Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
I have to come clean and say that this question of wanting to be healed troubles me. I experience intense arthritic pain at times. I watched my first wife die of diabetic complications. My wife Ann suffers from a nasty neurological disease. I pray all of the time - I want to be healed and I want Ann to be healed. So I find that my heart has to come to grips with Jesus' question and not take offense when the subject of healing comes up.
I begin by saying that Jesus knew that the man wanted to be healed and knew that it was the Father's will for him to be healed. His question was an honest one yet the man's answer is unexpected. Do you find it interesting how Jesus healed the man even though the man never answered the question? The expectation is that the man would have shouted "YES! I want to be healed" but instead says that he has no one to help him in his quest for healing.
My take away from the question and the answer is that Jesus' response is always compassionate to our pain and our suffering. The man was sick for almost forty years and wanted, dare I say prayed, to be healed for all of those years. Yet healing did not come until Jesus arrived on the scene. And so it is today. Though we desperately pray for it, healing will not come until the Holy Spirit comes on the scene and touches our bodies.
I want to be healed Lord. I want Ann to be healed. Come Holy Spirit and heal us.