After getting ourselves into the predicament in which our behaviour leaves us short of God’s glory and worthy of God’s judgment, many people think they can behave their way out of the problem… We can’t. God is the answer to our problem.
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
Do you want to get well? After 38 years of being stuck in his circumstance Jesus asked this man the most welcome question he could ever be asked… Well? Do I want to get well? You bet I do…
The man didn’t answer Jesus’ question. He may have thought it was a dumb question. He may have thought it was cruel. Why wouldn’t he want to be well? Are you rubbing it in his face, Jesus?
When he does reply, the man shares with Jesus that he can’t get himself to the water when it stirs in order to be healed… Someone else always gets there first.
Can you imagine if your healing or your wellness was a race or a competition? Can you imagine if your healing depended on you winning against someone else? How defeating would that be? On top of being an invalid, your healing relies on you overcoming your disability in order to be healed from your disability…
What a great picture of our spiritual situation and how we think we can solve it. We fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Every one of us is the same. Our human effort leaves us in this predicament because we continuously go our own ways. Our human effort and human nature (which is sinful) leave us short.
When you ask people why God should or will admit them into heaven, the answer is very often that a person’s good works outweigh the bad. We think that we can earn our salvation and our forgiveness. By human effort.
After getting ourselves into the predicament in which our behaviour leaves us short of God’s glory and worthy of God’s judgment, many people think they can behave their way out of the problem… We can’t.
Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches us clearly that it is by grace and grace only that we are saved through faith, and not by works lest any of us would want to boast about it. Not by works. Not by our behaviour. Can’t do it.
Jesus told the man to get up, pick up his mat, and walk. It’s God’s power that heals the man. Entirely. The man didn’t move. He didn’t enter the pool. It was only God and his power and his mercy at work in the man that brought the healing he needed.
What thing are you trying to fix yourself? Do you realize that God power is what you need? Respond to him instead. Instead of going your way. Instead of trying to fix things in your inability.
What is God asking you about today? Answer yes.