There was a famous pool in Jerusalem where the unknown and desperate waited. John tells us that they waited there believing that when an angel of the Lord stirred the water that whoever entered into the pool first would be healed. Among those that waited was one that had been ill for thirty-eight years. “When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, ‘Do you wish to get well?’” (John 5:6). “The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me’” (John 5:7).
This man had been waiting for some unknown angel of the Lord to move the water that he might possibly have a chance to be healed. He was now speaking to the Son of God, God in the flesh, the divine Word. God was asking him if he wanted to be healed, the thing he desired most these thirty-eight years. A prisoner in his own body was asked if he wanted to be freed. His response was too much about himself. His limited understanding of the situation and with whom he was speaking only saw a bleak and impossible outcome, “Sir, I have no man.” That much he had right. He had no man standing before him. He had the Son of Man. It wasn’t in the power of the lame man to heal himself. Jesus did not ask if he had faith. Jesus didn’t even tell him who He was. In that moment, it wasn’t about what the lame man knew. The question was, would he obey? The command was there, and the lame man had two choices. He could stay where he was; who was this guy to tell him to pick up his mat and walk? Or, he could take a chance and try. “Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day” (John 5:9). The Jews confronted him about carrying a pallet on the Sabbath. “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.’ The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well” (John 5:14-15). It wasn’t until then that he learned who had healed him. When he did know, he shared that information.
There are people like this lame man in the world. Those that have been struggling with their lives by themselves and things haven’t gotten any better. People of God try to help, but they may say, “Nah, I’m good” or “I’ve got this.” Perhaps there has been something in our lives that we’ve been trying to handle on our own, waiting on magical circumstances to make things better. All the while Jesus has been standing there asking, “Are you done yet?” “Are you done trying on your own?” Maybe the question is, “Are you ready for change?” It is time to get up and walk!