact. Open your bible, pray, and listen to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you.
Only by Grace,
P.S. Feel free to leave a comment or two. I’d love to hear from you. What is happening on your walk with God?