John 5:5 – And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
John 5:6 – When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
John 5:7 – The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
John 5:8 – Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
Hello readers, 38 years of going nowhere. Today’s blog has an application to both Christians and unsaved, as does the whole Bible. For the unsaved there’s a picture of salvation, for Christians it’s a picture of stop wasting your life and getting back walking in your Christian walk. In John 5, we read that Jesus went to the pool of Bethesda… which was by the sheep market. Well, we know that Jesus bought his sheep out of the marketplace of sin by his own blood. We required quite a price. If you’re his sheep, what are you doing in the marketplace? Too many Christians are for sale today, their faith is for sale and it’s going cheap. They’re looking for a new owner, a new master, and new pastures. None of them are sold out to Jesus Christ and his word.
Anyway. Near this sheep market was a pool called the pool of Bethesda. And this is where a whole lot of people were laid up. These people had all sorts of problems, and conditions, and issues. They just lay there the Bible says. They were laying around their whole life. That can be us. Instead of living for God and moving in our Christian walk, we can be like this guy that Jesus found who’d been laid up for 38 years. That’s a long time, that’s longer than I’ve been alive! 38 years is a long time to not be going anywhere in your walk with God, or in life. Without Jesus Christ, you are not going anywhere in life. You’ll get to the end of it, and it’ll be a complete waste of your life, and it will vex your soul. That’s the truth.
Christian, you were born to walk with God, to run the race set before you, to watch and pray… you were born to soar like an eagle… but instead you’re laying around doing nothing in life. You’ve got a problem or problems or whatever, and it’s laid you out. You may have walked once, but now you sure ain’t. You were moving once, but now you’re laying around. These guys had all sorts of problems. And each of us get may get hit with something different. Each of us may have a different issue. But the bottom line is we’re laying around, not going anywhere and doing nothing. Time is ticking by. We can waste our whole life laying around and waiting for a moment that never comes.
This man was waiting for troubled waters. That’s what we need is troubled waters. How long has it been since your waters got troubled by God? Does the Holy Spirit even convict your of your sin and rebellion anymore? Troubled waters are when God stirs our life up just a bit. So often those waters are dead flat though. There’s nothing going on inside. We say the right things, we go to church, we do religion, we say we love God… but there’s no pulse. There’s no heartbeat of a new heart created in new by Jesus Christ. There’s no moving water. Your life isn’t moving. So often, like this man, we’ve surrendered the power of our life and our responsibility before God. The reason he couldn’t get in was someone elses’ fault, you’ll end up wasting your life waiting on other people, letting other people dictate how your life story goes. Mistake.
We all get problems. We develop a condition in life, something happens to us, we get issues… and it completely flattens us out. And it can knock us out the game for good. The biggest problem is the longer we lie around in this condition, the more we get used to it. We get used to a life of sin. A life of sinning and getting by with it. We get into a habit of rebellion and unbelief, we tread a well worn path. There’s a reason the Bible says today is the day of salvation, there’s a reason why the Bible says remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth. When you are young and tender, when you are fit and able physically and spiritually, when the waters are moving… that’s when you’ve gotta get going and seek and serve God.
There are so many Christians who are impotent, or blind, or halt, or withered. Is any of this you? Or is all of this you? All of it is me. Spiritual impotence, impotent Christians… they’ve got no salt and light, they’ve got no walk… but they’ve sure got their bed. Their bed is their life of justification and excuses and blame and whatever. Our bed is us easing ourselves of our condition. We get comfortable in our condition, we work within the parameters of our condition, rather than getting truly fixed. Our bed is our solution, but not God’s solution. But that bed isn’t helping us, but holding us in the state we are in. Are you easing your condition rather than seeking a fix from God for your condition? Jesus came to fix us, to create a new creature in us, he didn’t come to do a half way job, he is able to save us to the uttermost. But we’re not going to walk unless we are willing to take up our bed rather than lying in it. Maybe your bed is blaming others, maybe your bed is justifying your sin, maybe your bed is self pity, you’ve found a way to deal with your condition rather than taking it to Jesus Christ… but the net effect is you’ve stopped in your Christian life. You’re not moving and you’re not going anywhere.
