John 5 has been on my heart since this weekend. In John 5:1-9 Jesus has an exchange with an “invalid” (sick/ill) man. It’s only 9 verses of scripture but it has rocked my world.
Check it out:
John 5Amplified Bible (AMP)
5 Later on there was a Jewish festival (feast) for which Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem a pool near the Sheep Gate. This pool in the Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches (alcoves, colonnades, doorways).
3 In these lay a great number of sick folk—some blind, some crippled, and some paralyzed (shriveled up)—[a]waiting for the bubbling up of the water.
4 For an angel of the Lord went down at appointed seasons into the pool and moved and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was cured of whatever disease with which he was afflicted.
5 There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?]
7 The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me.
8 Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk!
9 Instantly the man became well and recovered his strength and picked up his bed and walked.
A few things stand out to me here.
1. The man was going about his normal routine. He had been ill for 38 years. Today was a normal day. The man was not on some spiritual journey to get better. The man was simply waiting near the pool.
2. Jesus approached the man. The man was not looking for Jesus. The whole start of this scripture is about Jesus going to Jerusalem and Jesus noticing the man. Jesus saw the man could do nothing for himself. He was helpless.
The definition of helpless:
3. Jesus asks the man does he want to become well. Why does God ask us questions when he already knows the answer? The answer is not for him to hear, I think it’s for us to hear. When we speak aloud we prophesy over ourselves.
4. The man responds with excuses. The man doesn’t answer with just a simple ‘yes”. The man gets wordy with why he can’t get to the pool to receive healing. We do this, don’t we? Instead of just addressing the issues directly (which usually stem from us) we start dragging people down with us to point out all their flaws and how they’re hindering us instead of just taking simple responsibly for ourselves.
5. Jesus tells him to get up, pick up your mat and walk. Jesus doesn’t even respond to the man’s excuses. Jesus doesn’t rub the man’s back and enable him. Jesus, who approached the man in the first place, comes with a question – do you want to be well? – and then comes with a directive – “Get up and walk”. Super simple.
6. Instantly the man is healed. The man took Jesus at his word. He didn’t make more excuses or sulk in his disabilities. The man moved. For 38 years this man was ill and in an instant, after an encounter with Jesus, he got up and walked.
I’m tellin’ ya! I read this and it just leveled me. God is so faithful. He approaches us. We don’t even have to run after him. We can just be going about our day and all of a sudden Jesus is there. I’m not sure if you have caught on by now but when Jesus is there – things change. The atmosphere changes in the presence of Jesus.
This scripture removes the pressure for me. The pressure to be “Christian enough” is removed. The truth is – we’ll never be enough, we’ll never do enough good, we’ll never read our Bible enough or pray enough … but Jesus is enough. I don’t think Jesus calls us to do more, I think Jesus wants to come along side us in our every day stuff, our every day junk and let himself be enough. He won’t leave you there, invalid.
Jesus is not about rules. He’s about relationship. Our lives should be a response to our relationship with Jesus.
Where has Jesus approached you today? What questions is he asking your heart? Is it time to get up and walk?
Blessings my friend!