“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” John 5:6
Isn’t that a strange question? Do you want to be made well? Doesn’t it just make sense that someone would want to be made well? Is it really that easy? This makes it sound like being made well was this man’s decision. Does Jesus just ask, and we can say yes or no? So why did Jesus ask this question? When Jesus did ask this question notice what the man’s response was. He answered by making excuses. He said, “I don’t have anyone to help me and someone else always gets there first.” This man could only see his natural circumstances. He thought his only hope for healing was this pool and the “story” of the angel stirring the water. There was no appearance of faith from his response at all . . . until he obeyed what Jesus told him to do (took action). “Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk. And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.” (John 5:8-9) His faith became evident when he put action behind Jesus’ Words.
I find myself doing this at times. When I consider my circumstances, instead of recognizing that God has a way and plan to “heal” them, I make excuses about how bad the situation is. For instance: If I am struggling with something at home or at work, I make an excuse of how someone else is behaving badly. Sometimes, if I set a goal and I am not reaching it, I may have an argument on the inside about why it hasn’t happened yet.
It reminds me about a time I was praying for my friend and making excuses about their circumstances until the Lord showed me that He made a plan and it works no matter what the conditions are surrounding the problem. Now I understand that God’s way can change any circumstance and I am determined to get all areas of my life into His hands and keep them there!
Today I want to encourage you to put away excuses. The next time you find yourself making excuses for yourself, other people, or circumstances, recognize what you are doing and then stop. Decide instead to turn things over to God, trust and obey His direction and receive the peace and healing only He can give through your faith in action.
Today’s scripture reading: John 5:1-9
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 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.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.