So many Christians aren’t going anywhere. There’s no walk with God. Has your Christian walk stopped dead? There are no shortcuts with God. Why is your walk stopped? What’s your infirmity? The best thing we can be really honest with ourselves. Is it just a holding pattern of life? Is it just the same old dead religion? How long will you continue? 38 years? This guy was wasting his life. And that’s not what God wants for your life. Jesus came seeking this man. He’ll seek you out today. What’s your condition, what’s your issue? And do you want it fixed? Or you’d rather your solution, or the world’s solution, or rather trusting in that man to take you where you think you wanna go… maybe you’d rather the bed you’ve made in life than rising up and walking with Christ. Jesus came to make us rise. To rise out of the deathbed of sin and disobedience and dead works and a dead mind and spirit… he wants us to rise and walk.
Well Jesus found this man. And he lay in his infirmity by the pool. Jesus said to him, wilt thou be made whole? But instead of yes please… this man told him why it couldn’t be done. We often have that attitude to the Bible. I can’t do it because of this, this and that. We tell God why it can’t be done rather than asking and trusting him to make us be able to rise and walk. Sure we can’t do it… but in Christ we can. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The man said no man can take me. And that’s true. If your life is about man taking you somewhere, you’ll go nowhere. If your solution to life, if your way of being made whole is in man… get set for 38 years. Man will disappoint. Man is a sinner. Man can’t save you, and man can’t take you where you need to go in life. Many Jews believed on Jesus when they saw his miracles, but the Bible says at the end of John 2 that Jesus didn’t commit himself to man, because he knew what was in man. There’s not a little bit of good in everyone, we are wicked, vile, nasty sinners. If we had any good in us, we wouldn’t need to be born again. Our first birth is that corrupt, that far gone. Noone can do in your heart what the Holy Spirit can do. Noone can save you from your sins, noone can get saved for you, noone can deliver you from whatever condition you have except the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often we are looking for our solution in man. And man will always disappoint and let you down.
The solution to our infirmity, and boy our infirmities can really lay us out… it’s in Christ and Christ alone. It lies in hearing the voice of the Shepherd come to seek us out, and obeying that voice. Stop waiting around in life. That certain season is now, the water is moving now… if you’re waiting for a perfect moment or a future date or a divine encounter… you’re going to be waiting 38 years. Get saved today while the Holy Spirit is moving. Stop telling God why you can’t walk, and start believing that he has the power to make you walk. Unless you’re too happy not walking right.
See, most people would rather not walk. Much easier laying around doing nothing, than walking with God by faith. We get in our little comfort zone, we have our little issue and problem in life, and that knocks us out for life. We blame someone, we are bitter at someone, we’re justifying and excusing and pitying ourselves… and that isn’t going to help us or make us walk again. We’re waiting for a man to take us, but this world and mankind has no salvation power, no restoration power, no healing power… nothing… this world and all it’s physicians and shrinks and quacks and counsellors… they can’t do for you what Jesus freely will give you. He has the power to make us rise and walk. We can rise out of that bed we are laid up in and walk.
Christian, you need to rise. Jesus said arise take up thy bed and walk. You can easily walk again as a Christian by getting back to Jesus Christ and believing the healing and salvation and deliverance that he alone gives. He has the power to fix our infirmity, even a long long running one. The problem with infirmities that we have, with our impotence in our Christian walk… is we get really used to it, and we don’t know any different anymore. The longer a habit goes, the harder it is to break it. Just how impotent is your Christian life now? How powerless is it? There’s no power of God in your life to save you or deliver you or change you… or any power to influence others to Christ. There’s no life giving seed in you of the word of God. There’s nothing. 38 years is a long time to be not moving, not walking, not going anywhere… especially when Jesus is passing by who can make us rise up and walk.
