Good Morning!
Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.    
“Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6b)
Jesus went on to Galilee. He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown.  Yet the Galileans welcomed him.  As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick.  When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die.  Jesus also heal the official’s son.   Healing and mercies always followed Jesus. Those who welcomed Jesus received His mercy, healing and His teaching of love.   They were comforted, and experienced love and miracles of healing.
Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days.  Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches.  Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.   One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.   
When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him,
“Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6b)
“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.” (John 5:7)
For many years, the man had been waiting for the water bubbles up because he heard that whoever got to the bubbling water first would be healed.  However, he was lame.   He could not get to the water by himself.  He needed someone to take him to the water before another person got to the pool ahead of him.   Many of the sick gathered around the pool were waiting for the miraculous moment, and nobody wanted to be the second person to the pool.   The lame man waited for his chance to get to the pool, but the opportunity had never come to him.  Year after year he was there, but the end result was always same.  He helplessly watched others rushing to the pool.   His heart was crushed every time that he saw others rushing to the pool, but he could not do anything at all but watching them.  He really hated himself because he was lame and he could get up and run to the pool.   His inability to move himself was the cold reality that he had to face everyday.  Increasingly, his frustration went up, but nobody helped him.  It was the 38thyear of his lame.   He was still on the porch.  Yes, he knew that he would not be the first person to the water as he had experienced so many years, but he was there because it was the only hope for him to be healed.  
The lame man clearly knew what to do – getting someone who could take him the pool first.  He always searched for such a person taking him to the water.  But nobody was there to help him.   The bubbling moment was so precious to all of the sick at the porch, and all were waiting for the miraculous moment.  All wanted serve themselves, not him.
How many time do we have such an experience that the lame man had?   We know exactly what has to be done to get out of our life problem, but we could not make that happen.  Our effort to search is always evasive, and never gets us to anywhere.    What a frustration!   What we want had never materialized, which was heartbreaking.   I’d like to share one story that I read many years back:
One brother was making noise and running around.  His older brother saw him who was busily moving.    His older brother asked, “What are you doing?”  The younger brother answered, “I need a chair, and am searching now.”   His older brother, who always cared for his younger brother, immediately stopped what he was doing, and he joined his brother to search for a chair.   Both looked in room and room in the house.   The older brother soon shouted, “I’ve found a chair.”    The younger brother joyfully ran to the older brother, and gave thanks to his older brother.    Then he quickly snatched the chair from his brother’s hand, and with the chair, he briskly walked away to his own room upstairs.     His older brother followed him.   As soon as he get into his room, he put the chair in front of a tall bookcase in the room.    Then he climbed up the chair, and reached out his hand on the top of the bookcase.  Then he grabbed the banana on the top of the bookcase.  The younger brother wanted to have the banana because he was hungry.   He quickly peeled off the banana, and had a big bite.    His older brother silently watched his younger brother for a while. Then he asked, “Why didn’t you ask me to grab the banana on top of the bookcase?”    In fact, his older brother was much taller than the younger brother so that he could easily reach the banana without climbing up the chair as his younger brother had to.
Instead of asking for a chair, the younger brother could have told his older brother what he really wanted — the banana on top of the bookcase in his room that he could not reach because he was too short for the bookcase.  Then his older brother would have told him, “Sure.  I will grab the banana for you.”   The older brother just came down to the younger brother’s room, grab the banana, and gave to the younger brother.   
What can we learn from the above story about two brothers?   Are we really different from the younger brother?   Do we demand God in our prayers that what we want do has to be done in the way what we think?
Most importantly, the lame man did not know to whom he was talking?   He did not know who Jesus was and what Jesus could do for him.  His mind and heart had been fixating to one thing – someone who could carry him to the bubbling water.  And he have not found such a person so far.   Before Jesus, he unloaded his frustration and told the way that needed to be done so that he could be healed.  Of course, we cannot blame the lame man, who hurt so many years.  Out of his misery, he shared his frustration and the one thing that was in the way between him and his healing.   His heart was bitter.   Let’s see again how he responded to Jesus:
“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.” (John 5:7)
He did not mention one single word about his real needs of healing.  He poured out his frustration of inability to move and asked Jesus his immediate needs (i.e., he own solution.)   As matter of fact, it is not clear that the water was actually bubbling up at a special moment so that a first person who got to the water be healed regardless of the person’s sickness.   Let’s say, Jesus actually gave what the lame man wanted – i.e., somebody who could actually carry him to the bubbling water.   After all, the healing power of the bubbling water was an urban legend.   The helper could have put him in the water first before anybody else.  He, then, realized that the water didn’t do anything to him.  He was still lame.  
How many of us are like the lame man?  We pray to God what we think what we need or the way should be done rather than asking for His mercy and grace that specifically prepared for us.   Praise God!  Jesus is not like the older brother in the story, who blindly helped his younger brother.  Jesus exactly knew what the lame man needed at the very moment.    Let’s see how Jesus actually responded to the lame man.
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”   (John 5:8)
Jesus did not answer to the lame man’s wish – having someone to carry him first to the water.  Instead, Jesus dealt with the root cause of his misery:  not being able to walk.  Jesus knew every pain and every heartache that the lame man had.    With His loving compassion, Jesus said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”   The two words that the lame man really wanted to do for the last 38 years – “get up” and “walk.”   Jesus at once removed the terrible source that caused all of the lame man’s pains, heartaches, and disappointments.    Surely, what the lame man needed was not what we thought that he needed — a person who carry him to the bubbling water first, but Jesus, who cured him completely.
As soon as hearing Jesus’ command, the lame man got up immediately.   He carried his mat with him, and walked out of the porch with his own two feet!   Today, even at this moment, Jesus knows all our problems, issues and challenges.    How many times do we ask Jesus for what Jesus should do us in our prayers?   Let’s not forget.  If Jesus exactly answered the lame man’s wish, then he could have never been cured.   Our God truly love us (actually He madly loves us.)   God, who loves us and knows what we really needs, answers to us with what we really have to have, not what we want.   If Our God blindly answered to our all desires like the older brother in the story, then we would have been suffered more.  Why?  Soon we would have had realized that the way of our desires in most of cases would lead us to another empty victory of getting what we want to have by just filling up our own illusive desire manufactured by our own mind. 
One thing that never changes is God and His love.   With His infinitely unfathomable love, He lays out our reality on earth to love us even more.   Thus, in our lives, His love is getting stronger, deeper and wider every moment and in every situation.   What can we say?  In His love, confidently, we can take rest, and in Him, we can have a true peace of Heaven.    The greatest blessing is we can come to God, Our Ever-Loving God, at any time under any circumstances through Jesus Christ on the cross.   Even at this moment, Jesus is standing and waiting for us with His widely open arms to embrace us, and saying to us, “Do you want to get well in the world of suffering and pain?”    Our response should be “Yes, My Lord.   You know everything of me.  Do your will on me.  Even through me who are sinful, your will be done, and the name of God will be glorified.”    Then, for the rest of our lives, fix our eyes on Jesus.  We will be surrounded by His love and hearing His loving voice in our hearts, and feeling His mighty and loving hand from now till we see Him face to face.   This is the promise of our God, and this is our hope and faith.   Give praise to God for His mercy, grace and love!  Sing praises to Him with all our hearts and minds forever and ever!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:38-39)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>