When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.. —John 5:6–9 (ESV)
Some people can never get a break. Or so it would seem to the man in today’s text. This man never won and consequently, was never the first to be healed. It’s encouraging that in this passage, Jesus didn’t come and speak first to the winner, one who beat this man into the healing waters. Rather, he speaks first to this man. And don’t you wonder, after so many years of never getting to the water first and being healed, what effect did this have on this man’s psyche? And how does all of this begin to affect this man’s sense of normalcy? Did it effect his hope or expectations? Notice, Jesus seems to identify an issue that needs clarification. And so, He asks the man, “do you want to be healed?”
It is possible in today’s culture to take our eyes off our God and what He says, and to take our cues from society around us and limit our whole belief of what is possible. We’re tempted to become discouraged and defeated, perhaps even accepting the rationalization that your condition is “the new normal for Christians.”
Today’s passage is a reminder that Jesus is a game changer. He’s the miracle worker. Never count out that our God is still at work. He has a plan for his children. He said that He is building His church, and that the gates of Hell will not prevail against that church. Never grow tired, hopeless, or complacent. Don’t give up on the Lord, His words, or His plan.