READ: John 5:1 - 9 Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crows of sick people - blind, lame, or paralyzed - lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for 38 years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, "Would you like to get well?"
"I can't, sire," the sick man said, "for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else already gets there ahead of me."
Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!" Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!
In the King James Version of the Bible we are told why the sick laid on the porches of the pool of Bethesda. verse 4: For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. It seems the people believed in a superstition that when the waters would be stirred up - the first person to make it into the pool would be healed.
Jesus arrives and finds people crowding the porches - just like today - there were a lot of sick people around. They came to get well. But Jesus approaches one man and finds out that he was sick for 38 years! We aren't told what he had - just that he had suffered for 38 long years!
Jesus then asks the sick man a very strange question: He said, "Would you like to get well?"
For awhile I had asked myself why Jesus would have said this. But I understand now. Not everyone who is sick wants to get well. That might be a hard comment for me to make and seem callous, but it's true.
Some people like the attention they get when they are sick, or they relish in their weaknesses and helplessness. Some like to escape the responsibility of work, and stay on disability, because it's the easy way out. Again, I am not trying to be harsh - just truthful. People were the same in Jesus' day and age as they are now.
Jesus needed to know if this man wanted deliverance or not.
As far as healing is concerned - Jesus' part is already finished. He completed his work for our deliverance on the cross. But we have a part to play. One step in receiving is to actually WANT IT.
If this man had answered Jesus saying he wasn't interested in a changed life, or working a job, having a family and he just wanted to lie there - Jesus would have left him that way. It's the very same with us - to receive healing there are some things we need to do. The first step is to actively desire it and fight for it. It is not the time for passivity. It's the time to be actively taking up your spiritual weapons and fighting for it.
If you need a physical healing today (like me)..... do you want to get well? I don't have all the answers, but I do know the first step is to WANT TO RECEIVE. It was important enough for Jesus to actually ask it. Join me today in actively speaking the Word of God over your life, dig into God's word, meditate on it until it becomes real to you.... and fight to receive.