John 5:1-9Amplified Bible
The Healing at Bethesda
5 Later on there was a Jewish feast (festival), and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now in Jerusalem, near the Sheep Gate, there is a [a]pool, which is called in Hebrew (Jewish Aramaic) Bethesda, having five porticoes (alcoves, colonnades). 3 In these porticoes lay a great number of people who were sick, blind, lame, withered, [b][waiting for the stirring of the water; 4 for an angel of the Lord went down into the pool at appointed seasons and stirred up the water; the first one to go in after the water was stirred was healed of his disease.] 5 There was a certain man there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 The invalid answered, “Sir, I have no one to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am coming [to get into it myself], someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up; pick up your pallet and walk.” 9 Immediately the man was healed and recovered his strength, and [c]picked up his pallet and walked.
Now that day was the Sabbath.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.
Picture the scene: a pool of water surrounded by covered porches.
Bethesda was known as a place of healing.
At certain times of the year, an angel of the Lord stirred the waters.
It was then that the porticoes were often crowded with destitute people who were blind, lame, and paralyzed – waiting to be the ones who were 1st healed.
Among them lay a man who had been lame for thirty-eight long years.
He came! Except there was no one willing to help him get into the pool.
Jesus was watching the proceedings from a short distance away.
Jesus approached asked the man, asking him; “Do you want to get well?”
On the surface, the answer would seem obvious.
Of course the man wanted to be well!
But here, Jesus was asking a deeper question.
He was probing the man’s heart.
Did he really want to be made whole-
-Did he really want to be healed, to be transformed inside and out, healed in body, mind, and soul?
Without waiting for the man to give his response, to tell Jesus his story ….
Jesus spoke to him a second time: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
From a human standpoint, it was impossible for the man to get up.
To others who were listening, this may even have sounded a bit cruel.
But at that moment the healing power of Jesus touched the man, filling his body, mind, and spirit with wholeness.
As Jesus healed the man, he was saying, in effect, “Pick up your mat and be out of here. You never have to think of coming back to this kind of life again.”
The steps Jesus took in healing this man give us an outline of how our Lord meets us today.
He probes our hearts, commands the impossible, provides the power, and tells us, up close and personal, to “be healed, ” get up and leave our old life behind.
What Presence …
What Authority …
What Sovereignty …
What a Savior!
How to Surrender to God’s Healing in Your Life …
At first glance, one may raise an eyebrow at the title of this devotional.
Why would one need to surrender to healing?
We pray for, ache for, pray without ceasing, generally get on our hands and knees searching for healing in so many aspects of our lives.
So why would someone resist it when it is offered to them?
Or is it resistance?
Perhaps, surrendering to God’s healing has nothing to do with fighting against it so much as it is our coming to the realization and acceptance that we need it.
This means coming to a point of humility and admitting our shortcomings or, perhaps worse, the vast diversity our very worst faults, failures and failings.
But then, we may be well aware we need healing.
So then, surrendering to God’s healing isn’t something fraught with resistance or stained with denial, but it is shrouded in the most severest spoken, unspoken actions, expressions, of doubt that God really can bring healing to a broken life.
Or that after an extended period of suffering, He will ever really bring healing.
Have you ever found yourself thinking,
“I know God can heal my life, but I do not know if I believe He ever will.”
Whether surrendering to God’s healing has to do with resistance to healing, denial of the need for healing, or doubting the possibility of recovery, it’s good to step back when in need of healing and take a “selfie” – a clear photograph of your spirit and heart.
What part of “self” might stand in the way of our surrender to God’s healing?
Here are some areas to self-examine and see if any of these may be a part of your surrendering difficulties or process:
1. To heal means to freely and fully admit your weakness.
There’s a verse in II Corinthians 12 that is often quoted when it comes to recognizing one’s weaknesses. “For when I am weak (in human strength), then I am strong (truly able, powerful, drawing from God’s strength),”
2 Corinthians 12:7-10Amplified Bible
A Thorn in the Flesh
7 Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations [which I received from God], for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; 9 but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. 10 So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].
Apostle Paul clearly states his beliefs of strength in the last part of verse ten.
The idea is that to gain strength, one is best set by first coming to the end of themselves.
Only in that weakness can their strength be infused with the might of the Holy Spirit, thus bringing about a strength that only comes from God, Himself.
