This morning we will talk about a familiar story in the bible which asks the question, “do you want it?”
John 5: 2-9 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.[One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!
Can you imagine laying, waiting, hoping for 38 years. 38 years this man had hoped for changed. And for 38 years he waited for someone to help him. Here’s what the man had been waiting for – when God’s spirit touched the water, bubbles would appear. For a very short amount of time, the water had healing in it and you had to quickly jump in. Quickly. You couldn’t wait. You had to be ready. You had to stay focused. Watching for God to move and then GO. Ahhhh, you know that will teach right there. I could dwell on that all day and teach you about being focused.
This man had been sick for 38 years, laying on the porch by the water, just hoping one day someone would help him get down in the water quick enough. But don’t you know everyone who came to the pool of Bethesda was focused on their own healing.
And then comes Jesus. And what did Jesus say to him? WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET WELL? I see you’ve been laying here for 38 years, kinda looks like you’ve just settled for being sick, would you like to get well?
And how does the man reply? WITH AN EXCUSE. “I can’t sir – I have no one to put me in the pool.” He was so focused on what everyone else was or wasn’t doing, he forgot what he could do. In 38 years, don’t you think he could have dragged himself off the porch and laid by the edge of the water. Don’t you think he could have done something to be ready? 38 years is a long time to do something for yourself.
How long have you been waiting? Waiting for your breakthrough? Waiting for something to change? Waiting for your big chance? Aren’t we all like the man laying on the porch waiting? We’ve been waiting so long that honestly we’re beginning to give up. For some of us, we already have given up. We’ve been stuck so long, we’ve just settled for our stuck place.
What is your “I can’t”. Don’t you know that’s a load of BS? You can. You can drag yourself. It may take a long time and it may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but you can. You can get up from this mess. You can. But first you must let go of all the reasons you can’t.
And this is why Jesus asks “Would you like to get well?” Jesus wants to know today, do you really want to change? How bad do you really want to get healthy? How bad do you really want to dig yourself out of this hole and be debt free? How bad do you really want to clean up your mess and be proud of yourself again? How bad do you want to fix this relationship? I mean really – do you even want to, or are you just laying in your mess because it’s familiar?
This is about YOU – it’s not about anyone else. It’s not about who has been passing you by and not helping you. It’s not about those who have left you behind. It’s not about those who have treated you unfairly. Those who have talked about you, judged you, or hurt you. Jesus isn’t asking you about anyone but YOU today. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE WELL?
If your answer is yes – stand up, pick up your mat and walk. Translation – you are being challenged to do what you couldn’t do before.
That which you didn’t have the willpower, the strength or the determination to do yesterday, you’re being challenged to do today. I don’t know if you couldn’t or you just wouldn’t – regardless, if you really want to be well, you’ve gotta do it today.
God is calling you off the porch and if no one comes to help you, then get up your own darn self! Get up because God told you to. Get up because God is providing the strength to do it AS you move – not before you move – AS you move. Get up because you’re tired of laying around hoping, wishing and waiting. Get up because you’re ready for more in life.
No more excuses. No more waiting. Can you imagine how tired God is of hearing our excuses. Oh if we could only see what He sees. He sees our potential. He sees what’s available if we would only try a little harder. He sees what’s possible if we would only focus. He sees it because he created it – he created your potential – he created your success. And oh how he’s hoping you’ll get up and do what you once couldn’t do. Oh how he hopes you REALLY, I mean really WANT IT.
You want it? Then you gotta be willing to get up and do what you couldn’t do before.