I don’t like being sick…it stinks. When you’re sick, everything you do feels 10 times more difficult because you’re tired and feeling bad. However, there is one good thing: When you’re sick, people don’t expect as much from you.
In a world where we’re under a lot of pressure, sometimes it’s nice to feel like people aren’t expecting so much from us. If you’re sick for long enough, the people around you might get used to expecting less from you. You could get used to having people do more for you.
John 5 tells an interesting story about a man Jesus healed.
Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered…A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years (John 5:2-3, 5).
When Jesus met this man, he’d already been sick for 38 years! That’s a long time–I get frustrated when I’m sick for more than three days. The Bible says that people who were sick would sort of camp out at the pool of Bethesda and wait for the waters to “get stirred up.” Once the waters got stirred up, they would basically race each other to the pool because the first person in would be healed of their diseases. This man is waiting for the waters to get stirred up, and he’s been sick a long, long time. So, what’s the first thing Jesus says to him?
When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, ‘Do you wish to get well?’ (John 5:6).
What!? What kind of question is that? If you’d been sick for almost 40 years, don’t you think you’d want to get well? The Bible says Jesus knew the man had been ill “a long time,” so why would He even ask that? Didn’t Jesus know the man would want to get well?
I wonder. If I was sick for nearly 40 years, I might get used to being sick. I might get used to having other people do things for me. I might get used to not having to work so hard. I might become comfortable with being sick, comfortable enough to stop trying to get well.
Many of us don’t have physical conditions that will be with us for life, but we do have other “illnesses,” like broken hearts, guilt, shame, sin or unforgiveness. Sometimes people accept their life situations when what they should really do is keep trying or fighting until the situation changes. Sometimes we become comfortable with our “illnesses,” and people learn to expect less from us because of our conditions.
The sick man answered Him, ‘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’ (John 5:7).
The man is telling Jesus that he doesn’t have anyone to help him get into the pool quickly enough, and he can’t move fast enough to get there before someone else. This man had probably been trying for many years, maybe even most of his life, to beat the other people into the pool. This man was tired of being sick. He was tired of living with his illness, and he wanted help. He wanted to be healed.
Once he was healed, people were going to expect more from him. He wouldn’t be able to lay around by the pool all day–he’d be capable of much more, so people would expect more from him. He didn’t care; he was tired of sitting by the pool, anyway. Jesus heals the man and later meets him in the temple and tells him what’s expected from him now.
‘Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you’ (John 5:14).
Jesus comes to each of us and shows us our illnesses. Then He asks, “Do you wish to get well?” Know that if Jesus makes you well, however, He is going to expect more from you than He expected before.
Girls, are you ready for Jesus to make you well?
And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed (1 Peter 2:24).
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