This is a story about an invalid who had been disabled for 38 years. Jesus came upon this man when he was at a pool where disabled people would lay. Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well. Instead of answering with a resounding “yes” or “no”, the invalid complained that there is no one that would help him. Jesus went ahead and healed the man.
This story is important to me because I had to wonder if the invalid really wanted to be healed or not. After 38 years, it would seem that some progress might be made, or at least attempted. Instead of answering with a resounding “YES!!!”, the invalid seemed more interested in complaining about his life. This shows me that I too can be quite comfortable with my discomfort. I too can choose to sit on my butt and complain rather than actually take action to make things change.
I also wondered why the invalid didn’t seem to express any gratitude. Dr. Tae Yun Kim answered this by saying that he was so comfortable with his problems, he didn’t really want to be healed, because then he would have to change.
I look at my own challenges and see there are some that I actively strive to overcome, and others that I choose to complain and be complacent about. How do I differentiate between challenges to work on overcoming and those to complain about? I have no idea. Maybe it is the perceived effort involved, maybe it is how deep the challenges are, I’m still not sure. What I am sure about is that if I don’t do something to change, things will be the same 5, 10, 20 years from now.
It’s my life, I’m the only one that can take charge. I can get guidance and advice from others, but I’m the one that needs to step forward to make it happen.
Even after Jesus healed the invalid, the invalid didn’t know who it was that healed him. Jesus found the man later and told the man that now he is well again, stop sinning or something worse might happen to him.
While I’m not 100% sure what sins Jesus was referring to, this spoke to me of having gratitude and not going back to old ways. If I overcome a challenge, then go back to my old ways, that means I’m essentially turning my back on myself. I’m going backwards, not forwards.
ACTUAL TEXT FROM BIBLE:
The Healing at the Pool
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “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.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaderssaid to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.