Your solution is not your bed, but Jesus Christ. Stop getting comfortable in being laid up by your spiritual condition. If you’ve got disobedience, obey. If you don’t believe, trust him. If you don’t love, ask God to put his love in you. If you’ve messed your life up, trust Jesus Christ to make something of it. But get moving. God doesn’t want you wallowing in self pity and excuses and justifications and sin and disobedience, he doesn’t want you wasting the life he gave you. Every day is an opportunity for us to honor God with our words and deed. Today was another opportunity to trust God and obey him. But we’ve got too comfortable laying around by the pool. See our life can be “by” not “in”. You’re “by” obedience, but not “in” obedience. You’re “by” the truth, but not “in” truth. You can go to church and Jesus pass you by, and you pass by Jesus. You can live by other Christians, you can go to bed by your Bible. But there’s no reality. You’re not in Jesus Christ, you’re not in the kingdom of God, you’re not in… you’re by. Yes you’re close to it all, but you haven’t take ownership of what Jesus has done for you for yourself by faith.
Soon enough, you’ll end up doing nothing with your whole life. You’ll get to 38 years later, and boy I wish I had obeyed God. The only redemptive part of our life looking back is when we trusted Jesus Christ and obeyed him, what God has done in our lives and through our lives. All the rest is nothing. It’s worth it to obey God. It’s worth it to do life God’s way. It’s worth it to be saved and born again. It’s a blessing to be allowed to serve him and praise him and glorify him and be used by him. Maybe you’ve found a way to live in your condition. This man did. He was living in it with his little way of making it work. Maybe you’re doing the same. You’ve gotten used to going your own way, to getting by with sin, to having a bit of the Bible and a bit of the world, to having a bit of God and a bit of Baal. And you’re going nowhere. You’re stopped dead. You haven’t gone beyond a certain point in your life with God, because you’ve got an issue, a condition, an infirmity… and it’s wiped you out. You’re out the game, you’re on the shelf, and you’re just marking the years now.
God doesn’t want us there. He made us the run the race, to press on, to get walking and keep walking… to stand up for truth, to stand for him. Are you waiting for a season that never comes? We always seem to miss our moment don’t we. It’s pretty hard to break out that comfort, that habit, that norm. You see, it was normal for him. Maybe sin and disobedience has become normal and habit for you. That’s just your life. And you’re sitting in a sheep market changing owners, rather than of Lord Jesus Christ’s flock out in green pastures and by still waters. God doesn’t want your life stalled, halted, stopped, impotent, blind… whatever… God wants you to rise up. And you can rise up in Christ today. Hear his voice, obey him… and he gives us the grace to take up our bed… rather than laying in it… we’re walking out with it under our arm. How often sin is the boss of us, rather than we having victory of our sin. What have you made your bed in? Have you made your bed in a life of disobedience and rebellion to God… and you’re comfortable and used to it there… and your life is wasting and wasting and wasting away.
Jesus asks you today, wilt thou be made whole? See… the problem is we don’t want to be made whole. That’s why we’re not whole, because we would prefer to live in sin and rebellion and disobedience to God. We’d prefer to hang on to our pride, our lust, our selfish life, our bitterness, our resentment, our envy. We prefer it there. That’s our norm. If you actually want to be made whole, if you want to rise… you can, just do you want it. You can get going, you can move forward in your life, don’t be knocked out the game, don’t sit on the sidelines marking time. You can rise, because he is risen from the dead. It’s not your power to rise, he makes us rise when we believe his word and trust and obey him. 38 years was a long time to be in that case, how long will you be in your case? You know, we can make our bed in unbelief, remember that unbelief is what kept Israel wandering around and dying out after 40 years in the wilderness. Maybe you’re easing your infirmity, maybe you’re easing your case, your conscience, your condition… but easing your problem doesn’t fix your problem… and you’re really honestly and truly not moving anywhere with God in life. Jesus is passing by today, instead of laying around wasting your life wallowing in your infirmity, excuses, self pity and sin, you can rise up and walk.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)