News about this man from Galilee who was changing lives continued to spread. The things He said and did were attracting the attention of everyone. There was something different about Jesus and people saw it even if they didn’t understand it. After Jesus’ life-changing encounter with the woman at the well and His healing of the government official’s son (John 4:46-54), He went again to Jerusalem.
In Jerusalem, there was a pool called Bethesda that was known for its healing properties. People who were blind, lame and paralyzed would lay by the pool waiting for an angel to come down and stir the waters because the first one to enter afterward would be healed.
There was a man waiting by the pool who had been lame for 38 years. When Jesus showed up, He saw the man lying there and said to him. “Do you want to get well?” You would think this man’s response would have been an emphatic; “Yes, I do!” But instead, he looked at Jesus and basically said. “I can’t.” He lamented that there was no one to help him and that everyone always beat him into the pool. His situation was hopeless. His problem had become a way of life and he had accepted it.
Can you relate? Have you been dealing with a situation in your life for so long that you’ve just accepted it as your reality? Maybe you’ve tried everything you can think of to change it, but nothing has worked so you’ve given in to your problem and allowed it to define you. You’ve listened to the devil’s whispers of defeat for so long that you don’t recognize the voice of Jesus offering you victory.
Jesus shrugged off this man’s pitiful response and told him to get up. To pick up his mat and walk. This man hadn’t walked in decades. How in the world could he suddenly get up and walk? At this point, he had two choices. He could look at his current situation and give it the power to hold him in defeat. Or he could look at Jesus who had the power to make him well. He chose to believe Jesus and in an instant, his situation changed.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Jesus is in the business of change. Sometimes He changes the situation entirely through healing and provision, and sometimes He changes our perspective and gives us peace. Either way, He silences the lies of the devil and gives us victory through the truth of His Word.
As miraculous as this man’s physical healing was, that wasn’t Jesus’ main concern. Sure, he could walk now, but without spiritual healing, he would probably walk himself right into another situation that would hold him captive. Like the woman at the well, this man needed victory. He needed a Savior. And Jesus told him so.
Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” – John 5:14 CSB
The number one victory Jesus gives us is the victory over death. In Him, we receive forgiveness for our sins and the assurance of eternal life in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Once we turn to Jesus, we have the hope of salvation and the promise of a glorious future that will never change no matter what our current situation may be.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. – Romans 8:18 NLT