Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
In John chapter 4, Jesus offered living water to the woman at the well. In John chapter 5, we have another story about water. Jesus went to the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem and he met a man who had been sitting by the water for 38 years, waiting to be healed. The man’s story was that when the water moved, perhaps stirred by an angel, it healed people. Sadly, the man had no one to help him get into the pool when the water moved. Someone always got in ahead of him.
Jesus didn’t talk with the man about water. Instead, he asked, “Do you want to get well?” The man replied that someone always beat him into the water.
Jesus said, “Pick up your mat and walk.” And for the first time in 38 years, the man picked up his mat and walked. The command of Jesus became this man’s healing pool. Jesus’ word baptized him in life-giving water.
Jesus, we are the paralyzed man. For too many years, we have been stuck in a routine of family and work and church and busyness, but inside we ache with emptiness and loneliness. We long to be immersed in water that will heal the pain and ease the memories and silence the dark voices within. But all the sermons and Bible studies, all the scoldings and seeking haven’t healed us. Our angst continues, self-doubt grows. Depression hovers in the background, darkness threatens our souls. We set out to be saints, but we remain champion sinners.
Jesus, we hear you ask us the question you asked the paralyzed man, “Do you want to be healed?” Shockingly, your words expose our willingness to be content with half-hearted religion in unhealed hearts. We try to bathe in your healing waters, but we remain sick. Who will help us into the water? What can bring us healing? And when we give up, we hear you say again, “Do you want to be healed?”
Yes, Jesus, we do. But our chains are too strong, our paralysis is unyielding, our corrupting thoughts too deeply embedded. O Jesus, we need living water. Free us from our pool of paralysis, stir the water of our lives, speak your life-giving word, immerse us in your healing fountain. Teach us to pick up our mat and walk.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.