Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 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. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty- eight years. 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?”
When I was in the third grade, my regular partner did not come to wrestling practice one afternoon, so I got stuck wrestling a teammate who was in the fifth grade. He busted my lip in several places and pinned me multiple times. Honestly, after a few pins I didn’t even want to get up. I knew I would be staring at the ceiling again in a matter of minutes.
The invalid in today’s story had been on his back for thirty-eight years. That’s a long time. Jesus saw him and asked about his situation. In Jesus’ question, I believe He was asking the man if he even had a desire to get well. Had the man grown comfortable down on the mat?
How about you? Spiritually speaking, is there a sin, failure or fear that has you down on the mat? Maybe you’ve grown comfortable there. Maybe you’ve decided that it’s not worth getting up. Today is the day to get up off the mat! Jesus does not want you lying pinned and ineffective! Let Him help you up so you can live full-out for Him.
When I fall, pick me up.
When I fail, forgive my sin.
When I fear, give me courage.
Don’t let me stay down on the mat.
In Jesus’ name.
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