Do You Want To Be Healed?
Hope is a powerful thing. It can give you strength in the darkest moments of your life, and encourage you to continue on. But when hope is misplaced, it can lead to a grat deal of disappointment. In John chapter 5, we are introduced to a man that had held onto hope for 38 years. For some time this man had laid by the pool of Bethesda hoping to be healed. The Bible tells us that at certain times an angel would come down and stir up the water in the pool, and whoever got into the water first would be healed from whatever was ailing them. This man had laid by the pool for who knows how long, and didn't have the strength to get into the pool first, and didn't have the friends to power him in first. So time and time again, he watched as others would be healed, and he would continue to live in the condition he was in.
There are times in our lives where we face periods of disappointment. We hope that this time our relationship is going to get better. We hope that something is going to happen, and finally we are going to get out of the financial trouble that we are in. We hope that the next doctor's appointment will give us some answers to the physical problems that we have been having. Like this man, we lay by the side of the pool waiting for the waters to stir, hoping that we will be the first one in.
This man had been laying there for who knows how many years, and Jesus walks up and asks him what seems like a ridiculous question. "Do you want to be healed?" What kind of question is that to ask a man that has been bedridden for 38 years. It seems like a no brainer. Of course he wants to be healed! Why would Jesus ask such a question? He asked the question to prove a point to this man. And the answer that the man gives, shows that his hope has been misplaced.
He answers the question in verse nine of John chapter five, "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." First of all, notice what he does not say. He doesn't even bring up the fact that he can't get into the pool himself. He knows what some of us do not know, and that is that his hope was not in himself. Too often, we trust in ourselves. We believe that we can heal the relationship. We can dig ourselves out of the trouble that we are in. We can earn God's favor and get to heaven on our own. Our hope is misplaced in ourselves. This lame man had more sense than we have many times, at least he knew that he could not help his own situation.
He had, however, placed his hope in humanity. He figured that his only hope would be in the kindness of a stranger. He says, "I have no man". There is noone to lower me into the pool, so someone else always gets in first. We are often guilty of this as well. How many times has someone that you were counting on let you down? It's painful when that happens. Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick:". But that is what happens when we put our hope in people. They are human, and will let us down. Even the most good intentioned of people let us down. Your parents will let you down. Your spouse will let you down. Your pastor will let you down. The list could go on and on. Our hope and confidence ultimately should not be in people, but in God. He never fails!
In verse eight, Jesus asks the man to put his hope in Him. And He does it with a command, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." At that moment that man had a choice to make. He could either lay there continuing to hope that some kind person would lower him down into the water, or he could put his hope in Jesus. He chose Jesus, and he was miraculously healed. Jesus is also asking you to put your hope in Him. Do you want to be healed? Quit trusting in yourself. Quit putting your confidence in man. Trust in Jesus. He is exactly what you need, and he will never let you down.