Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. John 5:2-3
Thirty-eight years lying on a mat, unable to walk. Imagine the things that mat has seen. Though you are desperate to get off the mat, the mat has become quite comfortable to you in a sick sort of way. It is almost part of you now…your identity; who you are. You despise the mat and cling to the mat at the same time.
“Do you want to get well?” That is the question Jesus asks.
Of course! The impulse reaction. But then you start thinking about life up from the mat. Unknown. Scary. Unpredictable. You start to wonder if the misery of the mat is preferred to the messy unknown. You start to wonder if you will make it apart from the mat. You rationalize that laying by the pool and living off of scraps and handouts isn’t so bad. The real truth is, it seems so impossible.
“I have no one to help me….” “If I could just….” “If only….”
The thing that put you on the mat isn’t in your head. It is real. It is hard. It is painful.
You’ve been trying to get off the mat for So. Many. Years. You know what it takes to get off the mat, and you know you don’t have it. You’ve long given up, but yet you keep at it nonetheless.
Are you willing to try something else? To loosen the grip on the familiar and what you think you need to get well? Jesus comes to show us another way.
Questions: What things are holding you back from the things God has for you? What are your “if I could just ____” or “If only I _______”?