"Do you want to be healed?" That was the question on the table. In part 3 we looked at some of the personalities that may have been around the pool of Bethesda... so it's no wonder that Jesus asked this question to the invalid man. It's also no wonder that the man answered the way he did. It's as if he was trying to explain himself, why after 38 years of laying there beside the pool, he still hadn't made it into the water.
John 5:6-7 "When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
The man says he has no one to help him. Maybe you feel that way as well. No one understands. No one has any answers. No one gets it. Just like the invalid man, no one could help, but Jesus can and did and will. In fact, Jesus never even responded to the man's reason. He didn't speak to his surface problem, his little issue. Jesus went straight to the source right where the real sickness , the real healing was needed.
Often times we want Jesus to treat our symptoms, but not the sickness. We'd rather be made more comfortable than be transformed. We want Him to fix our circumstances, not our hearts.
Jesus gives the invalid three very specific instructions we should follow to see the power of healing and change. But the question to first ask yourself is, "Do you want to be made well?" You've got to want it first. If you can say "yes," put away your excuses, pack up your pity party and pick yourself up -- then follow these instructions. Because the very first thing is to make the choice that you want to be changed, be set free and to be healed.
Step #1: Rise
Jesus told the man to "rise." Some translations say "lead" or "get up." We have to decide to stop settling for excuses. We have to agree to quit drowning ourselves in complacency and get ready to move out of Pity City. Jesus couldn't change the man and leave him there on his mat. What a waste that would be. It's impossible for us to change and grow yet stay where we are. There will be movement. Jesus said "rise."
Notice Jesus did not say crawl or back out. No. He said to stand up, stand firm in the faith you have in Him - the one empowering your change. You, by yourself, can't make the change. Just like the invalid couldn't heal himself, we do have a healing source. And with the help of Jesus we can stand.