Jerusalem – at a pool called Bethesda meaning house of grace. Ironic as being outside the city walls, it was a place of disgrace for outcasts and the sick. There sat a man, who for 38 years tried to reach the “magic” water to no avail, as he could not walk.
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?” John 5:6 ESV
He responded with reasons why he could not be healed, crippled by unusable legs and self-pity.
City of Jericho – a blind man cried out
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Mark 10:47,51 NIV
Again, two blind men approached Jesus
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Matthew 9:27-29 NIV
Why did Jesus ask the questions? He knew what they needed and that He would heal them. It was the personal relationship He longs for, a challenge of faith that seeing is more than merely sight. The blind were healed according to their faith while the man at the pool, wallowing in despair, needed a good push.
My pool of Bethesda was a park bench and a shade tree. I sat in silence wounded and broken, tossing pennies in a wishing well. Jesus said, “Get up and walk.” Hesitation held me back. Jesus said, “Do you want to be healed? Get up and walk.” I rose and faced my journey with renewed vigor. As burdens drew me back toward the waters, Jesus said, “Keep walking.”
As Jesus spoke, I answered like the crippled man, lost in my own pity. When He asked again, I said, “Yes Lord, restore my sight, I believe You can.” It was a contrast of perspective, either to drown in the muddy waters of my frailty or embrace my weakness and allow God’s power to be displayed through it.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 – NIV
His Grace is more than sufficient and His power is perfect, with or without me, yet even more so when I humble myself in weakness, that His Grace may abound.