“Do you want to be healed?” (Jesus’ question in John 5:1-17)
Question Jesus asked a man who had been laying by the Pool of Bethesda for 38 years! Our Lord was astounded the man sat there so long, and frankly, we should be too. Obviously, since this is in our Bible, the story is there for us too, as well as for the Pharisees and the Disciples who were with Jesus.
When Cheryl and I picked it apart, we came up with the following:
1. The man never answered in the affirmative, but Christ healed him anyway. Jesus can therefore heal those who don’t have faith, He is God, and He is sovereign. Actually, the man had no idea who Jesus was.
2. The Pharisees were not concerned with his healing, but with him violating the Sabbath, since Christ told him to pick up his mat and walk (he was “Working” since he was carrying his mat). Jesus knew that the order to carry his mat would cause the Pharisees to take notice, so the miracle was therefore done in order to teach them some lesson. The lesson, as is exposed in the Synoptic Gospels, that Jesus is “Lord of the Sabbath”. The Sabbath was created for man, and not man for the Sabbath. The “Rules and Regulations” of the Sabbath that the Pharisees had imposed on people had caused the Sabbath to be a day of dread instead of a day of rest.
3. The fact that this man had actually been laying there so long and was never healed before, shows how he had gotten “Used” to his condition.
4. His lack of an affirmative answer to the Lord, indicates, as it does today, that many are happy with their sin, and don’t actually want to be healed. John 3:19 says: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (NIV) Even drug addicts, like I was, don’t want to stop using. The drug is the only thing they know that makes them “Happy” or “Feel good”.
5. After the healing, the man did not worship Jesus, even after he was questioned by the Pharisees, he pointed out Jesus to them and said “He healed me” but still there was no repentance, no faith, no worship. Jesus simply tells him later on: “Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you” implying that his condition was a direct result of his sin.