“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, ‘Do you wish to get well?’ The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.’ Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.” – John 5:6-9
The legend said that the first person to enter the pool after the water ripples would be healed. You can imagine that this pool attracted the most desperate of individuals, with many fighting for a spot just at the water’s edge – watching, waiting, hoping. In a place overflowing with need, one man caught Jesus’ eye. Paralyzed for 38 years, this man waited daily by the pool hoping for a miracle.
“Do you want to get well?” Jesus asked the man. The question seemed bizarre and the answer obvious. But Jesus knew human nature. For 38 years, people had been bringing him to the pool. He had become dependent on others. Being healed meant taking responsibility for himself.
The man became defensive. “It’s not my fault, no one is here to help me into the water,” he explained. He was understandably frustrated, probably feeling stuck. But, in playing the victim and blaming others for his circumstances, he almost missed Jesus’ life-changing offer: healing.
Can’t we all relate? When things are hard and we feel stuck – isn’t it easy to become depressed, give up and give in to the hand life has dealt? Maybe we’ve been disappointed time and time again and accepting current circumstances seems less painful than hopes crushed. Maybe the situation really is unfair or out of your control – an illness, a sudden layoff, broken trust – you are the victim. Sometimes it just seems safer to stay where you are, to stay stuck.
So, what does Jesus ask of us when our lives feel stuck? “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.”
- “Get up” – Believe in the person of Christ Jesus, in His promises, in His truth.
- “Pick up your pallet” – Take responsibility for yourself.
- “Walk” – Have the faith to walk away from your old self as you journey through life with Jesus.
No matter life’s circumstances, Jesus offers a way out: hope and eternal salvation that overcomes every sickness, obstacle, and disappointment life has to offer. Don’t just wait by the pool hoping for a miracle. Seek out the miracle worker Himself!