“Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”
The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.” Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.”
John 5:1-8 MSG
What an odd question. Jesus asked a man, who had been an invalid for 38 years, if he wanted to be well. Isn’t the obvious answer a resounding, “Yes!”
Why didn’t Jesus just see that he needed healing and touch him with His miraculous power? Why the seemingly absurd question? After all, the sick man was stretched out by the healing pool. His intentions were to be healed. Thirty-eight years by this pool! Thirty-eight years! Not thirty-eight months. Nor thirty-eight days! But thirty-eight years!
This sick man was waiting to be placed in the healing pool. He couldn’t do that strategic part by himself. Remember, he was incapacitated. As he lay by the side of the water, he watched person after person receive healing from their illness as the water was being stirred. But not him. Someone else would take his place. No one would deny themselves to help this debilitated man… EXCEPT JESUS!!
Jesus already knew he had been there 38 years. Waiting for the miraculous to happen for 38 years. The sick man never gave up hope. So when Jesus asked him THE QUESTION, “Do you want to get well?” he told Jesus basically, “I’ve been trying for 38 years, but not one person has helped me attain it.” Until now!
The sick man had encountered Jesus. He didn’t need anyone else. He didn’t need the healing water to be stirred. He was face-to-face with The Healer, The Great Physician Himself. Jesus has walked into the sick man’s life and wants to know one thing…Do you want to get well?
Jesus was at-the-ready to heal him on-the- spot. No stirring of the water. Just complete healing. No staying around the pool anymore. He was directed to get out of the area he had been stuck in for 38 years. “Get up. Take your bedroll and start walking.” And that’s just what he did. Picked up his bedroll and scampered off.
Of course he would. Why would you stay around when you are a totally new creation? You are healed and made whole! Get on with your living.
No wonder Jesus asked him the all-important question, “Do you want to get well?” It’s the same query He asks you and me today. Jesus knows He IS the answer to your every need. Do you?