Do You Want To Be Made Well?

“Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralysed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ 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 making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’ At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.” 

—John 5:2-9

In the Bible, God is often revealed as a healer. When Jesus asks a sick man “Do you want to be made well?”, it becomes an invitation for us to embrace the wholeness and new life that comes through him in faith. God is calling us to examine our own hearts, desires, and readiness for the transformation that the power of Jesus offers. In this week’s message, Pastor Josh Kelsey shows Jesus’ method of internal and external healing by asking us to “rise, take up your mat, and walk”.

The Question: “Do you want to be made well?”

  • On the surface, Jesus’ question to a sick man might seem unnecessary or even offensive. But the questions of God actually locate his heart for each of us. 
  • God’s name as Jehovah Rapha underscores his nature as a healer not only of physical ailments but also of spiritual and emotional wounds.
  • We can be addicted to pain because we are used to getting our identity from our brokenness, but Jesus wants to provide freedom and wholeness for you.
  • He asks this question because he needs something from us: the desire to be made well.
  • There may have been moments where you’ve gone looking for healing in your own ways, but God doesn’t judge us for our hopeless attempts at wholeness. 

The Context: The Pool of Bethesda

  • It was believed that an angel would periodically stir the waters at this pool, and the first person to enter the water after the stirring would be healed.
  • There was no magic to this spring, however there was a narrative formed that this water would solve their problems.
  • How many areas in our lives have we formed superstitions that if we arrive somewhere first or become the best that we will be healed?
  • We form different ideas that entrap us from receiving the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He is looking for hearts that are willing to be made well

Jesus’ Response: His Words

  • Jesus asks him to do something that is impossible: “Rise”some text
    • There is something that God is going to ask of you that will feel impossible to you.
    • God’s power is not hemmed in by your past. He says “Rise” because Jesus knows he has the power. All He needs is your will.
    • God interpreted the man’s willingness as faith.
    • If you want a miracle, there’s going to be a step of faith.
  • Jesus removes the possibility of relapse: “Take up your mat”some text
    • The mat represents the man’s disability and his past, but iIt’s also his only real place of comfort.
    • Jesus doesn’t say “rise” and walk away, but instead “pick it up.” He doesn’t want you to run back to the places of comfort we form in pain.
    • The fact that the mat is under your arm and you are still walking is proof that you are in the miracle. It’s a reminder that you have been healed.
    • This is your testimony: that you were once broken and sick but now whole and healed.
    • You have power over the things that used to hold you down. That’s the sign of a true miracle
  • Jesus expects a continued success: “Walk”some text
    • Jesus’ job is done in the first rise, but Jesus wants wholeness in your life.
    • Maybe you’ve experienced a miracle, but you’re left standing still.
    • You have to have the courage to leave the place that you are so familiar with and break traditions.
    • Don’t just stand there and marvel at the rising. There’s a calling on your life and a reason for the miracle.
    • It’s not just about standing up, it’s about moving forward in life.
    • Sometimes we live by sight and get our guidance by looking at those around you. Look at the power of the resurrection and walk in your future.
    • As Jesus continues to perform miracles there is a growth of hostility against his ministry, resulting in his death.
    • The greater the miracle, the greater the opposition. 
    • God wants to move in this city like never before, but it’s going to take a generation that walks into the things of Jesus.
    • We can’t get to the purpose, vision, and future when we are still laying on our mats.
    • He cannot make you well unless you desire it. There’s not an issue with his power, but with our willingness to receive.
    • We’d rather identify with our brokenness than with our King.

Dinner Party Questions

  1. What areas in your life have you attempted to let your position heal you instead of the power of God?
  2. What is keeping you from being willing to receive God’s healing? 
  3. What first step can you take towards freedom and wholeness this week?

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