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Often we hear it said that the first step in overcoming a problem or situation is to admit you have a problem.

One day, Jesus went to the pool area where crowds of sick people gathered. This particular pool, at Bethesda, had a reputation for its healing qualities. It was said that an angel would stir the waters and the first one into the pool would receive their healing.

There He talks to a man, who had been an invalid for thirty eight years. Long years of waiting. Failure, again and again. Thirty eight years of doing the same thing every day. Approximately 13,870 days remaining in the same condition.

Then Jesus shows up and asks:

“Would you like to get well?” (John 5:6, NLT)

Excuse me, Jesus, I mean no disrespect … but isn’t it obvious that this man would desperately desire to be healed?

I find the man’s response interesting. He didn’t jump on the chance {no pun intended} and yell, “YES!! please help me get well!!!!”

Instead, he tells Jesus why he has not yet received his healing … “I have no one to help me”; “Everyone gets there before me”; “I’m never the first one”; “My timing is off”; “Poor me”.

The man’s response displayed his hopelessness, as thirty eight years must have felt like an eternity. But it also revealed his despair, discouragement, depression, and even perhaps, a victim mentality.

He had lost all determination to do what was necessary to change his situation.

In reading of this man, I cannot help but wonder if the greater healing was not so much the physical healing, but a healing of the way he viewed his situation.

Could it be in asking the question, Jesus needed to confirm the man wanted change? After thirty eight years, had this man come to accept, maybe enjoy even, sitting by the pool each day with the others. He surely had accepted the idea that it was a “first come, first serve” kind of atmosphere by the pool.

Jesus came to defy that mentality, for He came to serve all.

Could it be that Jesus was asking this man about his desire to change? Was He asking the man if he was willing to do something to change his situation?

Rather than discuss the man’s response,  Jesus tells the man, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” (verse 8)

Jesus does not touch the man, nor lend him a hand to get up.

Jesus simply tells him what to do.

The man’s healing lay in his willingness to do what he was told. He had to help himself up. He had to obey.

Change may require action on our part.

Let’s do it!



GetInline-7This is Day 25 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.

Today I am joining … Still Saturday and Give Me Grace and Sunday Stillness and Spiritual Sundays and Scripture & a Snapshot .