The Happiest Day in 38 Years

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

“See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” John 5:14, NIV.

He had been by the Pool of Bethesda for 38 years with no one to help. Paralyzed in some way through a reckless lifestyle, he hoped that the magic waters would bring a quick fix to his problem.

That day began just as every other of the previous 14,000 or so. He peered into the water, hoping he would be the first to slide into its healing waves.

Then he saw a reflection of a Stranger’s face distorted by the ripples. Before he could look up, he heard a strange question: “Do you want to get well?”

This man must be a newcomer, the paralytic mused to himself. Everyone who’s come to the temple has seen me here.

“Sir, I have no man . . . to put me into the pool.” Squinting his eyes to see the face of the Stranger haloed by the sun behind Him, the paralytic felt a surge of hope explode throughout his body. Will the water stir while this Man stands here? Will He, the first who has ever shown an interest in me, be the one to restore my hope for healing?

Then the Stranger made a command as strange as His question: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

The paralytic gazed into the waters, his quick-fix solution. In that glance he saw the waters for what they were: powerless. The Stranger’s words still rang in his ears: “Get up!”

Though the Stranger asked the impossible, the paralytic sensed the power attached to that command. He decided to try. What did he have to lose?

And at once the man was cured.

The paralytic’s disease was primarily the result of his own bad habits. Telling the man to “stop sinning or something worse may happen to you,” Jesus made the point that we have often brought disease upon ourselves by transgressing the laws of God. Health can be preserved only by obedience (see The Ministry of Healing, pp. 81, 82, 113).

Many who are sick today are “lying beside the pool,” trusting in human beings for a quick-fix solution to problems they brought on themselves. But only Jesus can heal us as a whole. Treating the body and ignoring the soul is not enough.

Don’t wait to feel that you are whole. Believe His Word, and it will be fulfilled.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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