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 had been invalid for 38 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?” John 5:2-3,5-6
Maybe it is the word INVALID that grabs me.
Maybe it is the number 38. My soon-to-be age.
Maybe it is because I feel sorry for these people.
But this story stirs me.
Oh, the invalids. Jesus stops for them.
Astheneō (invalids) – to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, powerless; needy, poor; sick
Maybe you aren’t lame and crippled. Physically.
But don’t we all sometimes feel invalid? Without strength? Powerless? Needy? Feeble or weak?
What is crippling you today?
A disintegrating marriage?
A rebellious teen?
A health problem?
A financial strain?
A difficult friendship?
An overwhelmed schedule?
A miserable job?
Jesus is passing by you this morning. And he knows you’ve been there a long time.
Today, He stops.
“Do you want to be healed?” v.6
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
As Jesus always does, his healing was unconventional. This invalid man felt powerless. And he sounds a little sorry for himself – just waiting for someone to help him in the pool. Maybe this was an excuse. Or maybe he really did feel helpless. But whatever his thinking, Jesus had his own way of healing this man.
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. v. 8-9
Hmmm. This invalid man wasn’t so invalid, after all.
Maybe he just needed to hear that he could do it.
Just stand up. Walk. The power is in you.
One foot in front of the other.
If you are feeling invalid today – powerless and weak – hear the voice of Jesus asking, “Do you want to be healed?”
Answer Him and then listen.
He might ask you to get up and take your mat. Or He might say be still and wait.
Either way, He has come for you today. He is stopping at your feet.
This morning, look up and be validated.
For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them,
but has listened to their cries for help.
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