Summary: Our situation and circumstances can bring us to the point where we become resigned to the status quo, requiring a renewed challenge to our faith. The Word challenges you and it is no idle challenge.The question is real! Wilt thou be made whole?
After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 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. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. John 5:1-9 KJV
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:30-31 KJV
I've always had a slight dislike for this man because of John 5:15! However my dislike is irrelevant because the Bible says this was written that we might believe! So let's dive right in, believing the Holy Spirit for revelation knowledge and enlightening!
A. WILT THOU BE MADE WHOLE? DUH! YOU THINK?
The man had been there a long time.
He had that infirmity for 38 years!
He was by the pool for one purpose only: Healing!
And here comes, (to him), a total stranger asking the obvious! Wilt thou be made whole?
So it seems as though Jesus asked a stupid and silly question huh, which deserved an equally stupid and silly response?
Aren't we all tempted to be a smart aleck with the wisecrack and obnoxious comeback? Sometimes we may be a wee bit polite and refrain from vocalizing what we really think, but it's there all the same!
But remember this!!!
God's foolishness is wiser than men!
He never asks foolish questions! He never voices the redundant! HE'S RELEVANT!
Every Word is for a purpose and it WILL accomplish that purpose. We can chose to respond foolishly and lose out big time, or take Him seriously at His Word, when He lays down the challenge!
When someone has been in a unfortunate way for a long time, sad things happen.
1. We can become accustomed and adapted to the condition until we accept it as the norm. When this happens our vision becomes hampered and nearsighted. We no longer see the big picture! We just potter around mentally in our tiny world! It's so tiny because it consists of only three persons; me, myself and I. Oh no, that's really only one person!
2. We can lose hope and become caught and entangled in the bondage of discouragement and bitterness. Discouragement and bitterness are a faith-killing tag team!
When what we expect does not happen, it can be discouraging! Ask Elijah! When discouraged, we are ready to give up and let things run their course. We fall into the "whatever" mode, using that offensive and impolite one word statement of dismissive indifference! Bitterness is generally tagged in quickly, and not only does the affected ones end up with a confused and distorted outlook, living in silent resentment, but they become carriers of the deadly disease, affecting others with whom they associate! Its poisonous influence can destroy a whole congregation! Ask Joshua and Caleb!
3. We can go through the motions even though we have given up. We are now doing something, not because we want to, but because we're expected to! There's no joy, no eagerness, no sense of anticipation and expectancy! Just a dull routine, and a despondent discharge of duty! We exhibit the hanging hands, feeble knees and twisted feet mentioned in Hebrews 12:15!
This man was waiting there and kept trying! He never gave up.
The man could have said like so many of us today: "DUH! Why do you think I am here?" But he didn't! His answer to Jesus shows something about his character. He never gave up! He never stopped trying. Somebody was always there before him, but he kept on trying. He had one motive, one focus, one goal! To get to the pool when it was stirred! He did not know who Jesus was! He did not know Who was standing before him! But his future depended on his response. Would it be cynical hopelessness? Would it be angry at the unfairness?