Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity 38 years.
When Jesus SAW him lying there, and KNEW that he had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WHOLE?"
38 years... that's a long time to be in an infirm (feeble or weak in body or health) condition. It doesn't escape my awareness that this is my 38th year... and like this man who was lying on that porch waiting for someone to solve his problems, I feel like I've been waiting to be made whole too. My infirmity is not a condition of the body, but of the mind. Obsession with what I'm not, or what I am, or with my situation changing or any other number of things I fix my eyes on, has left me feeling weak and unable to move.
Jesus says to the man lying there "Do you WANT to be whole?" The sick man answers "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred, but while I am coming, another steps down before me."
The Bible says that there was a pool in Jerusalem that had 5 porches and the sick, lame, and blind would wait there for an angel to come down and stir up the water and the first person to get in the water would be healed. This man has been waiting 38 years for his chance to be made well, but standing right in front of him is the One, who has absolute power to heal. The man is looking right through the ANSWER to what he thinks is the solution. Isn't that just like us. We look around at all the reasons WHY we are not whole. Many of us have known Jesus for years and we look right past him, offering to heal us, with our eyes fixed on our problems and our excuses.
Psalms 107:20 "He sent his word and healed them; He rescued them from the pit."
Jesus has the power to heal us, but we have to stop looking around him. It's funny that he asks "DO You want to be whole?" DUH... that's why he was sitting there for 38 years, waiting to be healed. That's just like us... we sit around waiting for something to change to make us all better.
Jesus said "Rise, take up your bed and walk."
We have be willing to listen, get up and take that step of faith. The Bible says immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. He took his bed... He didn't plan on coming back there.
The Jews said to the man that was healed "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed." He answered them, "He (Jesus) WHO MADE ME WELL said to me 'take up your bed and walk."
You know how you stay well? Listen to what Jesus said. THE ONE WHO HEALS YOU is the one you need to listen to. I get caught up in what everybody else is thinking and saying and stop listening to the one who heals me and find myself right back in that same ole tired place again.
Afterwards Jesus found the man in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing comes upon you."
This speaks volumes to me. My mind is infirm (weak). My mind stews and worries. My mind begins to wear me out about every little thing under the sun, then I start to dwell on my situation. I think if this was different or if that was different I would be ok. Looking right past the One who longs to heal me, I dwell on what I think is the solution. Jesus wants to heal me, but I want my situation changed. Jesus wants to set me free, but I want to give excuses for why I am still sick. Jesus wants to make me strong, but I just settle for weakness. My healing is there for the taking, but I have to fix my eyes on Jesus and take the step of faith.
No one wants to be sick. The key is being willing to stop the excuses... I have to fix my eyes Jesus and listen to what he says, that's the only way I will be made WHOLE.