TRAPPED IN THE FLESH
The Healing at the Pool
5 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals.2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  [b]5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 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?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Today we start a new series named “TRAPPED”
The name of this pool-Bethesda means “House of mercy”
In the above story, the invalid man had been in this condition for thirty-eight years. According to these scriptures, he had tried all this time to get into the pool so that he can get well but someone else would always get into the pool before him.
I would like us to carefully think about this story. 38-years is not a short period of time. Why had this man remained here? From his testimony, others were quicker than him. Maybe they had relatives who would rush them into the waters when the water was stirred, and he had no one to assist him get into the pool. But why had he not given up? Why was he still waiting?
For thirty-eight years he suffered and was disappointed at not being healed. He repeatedly waited on God and looked up in expectation. He was TRAPPED in his condition, and it had become his way of life.
We are going to look at our own situations this month and look up to a miracle from God. I would like you to bring your situation to God and start praying earnestly in the course of this series. I am specifically asking God to perform miracles in our lives and to cast away the spirit of hopelessness and restore HOPE that this is the season God will come through for us.
How the miracle came:
Two things happened when Jesus arrived at this place.
- Jesus was concerned about this man and He took notice. Vs 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to Him, “Do you want to be healed?” Jesus will single you out and give you favor if you keep hope. Jesus is full of knowledge about us and our situations. Psalm 139:2-3 “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” God is omnipresent, He is everywhere and knows everything about us.
- Secondly, Jesus wanted to hear from this man if he desired healing. “Do you want to get well?” Although this man was trapped in this condition for a long time, he had to have the desire to come out. Do you desire to come out of your condition, or you have become accustomed to it that you have even turned it into an asset? Mathew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
God wants to minister to our deepest needs and there should not be any problem that would cause us to give up in life. God may have a special duty for you to do or a lesson to learn during your trapped moment, but He will finally set you free. But! you have to desire to come out.
How the miracle was received:
When Jesus asked the question “Do you want to be healed?” the man responded
“I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred”
The question from Jesus was whether he wanted to get well. But his focus was on the problem he had because he was TRAPPED in it!
He knew only one way to get healed, getting into the pool. Jesus did not ask him if he could assist him to get into the pool, Jesus wanted to heal him.
We can get trapped in situations and remain enslaved in them to the extent of becoming blind to solutions that are better and quicker because we only know one way.
For this gentleman, it was as easy as “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Vs 8
What are some attitudes that can hold back our healing and freedom?
- Complaining: The man complained to Jesus instead of answering in a straight YES! He recounted how he had been sick for a long time and no one cared to help him. The complaining spirit can TRAP us in our invalid conditions.
- Entitlement: In a way we also suffer from entitlement to the extent that we turn away those who hold solutions to our issues because we lack humility. We fall to the trap of demanding from God instead of allowing His plan in our life and be patient to walk the whole journey with Him. Psalm 123:2 “As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of the master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till He shows us His mercy.”
- Sin: When Jesus later met him at the temple, He said to him, “see, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” I am just wondering was it because of sin that this man was trapped in his invalidity? Could it be that there is a sin issue in your current situation? Do you think you may need to repent and ask Jesus to help you deal with your sin issue? The scriptures say in Job 1:5 that he would make regular arrangements for His children to be purified after a period of feasting. “Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.
- Disobedience: Jesus commanded this man to “GET UP! PICK UP THE MAT AND WALK.” If this man did not obey the command Jesus gave, he would not have received his healing. There was an issue here. The man was a Jew, and this was a Sabbath day. He could have easily told Jesus today is a Sabbath please come tomorrow. May be that’s why Jesus commanded him. We must be prepared to obey what God asks us to do so that we can be set free from our TRAPS. We learnt last month that God has a timing for everything. Luke 11:28 “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Are you trapped in a relationship you clearly know is not Godly, but you are in it for the money, name or image?
Are you in a business or a job you know it is not God honoring and God has said leave and trust me with your future, but you are stubborn even though you know it is not pleasing to God?
Are you living in rebellion to your parents and you have chosen to go against the rest of the family because of entitlement and pride?
Is your marriage in troubled waters because you have refused to submit to one another because of pride and competition?
Choose submission to God and allow Him to teach you the way you should go and you will attain freedom.
Jesus is full of compassion and sovereignty. He can command your healing today and your situation will be well. Are you willing to be humbled? I sense there is something God wants us to learn during this Sabbath.
- Some businesses will close because God wants to promote you. Stop hanging on to them.
- Some jobs will go because God is opening a higher ground for you where He can use you more for His kingdom. If you have heard His voice do not worry about the current situation, He makes way where there is no way.
- Some relationships will have to end because they are not God honoring and they are founded in sin.
Jesus in His mercy healed this sinner, He only asked him to repent thereafter. The only thing He required of him was obedience. He did not even have faith because he did not know who Jesus was, but he obeyed.
Jesus walked into a huge multitude of invalids, but He healed only one. Let that one be you. AMEN!