Summary: Jesus meets a sick man, and Jesus question to him seems odd - "do you want to get better?" But sometimes what we want and what we need are two different things.

Not everything is as it Seems.

John 5:1-15

Jesus is heading up to Jerusalem for a Feast of the Jews (doesn’t say which one)

On his way he passed by pool that in Aramaic is called Bethesda

archeology has uncovered these pools and they had

colonnades or covered parts

and the invalid and lame would gather under its shade

-this pool was a reservoir, and was fed by an artesian spring

-at times a natural phenomenon would occur when the conditions were right

and the water gushing in from the spring would give the water an appearance that it was being stirred

-So the legend began one time that an angel would come down and stir

-first one into the pool after it was stirred would be healed.

Jesus intentionally entered the pool area, saw this one individual who had been in this condition for 38 years, Jesus could assess he had been in condition long time.

Jesus approached him and asked him, do you want to get well?

Interesting question.


Do we want to get better?

at first read you might think X is cruel , or not observant

But knowing Jesus, and his insight, this is a good question.

it is rabbinic style to ask questions too.

The answer the sick man gives reveals so much.

when asked the man responds,

there is no-one to take me into the pool.

-Jesus didn’t ask him why he wasn’t well.

-The man had determined the solution was the pool, and who knows how long?

-probably been there so long, become quite fatalistic...oh well. No hope

-The man also blames everyone else....someone else goes ahead of me.


we get tunnel vision to the solution to our problems.

and we are constantly blaming someone else for our failures.

easy to do.

-PLus Jesus question is valid because for a man who has been this way for 38 years, to be healed will radically transform his life. is he ready for that.

some people are comfortable with their conditions, physically or spiritually.

they don’t want change, as much as they don’t want their situation, it is comfortable, predictable

So after Jesus asks him if he wants to get well, and the man gives him all his excuses as to whyh he isn’t,

Jesus says matter of factly.

“Get up, Pick up your mat and walk.”

at once the man was cured, he picked up his matt and walked. the day was the sabbath,

so the Jews who saw this questioned him as to why he was carrying his matt on the sabbath, After all it is unlawful

actually the laws of Moses do not forbid the carrying of ones matt, but the commentary, the expanded and unabridged version does.

man made ideas.

-look what the man does he blames Jesus,

verse 11, BUt the man who made me well said to me pick up your mat and walk.

they asked who it was, and the man had no idea


Some times God goes incognito

I love how this invalid, has no idea who his is speaking to

Jesus never introduces himself

I find this so refreshing that this man doesn’t know.

only because so many religions claim to own GOd,d

they own the patent on god and encounters with him

they control access.

they dispense his touch like candy from a machine.

in true Jesus style, there are no conditions on his touch.

many times X is amazed at the persons faith.

-I am not saying that you don’t need faith to experience God.

HOWEVER, sometimes God will surprise those running on empty.

sometimes, GOd just shows up.

in any way shape or form, he seems to blend in .

often only later are we introduced to him and realize HEY!

that was you GOd back in 2007,

that was you who saved my life, you spoke, or touched, or moved.

and now I discover if was you

If we have learned anything about the GOd encounters recorded in these histories,

it is that GOd doesn’t need a big entrance.

GOd doesn’t even need the credit.

I think he comes into our lives incognito, because our motives would change if he

just showed up in full garb.

but because it seems to be unawares, we respond differently.

Plus jesus wasn’t doing this as a lesson,

he didn’t want a crowd around him, he just wanted to touch this life.

from my experience it is that way in my life too.

when God has touched me, it is never with spotlights and music.

it is in the quiet, unrehearsed actions of my day.

that he shows up, and spares my life, or pushes me on, or inspires me.

and I only recognize him after the fact.

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