In the Gospel of John, Chapter 5, Jesus Christ had gone to Jerusalem for the Passover. He came to a pool called Bethesda, and it had five porches. On certain seasons, an angel would trouble the water, and whoever went in the pool first after the troubling of the water would be healed of their affliction. Large multitudes of those who were sick, diseased, blind or afflicted would wait on the porches for the opportunity to be healed. John 5:5-6 tells us that Jesus saw a man lying there near the pool. This man had been sick for 38 years, and Jesus, knowing he had been sick a long time, asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
The question Jesus Christ asked the disabled man may have seemed like a foregone conclusion to some of us. He was there at the pool, where many sick people gathered, and he had suffered with his condition many years. Imagine what the man must’ve thought after hearing our Lord and Savior ask him this question. In our minds, we might think he’d say, “I’ve been struggling to get to this pool and waiting by it every day for as long as I can remember, of course I want to get well.” The truth of the matter is that Jesus Christ not only knew the man’s situation, he knew the man’s heart. The sick man was looking for healing to come from a change in conditions, and not from power.
There is tremendous power in the faith of Jesus Christ. He said in Mark 9:23 that all things are possible to the person that believes. Faith can activate a work of God on our behalf, but often the point of connecting to the element that energizes our believing is missing. For the people at the pool, the thing that energized their believing was the troubling of the water. Based on prior history of God’s healing power, they conditioned their minds to believe that they would be healed if the waters were troubled, and if they entered the pool first. On the unfortunate flip side of this, they also believed that healing would NOT come unless the waters were troubled. Because of this, they limited their faith.
Some have said that the man lacked faith entirely, but this can’t be true. Romans 12:3 tells us God has given every person a measure of faith. At the end of the day, the sick man’s faith placed him in the right place at the right time—the time when he would make a point of contact with the Master Jesus. You might ask, “Why did it take so long?” Well, you and I must know as mature believers that how bad we really want something is going to be tested. The sick man wanted to be healed, but his answer to the question Jesus asked him tells us about his state of mind; and he had held this mindset for a mighty long time. He had not quite made the leap between wanting something and believing that he could actually have it.
In John 5:7(NLT), the sick man answered Jesus by saying, “I can’t, sir…for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” This was his answer to “Would you like to be healed?” It was not an emphatic “YES!” as most would expect, but an explanation for why it hadn’t or couldn’t happen. He was waiting on the conditions to change instead of connecting to the One who changes conditions. This is what many of us are doing today.
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up our mat, and walk!” A revelation regarding the authority of Jesus Christ is the point of contact all of us need, and it was evident when the man heard these words of authority come from Jesus’s mouth. He was healed instantly, rolled up his mat and began to walk.
It can’t be lost on us that the man’s faith was activated when he received the right instructions. He took the right action at the right time because he responded to the authority of Christ, and then he received the right results. Everything flowed according to God’s purpose because this man obeyed the instructions he heard from Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father knows exactly what it will take to bridge the distance between our desires and the faith to bring them into fruition. I believe one of the most important things we can do today is spend time learning how to respond to and live by the authority of Jesus Christ. A habit pattern of hearing and obeying must be firmly in place. Then, when it’s time for Jesus to give us the right instructions for our desires, they will connect with our faith and achieve results that honor and please God.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“The Right Instructions for the Right Results”,written for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2023. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!