While on his way to a festival, Jesus met a man that was lame for 38 years. The man was at the pool of Bethesda along with other people that were blind, lame, or paralyzed. It is said that when the water of the pool bubbled up, the first sick person to enter the pool would be healed!
Unfortunately for the lame man, he could never quite make it to the pool. With no one to help him, someone would always beat him to it. But the day Jesus met him was different. His healing would come in an unexpected way. A simple command by the king of kings to stand up, pick up his mat, and walk triggered the start of his new life.
The story of the healing at the pool of Bethesda has 3 life lessons that can help change your life for the better. The lessons are:
- Have A Desire To Get Better
- Put Yourself In A Position To Get Better
- Make Sure You’re Not The Cause of Your Setbacks
Let’s look at each of these lessons in more detail.
Have A Desire To Get Better
It may seem obvious that in order to change your life for the better, you must have a desire to get better. But although obvious, many times we say we want something, but don’t have a strong desire for it. The result is that we never do what it takes to get there.
The Lame Man At The Pool Wanted To Get Better
Jesus had this in mind when he met the man at the pool. Instead of assuming he wanted to get better, Jesus asked him, “Would you like to get well?” (John 5:6 NLT). Likewise, if you want to change your life for the better, you must ask yourself the same question. But you must go beyond the surface and ask yourself if it is truly what you want.
Learning from the lame man’s response to Jesus’ question, a person’s true desire to get better doesn’t necessarily come by simply saying yes, but rather by the actions they take.
The man told Jesus:
“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.”John 5:7 NLT
The man didn’t have to say yes, his attempts to enter the pool showed that he wanted to.
Not Everyone Wants To Get Better
However, not everyone experiencing difficulties want to get better. If I remember correctly, there is a story of a lady in a wheelchair that went up to an altar for healing. When she got there, the minister asked her what she came up for. “Please pray for this headache to go away,” the woman answered. “Sure”, the minister answered. He then asked, “do you want me to pray for your ability to walk also”? “No!”, she said. “If I am able to walk, I will stop receiving disability benefits.”
Having a desire to get better is crucial to actually get better. The lame man at the pool of Bethesda wasn’t the first person Jesus asked that type of question to. By asking it Jesus shows us that just seeming to want or need better doesn’t mean it’s the reality.
On the other hand, the lame man’s response reminds us that our actions are a more accurate reflection of what we desire.
Put Yourself In A Position To Get Better
The next lesson from the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda builds on top of having a desire to get better. As previously stated, the lame man did not only have a desire to get better, but he proved that desire by putting himself in a position to get better.
The Lame Man Kept Near The Pool For A Chance To Be Healed
In his mind, being at the pool of Bethesda was his best chance at getting better. For that reason, he consistently showed up although he continually failed to make it into the pool when the water bubbled up.
Despite his many failures, he still showed up. This time he had no idea his healing would come a different way. Had he not been there when Jesus showed up he would not have been in a position to be healed.
Are You Positioning Yourself?
So how do you want your life to change for the better? Are you putting yourself in a position for it to happen? I think of the woman with the issue of blood who had to get out of her comfort zone by pushing through the crowds to touch Jesus for her healing. Similarly, Blind Bartimaeus continually shouted for Jesus to heal him although the crowds tried to keep him quiet.
In both of those cases, Jesus responded that their faith made them well. Similarly, the lame man’s consistent presence at the pool of Bethesda proved his faith.
Do whatever you can to increase your chances of a changed life. If you need to read more, do that. If you need to exercise and eat healthily, do that. Need a job? Distribute as many resumes as possible. God will do his part, so let’s do ours.
I’ve received positive responses to the lesson Fight For What You Want in my Woman With The Issue of Blood article. If you need more inspiration for putting yourself in a position to get better you may find it valuable.
Make Sure You’re Not The Cause of Your Setbacks
Near the end of the story, Jesus who had slipped away after healing the man got back in touch with him and made an eye-opening statement. He told the man, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14 NIV).
Although it is not always the case for people that are sick, the lame man’s suffering turned out to be because of his own actions. Can you imagine that? For 38 years he was in his condition and it was his fault!
Similarly, although it may not be because of sin, your setbacks in life could be because of something you’re doing that you might not be aware of.
My Recovery From Nosebleeds
Just like the lame man suffered a setback because of something he did or was doing, I had suffered from nosebleeds that turned out to be my fault. Here’s the thing…as I got up each time at night to rinse my nose I would pray for God to make it stop.
After a time, I changed my prayer from “make it stop” to “show me why it’s happening”. That led me to do some research and it turned out that it was because I lacked iron due to my avoidance of eating green vegetables. A simple change in diet stopped the nosebleeds.
Stop Doing The Things That Are Causing Your Setbacks
The suffering of the lame man due to sinning nor my nosebleeds due to ignorance is unique. Many people continue to suffer in various ways due to actions they may not be aware of. You’ve probably heard quoted from The Bible “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6 KJV).
So note this lesson from the healing of the lame man’s story. Whenever you experience setbacks, investigate whether those setbacks are a result of your own actions. If they turn on to be, make the necessary changes so that your life improves. If you don’t, as Jesus told the man at the pool of Bethesda, “something even worse may happen to you” (John 5:14 NIV).
If asked, most people would say they want their life to be better. Although the desire to get better is important, your actions are the true indicator of whether that desire is authentic.
The lame man at the pool of Bethesda proved his desire to get well by putting himself in the best position to get better. As a result, he came into contact with Jesus, and his life was changed.
From Jesus telling the man he healed to stop sinning, we see that some of our setbacks in life could be due to our own actions. Therefore, become more knowledgeable to avoid suffering due to ignorance.
Thanks for reading and if you haven’t already, sign up to receive more life-changing lessons from The Bible. I hope you were blessed!