Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
This story always touched me, but today’s meditation on it spoke about something else to me.
How often do we accept the limitation of the world’s viewpoint?
The story of this particular pool was that an angel would come down periodically, stir the waters and whoever was the first in would receive healing. (NASB includes a verse that was not in earliest manuscripts.) Was this story God’s story or man’s story? We don’t know, but we DO know that it kept people looking to THE POOL and not to THE SAVIOR.
This poor man had been sitting here for years, possibly the entire 38 years of his being invalided. Can you imagine? Unable to walk, he’s sitting by this pool in the hopes that the waters will stir. And there were multitudes of others sitting there, all with the same hope, “Let me be the first to enter the pool and to win my healing.” Can you envision the clamoring whenever there was a slight breeze that would stir the waters? Whether someone was healed or not, the hopes of a healing would keep them chained to this spot. And if someone got in first, it kept them chained outside of the pool, believing they wouldn’t be healed because they weren’t first.
This story of this *divine* pool kept people stuck in their afflictions, stuck in their fear, stuck in their beliefs that they could never leave this spot JUST IN CASE. Tell me, beloved. Does this bondage sound like the character, love and grace of our Almighty Father? Yeah, not to me either.
Origin of lies
The original liar was Satan. He is called the father of lies.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
The NIV says “he speaks his native language”. There is no truth in him. Yet, we are often quick to pick up those lies and run with them.
- you are not loved by God
- this is just who you are, you can’t change it
- you don’t have enough faith
- faith is a crutch, you need to suck it up and accept your lot in life
All of these lies, and more, are being shouted into your mind: by the devil, by the world, by so-called believers, and by yourself. Sometimes they are so loud and so non-stop that we can barely hear the Spirit speaking Truth to us. But just like the father of lies speaks out of his character, our Heavenly Father speaks TRUTH out of His!
Do you want to be healed?
Sometimes Jesus asked, “What do you want” or “What do you want me to do for you?” I think these questions forced the listener to really ponder their deepest wants. But here, He cut right to the chase: do you want to be healed. Have you ever been in such despair that even having to formulate the hope against hope you’ve kept buried deep within is too much? I think about this poor invalid, stuck in the bondage of his illness and in the bondage of his fear and I can’t help but imagine the despair permeating his soul. For Jesus to just ask, “Do you want to be healed” would be like a soothing balm to the open gaping wound of the public humiliation he’d lived in for 38 years.
But even in the hope of Jesus’ word, the man repeated the lie: there’s no one who can put me in the pool; the pool is my only hope!
In the simplicity of the power that comes only from God, Jesus told him to get up, pick up his pallet and walk. AND HE DID! No questions, no buts, no doubting. He was instantly well and he instantly obeyed!
The pallet, once the symbol of his suffering and humiliation was now the symbol of freedom, the banner of love God waved over him. It was no longer a burden, it was deliverance.
Then comes the rebuke.
The enemy has so much riding on our walking in bondage, stuck in the controlling lies in our minds, that immediately after freedom, victory and deliverance – the rebuke comes.
The religious leaders of the times hated Jesus so much, hated anyone being delivered (because it took control away from them) that they found any reason to rebuke that healing. And they surely did here.
But you know what? We are subject to NO MAN — only to GOD!
-the more deeply we live the surrendered life
-the more fully we understand the character of God
-the more closely we listen to His Voice and block out the noise of the thousands of voices of distraction
-the more intently we press into the Father heart of God
… the greater our healing and victory! We can reject the rebuke of those who don’t even KNOW who it is that is healing us!
Our healing power (for way more than the physical) comes from the Holy Spirit within. It’s not from positive self-talk or brain waves or radio frequencies. Our healing power comes from God Himself! Step into HIS healing, receive HIS promises and cut off the lies that seek to enslave us – because beloved,