But let’s step back a bit to a portion not as often quoted in verse 9. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.”
This is a critical portion of the text when looking at the final part of verse ten and coming to terms with your weakness.
Admitting our weaknesses can make us feel as though we’ve been put into a vulnerable and exposed position.
In a way, it’s “waving our white flag” coming before God for healing with naked souls and our sins, failings, hurts, and brokenness splayed with no disguises.
But His “straight to the point” answer in this healing process has nothing to do with pointing out the errors of our ways or making sure we are valid in our hurt, or our ideations or perceptions or our reality of our brokenness is .01% justified.
His answer is straightforward and strong:
“My grace is sufficient for you.”
His grace is enough.
1. Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!
To first admit our weakness is to place ourselves into the submissive role of someone who needs to be rescued – sit still and accept Jesus Christ is God.
And Who better to do this with than the one whose power is made perfect in weakness?
2. Abandoning denial means you embrace the truth.
The truth can be a painful place to go.
The whole “the truth will set you free” concept from John 8 may be remarkably true, it can also mean “coming to terms” with some very harsh, frank realities.
It may mean you must face the abuses that have broken you.
You may need to travel to some dark places to come out the other side into a place of everlasting living hope.
Denial can be a protective mechanism.
If it doesn’t exist, therefore, there is no problem.
Or, stated differently, if everything is working, then nothing needs fixing.
But are you thriving just because you have duct-taped and paper-clipped an industrially stapled your life together in a way you can only barely function?
Are you experiencing the strength and power of God’s grace being sufficient for you when pretending to be healthier than you truly are?
Surrendering to healing may mean ripping off some bandages that have dried onto the wounds.
The hurts may need to bleed again in order to, this time, be healed properly with as minimal scarring as God will allow.
Can you find the courage to be honest and say, “I need to experience God’s healing in my life”?
3. Surrendering means acting in faith God will keep His promises.
Nothing can kill a dream faster than the disappearance of hope.
So when doubt and trepidation enter the healing process of our brokenness, we can begin to embrace the complexity and diversity of the all of the lies and the insinuations we have weaved that God may not do what He has said he will do.
However, God has promised to heal the brokenhearted.
He has promised to meet our needs (Psalm 23).
He has promised to be the Savior to a bleeding and busted soul (Psalm 22).
Coming before God in surrender may mean we go to Him with speculation and concern.
It might also mean you come to Him and lay aside your perceived ideas of how He will heal you.
In the same way physical healing may not be provided to you in the way you imagine it, your emotional, spiritual, and mental healing may come through avenues and processes you have not considered.
To surrender genuinely does mean to step out in faith, trusting and believing that He is sufficient and can bring healing; not presenting Him with a list of ways you believe He absolutely needs to bring that healing into your life and then stepping back to gnash teeth, bite your fingernails, doubting He’ll read it.
Can you fully, genuinely say, “I trust God to do what He has promised without expecting Him to tell me how and without putting a timeline on it?” (Psalm 24)
Healing is a process.
It’s not a simple one, nor is it straightforward and standardized.
Plus, let’s be honest.
Since when is God predictable in the journeys He takes his people on?
Surrendering to the Lord for healing is, in and of itself, a process.
It’s coming to terms with admitting you need healing, it’s realizing that there will be some tough stuff to relive, walk through, evaluate, and even admit; it’s recognizing you probably won’t know how healing will come—just that it will.
In the end, healing isn’t a simple process with an easy answer.
Neither is “white flag” surrendering.
You may find yourself surrendering to God’s healing in one moment,
then in the next, you’re taking it all back, trying with all remaining strength to wrestle it back from Jesus and rebuilding up your defensive walls once again.
So hold on to and grasp that His strength will be made perfect in your weakness.
That His grace is sufficient for this journey on which you will embark.
And also, know that His healing isn’t a three-step process.
His healing will be customized for His relationship with you and for His glory to be seen and shown to the world around you.
Be ready for great things.
“White Flag ” healing is miraculous, so hold on tight, proceed with great hope!
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we give all glory to You, for through Your mighty power at work within us, You are able to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. By thy grace help us not to grieve You, dear Spirit, but to kneel, “wave our white flags” to wholly submit to You, allow Your power to have full an maximum sway in us. We thank You for Your gracious presence dwelling within us. We thank You for thy intercession on our behalf. Glory to You in the Church and in Christ Jesus.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.