Nov 1, 2018

“Do You Want To Be Made Well?”

I have had numbness in my left foot (and sometimes also leg) since May 6, 2018. I know the date because it is the only time that I have left a hockey game due to a physical problem. I even played a game after dislocating my right shoulder in a game. Needless to say, my whole arm was numb for an entire period!

I was warming up before my game by skating around the rink and suddenly, my whole left leg went numb, and I was in extreme pain. I tried to “skate-it-off”, but I could barely make a full lap around the rink.

I left the rink, went into the locker room, changed into my street clothes, packed up my gear, and drove home.

When I arrived home, Cathy, out of concern, asked me why I was home so early. I explained the situation to her and because she saw that I was in pain (and because I had left early), she told me to take a shower and then she would take me to Urgent care. 

At Urgent Care, they gave me pain meds and sent me home…the next day I went to our primary doctor and to our favorite chiropractor; Dr. Joel.

After that, I have been doing everything I can to fix it including more chiropractic and weekly treatments from our favorite PT Kathy…All with no complete healing. And it has been almost six months!

Stating the obvious, I want to be healed because I don’t like having a numb foot, and because my outdoor hockey season is about to start.

Have you ever struggled with an illness or physical condition for a very long time that won’t go away?
I would like to invite you to get a Bible and READ John 5:1-16 and then read my observations…

“Bethesda” means “house of kindness”. The Pool of Bethesda is deep enough to swim in. Beneath the pool was a subterranean stream that would occasionally bubble up and disturb the waters.

Ancient people believed that the disturbance was caused by an angel who occasionally would come, stir up the waters, and whoever stepped into the pool first would be healed.

To us it is mere superstition, but it is the kind of belief that is all around the world today; especially people who are ignorant of the Word of God and by people who are desperate to be healed and will believe anything to get their healing.

One day Jesus was passing by the pool and noticed a man who was sick lying on a mat.

The man had been sick for 38 years! He had tried to get into the pool to be healed, but someone always gets into the pool before him.

He was been committed to the same plan every day to get his healing and it hadn’t worked because someone always got their healing as they got in the pool first. And he was still sick, broken, and he was frustrated

All of us as humans deal with brokenness: Broken bodies, relationships, dreams, spirits…all longing to be healed.

We fool ourselves by telling ourselves; “It’s no big deal…” Trying to get through life walking with a limp and keeping ourselves busy as we ignore the deep need we all have for healing

But if we are truly honest with ourselves, we too would like to just once be the first person in the pool, and THEN we would be healed.

We hear how others have gotten healed and set free, so we pursue our healing. We set out on a plan of action for how we will get healed…

Someday, THIS plan will work, you will see….

Some of us have given up on ever getting healed and so we put our focus on our children. If one plan doesn’t work we will try another. We will try harder, driver further, believe harder…

Or we work on something else like our career. We are constantly on the move; all in an attempt for us to get rid of the pain in our lives.

And, like the man on the mat, we never quite get into the waters to be healed. And what’s worse, we lose focus and can no longer see God even when He is standing next to us.

Verse 6 Tells us that Jesus (the Healer) passed by the pool. But, the man was too filled with discouragement to see Jesus. He was too focused on being frustrated because no one helped him. In fact, this man almost missed seeing the only One who could heal him.

Jesus asked a simple question: “DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WELL?”

Why would Jesus ask that? Of course, he wanted to be made well! After all, he had been coming to the pool every day.

Sometimes we can get so used to the pain in our lives that we become a friend with it and it becomes part of who we are; even part of our identification.

Our pain becomes like a lizard on our shoulder: It irritates and hurts us all the time. It distracts us and prevents us from being truly free. It takes away a part of us.

AND YET, we don’t seem to be able to get rid of it and we treat it like it is our pet; not realizing that also pushes everyone away from us.

So, Jesus persisted with His question: “DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WELL?” – “well”, “sound”, “whole” Do you REALLY want to be healed?

Verse 7 Look at how the man responded: “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

This man hadn’t listened to the question that Jesus asked him; “DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WELL?”

It seems to me that this man wanted instead to form a committee to look into the problem; perhaps a committee to regulate who goes into the pool…A committee who will make sure that everyone gets their turn.

To me it seems that this man wants a ticket booth set up so we know when it is our turn or some other way to make sure that things are fair…THEN he will get his healing

Too often Jesus comes to us offering life; “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37b)

And we respond by asking Him what He is going to do about injustice. Or by asking Him to fix the holes in the umbrella; instead of asking Him to stop the rain.

The man’s problem wasn’t just a physical problem; he had a heart condition. He was so focused upon himself. He was so focused on his plan that he couldn’t see the possibility for God to do something.

The healer Himself was present and all the man wanted was for Jesus to help him into the water; not to heal him another way.

Verse 8 Jesus responded to the man’s complaints; “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”

Verse 9 And immediately the man was made well! He took up his bed and walked.

NOTICE: Jesus didn’t help the man into the pool. He didn’t dialog about the situation. He didn’t analyze what was the solution. He healed the man.
Jesus came to set us free, not help us in our futile plans.

Jesus didn’t get the man a new job that paid better or get him a new mat. Or get him new friends that would help him get into the pool. Or ask the Father to send an angel to stir up the waters.

Jesus healed the man.

You see, Jesus came to deal with the sin problem as well as the physical lameness. Verse 14 we read that the man’s condition was due to sin. We don’t know what he did, but Jesus tells us IN THIS CASE, sin was the issue.

Jesus said to the man; “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

Jesus wants to do the same for each of us today: Not help us in our futile plans. Not help us get into the water. He wants to heal us totally in all areas of our lives.

The Heavenly Father wants you to be whole TODAY; restored to what God originally intended for you; through receiving the work done on the cross by Jesus

This healing is based upon what Jesus ALREADY did not your efforts! There was a very real debt to be paid and Jesus paid it with His death, burial, and resurrection.

Q: Have you given your life to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord?
     Have you been transformed by the power of the Spirit of God?

At this moment, you can bow your head and say, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (He will hear that simple prayer).

You can do this right now by praying in your own words like this:
·        Ask Jesus to forgive you for your sins
·        Ask Jesus to take His rightful place as LORD & SAVIOR
·        And then turn away from whatever the Bible says is sin.
·        This is only possible after Christ has come to live inside of you.

And the Spirit of God will come into your heart and will enable you to stop trusting in your own efforts to please God and begin to trust in what Jesus Christ has already done.

The Healer is here today- His Name is JESUS

We read in John 5:6 that when Jesus passed by the pool, the man was too filled with discouragement to see Jesus. He was too focused on being frustrated because no one helped him. This man almost missed seeing the only One who could heal him.

Some of you are in that same position today. Do you see Him here? Or are you simply struggling to get into the water and mad that no one will help you in?

The Healer is here today- His Name is JESUS

Do you hear Him calling out to you? Or are you waiting for an angel to come instead? Or are you mad because others have gone ahead of you?

Jesus is asking each one of us the same question today: “DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WELL?” Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually…
Why would Jesus ask that? Of course we want to be made well; after all, we’ve been coming to church for years!

The Healer is here today- His Name is JESUS! How will you respond to his question that He is asking to you? Will you respond with excuses? My family has always struggled with this…It’s our generational thing…

Or Will you respond by rising up, taking up your bed and receiving your healing?

IT’S REALLY UP TO YOU…. But you will need to respond to the question that Jesus is asking…

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