Why would Jesus ask him that? Perhaps it’s because Jesus knew, you can’t just help someone who needs help. You can only help someone who wants help! “Do you want to be made well?”
Sometimes people ask, “What is the greatest hindrance to faith? Some think, “Doubt is the biggest obstacle to faith.” Some think, “Fear is the greatest obstacle to faith.” Some think, “Worry is the greatest obstacle to faith.” All good answers …
I believe that “the familiar” is the biggest obstacle to faith. People say, “But you don’t understand, I’ve tried everything possible! They start to accept what is, rather than believing what could be. “Don’t you know, I’m just an average student. I knew that in the second grade, and I know it today.” “Our family – we’ve struggled financially for years. My parents did, I do, my kids probably will. That’s just the way it is.” “We’re just all overweight. It’s genetic, it is what it is.” “You don’t understand. I’ve tried to overcome this addiction, but I just cannot seem to do it.”
Our desire must be bigger than the disability. Do you want to be made well? Are you compensating by making excuses? Yes, you’re discouraged, but you’re simply used to living where you are. I believe the Spirit of God today would ask you, “Do you really want to be well?”
Do you really want to be out of debt? Is shopping your drug of choice? You may say you want it, but your actions do not. Do you really want to overcome the addiction? Some people are more comfortable in the known. You think, “I know what it’s like to be in this prison, and I may not like it, but at least I know what it’s like.” Do you really want to find healing in a relationship? Do you really want to be made well?
You can’t help someone who just needs help. You can only help someone who wants help. We cannot change what we’re willing to tolerate. Until your desire becomes bigger than your disability, you will not start to find healing. So, Jesus asked a question, “Do you want to be well?”
At our church we see people change all the time. Just get a copy of our book, “Dark side of the Soul,” seven stories of life change from our Leander location. It’s free for every guest in Leander and we mail them out. For years something persisted in these seven people’s lives then by the power of God, they changed.
That which was their greatest misery is now their greatest ministry.
That will speak to somebody, because there is something that’s holding you down, or holding you back, and you’ve been miserable with it for years. And when God heals you after all that time He get’s the glory. “God healed my headaches.” “God healed my cancer.” “God helped me overcome my fears.” And the longer that it’s persisted, the more glory you’re going to give God, because you’re going to realize you couldn’t do it on your own! You needed a power greater than that which you had, and the Risen Christ came on the scene.
The guy says, “I’ve got no one to help me.” And Jesus looks at this guy and says this: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
Jesus heals the guy, supernaturally. Notice three things:
- The sick guy didn’t even ask to be healed.
- He did nothing to earn it, or deserve it.
- The healing did not happen in the way he thought it would. This is going to speak to somebody. Jesus did for him what he didn’t even ask Jesus to do.
This is one of the million reasons why your greatest priority in life is to KNOW Jesus Christ This is part of our mission at The Ridge. As you KNOW Christ as you get close to Jesus – He will do things for you, you didn’t even ask Him to do! He’ll bring healing in your life, in areas where you didn’t even know you needed healing. He’ll change your thought processes, in ways that you didn’t even know you were dysfunctional. He’ll bring forgiveness and healing into your heart, in areas where you didn’t even know you were sick. When you get close to Jesus, He will do things for you, you didn’t even ask Him to do.
Notice, the guy didn’t deserve it. He didn’t earn it. Jesus did not heal this man because he was good. Jesus healed the man because Jesus was good. And that’s His grace! We can’t earn it. We’re not good enough for it. We can’t give our way to get it. We can’t work our way to get it. He gives us blessings untold because of His goodness, and because of His grace, and for His glory He did this.
Lastly the healing didn’t come in the way the man thought it would. He thought, “If I can just get in the water, I’ll be healed.” The healing didn’t come through the water!
Perhaps, you’ve been searching for the healing in a particular way, and it may not come that way. It may come through the Living Water, Jesus, who does something in a way you did not even expect.
Perhaps, you’re in financial trouble, and you keep buying lottery tickets. Thus sayeth your pastor: “It’s not coming through lottery tickets.” You expect it through one way, and God may bring you a blessing, a healing, a transformation, in some way that you never, ever even expected it before. That’s the power of our good God.
Jesus says to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Jesus essentially said, “No need for excuses. I want to see your faith. Don’t you tell Me what you can’t do and what other people will not do for you. I want to see you stand up, and you walk. I will do for you what you cannot do, but I want you to do what only you can do. I’m going to touch you. I’m going to heal you. But I want to see your faith do what, for 38 years, you have not been able to do. I want you to have the courage and the faith to step away from the familiar, because the familiar is often the greatest hindrance to faith. And you’re going to have to have faith to stand up, when you think your legs are not capable of supporting you.”
This may speak to you because you’re going to take a step of faith to overcome a problem that you gave up on years ago. I don’t know what it’ll look like for you. You may drop your cigarettes in the garbage can as you walk out the door. You may confess to your Growth Group a problem where you need help and ask for prayer. James 5:16 says, “Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed” Revealing is the beginning of healing. You may check yourself into rehab, or call a counselor. It will take a significant step of faith, because you’re a bright person. If some small tweak would have helped you overcome this problem, you would have done that years ago. God is going to touch you, and you’re going to take a step of faith, and for some of you, you will experience healing through that step.
Or you may be on the beginning process of a journey that leads toward healing. You thought it was going to come through the water. You had no idea the presence of God was going to meet you, and you were going to be touched by the power of the Holy Spirit, and it would spark something in you that only God could do. And other people are going to ask, “Why do you have such hope? Why do you have such freedom?” You will say, “I can’t explain it, but God was with me and spoke to me. You see, I experienced Christ on this day. I felt His love on this day. I have hope, because I’ve been with Christ.”
Do you want to be well? Do you want to overcome the addiction that has held you hostage? Do you want to be free of worry, and anxiety, and fear that keeps you up at night? Do you want to be free of an angry spirit that hurts every relationship you’re ever even around? Do you want to overcome the inability to trust people, so that you can begin to trust and have intimacy once again? Do you believe that God is able to do anything, and heal you of any physical sickness? Do you want to be made well? Because God isn’t just going to help someone who needs help, He helps those who want help. Do you want to be well?
Let me pray for you, “Father, I pray that Your power, Your love, Your Spirit, and Your presence would minister faith, hope, and healing. Thank You for Your healing power through Jesus. God, I pray that, by Your power, You would do miracles, just like you have done in so many others lives. Now, God, I know that You’re going to work, I also know that You don’t want to hear our excuses. You want to see our faith. I pray, God, that we would take steps of faith, appropriate steps of faith, as You lead us, and God, You would see our faith, be pleased by it, And we thank You, God. You may do them in a way that we do not expect. And we’ll give You all the glory because You are the only One worthy of praise.”
In Jesus Name Amen.