In my personal Bible study I’ve been reading through the Gospels to see instances where Jesus healed people. I am afflicted with Crohn’s Disease and I believe God could heal me, if it is his will. In John 5:1-15, I read the story of a man who had been invalid for 38 years. Every day, for years he sat by the Pool of Bethesda for the one moment when the waters would be stirred and the first one in the pool would be healed. Jesus walked up to the man and asked him a simple question, “Do you want to get well?” Instead of answering with a resounding, “Yes!” the man proceeds to give Jesus his excuse for his continued ailment. Jesus didn’t care about the excuses. He told the man, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Jesus doesn’t care about your excuses today as to why you aren’t spiritually walking. He wants you to pick yourself up, trust him and walk. As the Nike commercial says, “Just do it!”
I would have to say, if Jesus walked up to me and asked, “Do you want to get well?” I would have no hesitation screaming out, “Yes!” I wondered why the man didn’t respond the same way? The Pool of Bethesda was outside the west wall of the city of Jerusalem. People would enter the city, perhaps on their way to a religious feast, and pass by the pool seeing the dozens of blind, lame, deaf, and invalid people waiting for the yearly miracle. Maybe it was easier to lay by the pool, eliciting sympathy and spare change. Jesus doesn’t expect us to lie around waiting for miracles or depending on other people for support. He wants us to get up and walk. Walk by reading the Bible, walk by prayer, walk by living the kind of life Jesus exemplified. Its easier to “lie around the pool” and listen to soothing, relaxing, and comforting words. Its harder to stand up and do what God expects of you.
What excuses do you use? Are you content to lie on your mat and wait for someone else to do your work? Get up and walk! Do something instead of lying around and watching the world pass you by. God wants to use you.