2Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie-the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 4From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had. 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 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 replies, “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” (John 5: 2-7)
Wow! For thirty-eight years this paralyzed man was trying to find healing by the pools waters. His answer was amazing when questioned by Jesus, “Do you want to get well?” Jesus didn’t ask a difficult question. Why didn’t the man just say, “YES! I want to get well! Please heal me!” His answer revealed he thought it was impossible to be healed of his condition.
“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.” (Verse 7)
Is this you? Are you like the paralytic? Do you want to get well? Do you share the same feelings as this paralyzed man? Does it seem impossible to be healed from your paralyzed condition?
The paralyzed man had his eyes set on the healing properties of the pool, knowing he could never get there alone. Suddenly, Jesus appeared before him asking if he wanted to be healed. But he kept his focus on the waters, only dreaming of being healed.
8Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was the Sabbath, 10and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat,” 11But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ 12So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there 14Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again, Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” (John 5:8-14)
Sin is keeping you paralyzed! In your marriage, your ministry–in your ability to grow in Christ. In all areas of life we are paralyzed by sin. “Do you want to get well?” What are the obstacles in your life keeping you from getting well? Are you blaming others like the paralyzed man? Did you notice he blamed others for his inability to be healed?
Look at verse 14, do you see it? “See you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
His paralyzed state was a result of sin in his life. Perhaps he’s been to the pool before. Perhaps he, like us, had been caught up in the cycle of sinning and confessing, sinning and confessing. He blamed others for getting in his way as he tried to make it into the pool. But he was the one responsible for his paralytic state, not anyone else.
Have you been blaming others for your condition?
The truth is we are responsible for our own paralyzed life. Yes, it may be true that someone helped us get to our paralyzed state sooner, but we didn’t have to continue in it. This was our choice–by our own free will. It’s time to take responsibility for what we have done.
This is so exciting to see that Jesus intervened right where he was despite his sin. Not only did Jesus intervene, but He had a better plan for the paralytic than just helping him into the pool. The paralytic was only looking to be healed from being paralyzed, but Jesus wanted to heal him from the inside out, full and complete healing, deeper than the paralytic could image. You see, the paralytic only had healing of his physical condition in mind as he stared out over the water–but Jesus had both physical and spiritual healing prepared for him when He said, “Do you want to get well?”
We can also see from this amazing story that sin will eventually take it’s toll on our bodies if we don’t get freed from it in our lives. “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” Jesus is the only one who can heal you from the paralysis of sin. Healing pools (worldly counselors) can only help you with your physical condition, but Jesus can heal both physical and spiritual sickness in our lives. Only He can say, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Healing both your physical condition–a paralyzed life due to sin, and your spiritual condition–the need to be forgiven. What is keeping you in your paralyzed condition? Do you want to get well?
Author: Erick Hurt
From a slave to sin–to freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:1). From an abusive husband verbally and physically–to loving my wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). Now an Elder at Family Bible Church, I speak, teach, and preach with the same passion I once had for sin. I work as a volunteer for Setting Captives Free ministry as a mentor and mentor coordinator helping people become freed from the grip of sin. Visit www.settingcaptivesfree.com.