By Sarah Shaul
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 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?” 7 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.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. - John 5:2-9 (ESV)
An outcast of ordinary society, the paralytic depended on his community of fellow invalids--the blind, lame, and paralyzed--to help him find solutions for his physical brokenness. Over the years, he had likely heard of and tried many dubious remedies (the latest being a soak in the Bethesda pool) with no success. For how could the broken recommend a cure, when they had clearly not yet experienced healing themselves?
Like the paralytic, we often seek clarity, strength, and change from a blind, lame, and paralyzed world. We succumb to the latest rumors and trends, hoping the next show, series, book, blog, or podcast will finally give us the peace and purpose we seek. Even if we try for 38 years, we will never be healed by a culture that knows nothing of restoration.
Instead, we must ignore the rumors, close the articles, discard the lists, quiet the excuses, and recognize the false promises of yet another fleeting trend. Jesus, meanwhile, waits for us to finally hear and comprehend His quiet but life-changing offer: “Do you want to be healed?” He is The Healer--the Way, the Truth, the Life--and only He can provide the true cure we seek.
Oh, that we may be like the paralyzed man! May we look into Jesus’ face, be so certain of His words, that the world’s charm fades, and its feeble views die on our lips. Only then, will we obey without question, leave the lies behind, and be forever changed!