Imagine being sick and unable to walk for 38 years. Your only hope of being healed and made whole is a pool where it is believed that an angel moves the waters at certain times, thus providing healing for the first person who enters afterward. This is how the story of Jesus healing a man at the Pool of Bethesda begins.
John 5: 1-5
1 Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.
To this man, his day probably didn’t seem any different than the other 13,000+ days before. It was just another day filled with the same issues. What he didn’t know, was that today was a very different day. On this day, he was going to have an encounter with Jesus, the Son of God, who has the power to heal him.
John 5: 6-7
6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” 7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
This weekend, Ben shared with us that Jesus was a master at helping people see their issues. Some people loved him for it, while others hated him for it. In this story, when Jesus asked the question, “Do you want to be healed?” it may have seemed to be a silly question. After all, the man was there by the pool. By asking this question, Jesus was helping this man look deeper into his issues and look past his excuses.
When it comes to the issues we have in our lives, the same question applies. Do you want to be healed from your issues? Our quick emotional response is always “Yes!” but let’s be honest, while we don’t like our issues, we often don’t want to do what it takes to fix them. We, like the man at the side of the pool, often find ourselves making excuses.
It is when we can get past our excuses and discover the real issues behind our issues that we can begin to find solutions. Ben shared with us this weekend that Identifying the real issue is the fastest way toward REAL SOLUTIONS.
Over the next few days, we are going to look at the steps Jesus invites us to take to live this out. Today though, there are some very important questions that we need to wrestle with first. My encouragement to you is to not skip over these questions. Pray about them and ask God to help you see the answers to them.
When it comes to the issues in your life, what are your excuses?
Do you want to be healed? Are you willing to take steps to move past your excuses and begin identifying the real issues?
Once you identify the real solutions (this may not happen today), are you willing to do what it takes to live them out?
Commit to attending each weekend of the “Issues” series. Complete this week’s LivingItOut and ask God to help you identify the real issues in your life.
Dear Father, please give me the courage to commit myself to identifying the real issues in my life that have held me back from getting up and walking. Please give me patience and wisdom to seek the real solutions needed to resolve my issues. Please give me the strength to follow through by living out the real solutions to my issues. Amen.
This post was written by Ben Bockert. Ben is a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters. He is honored to serve as the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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