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To Get Well

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If you were looking for a get-well card for a sick friend, would you buy one that said, Do you want to get well?

Consider this story from the Gospel of John: 

Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:2-6)

Well, did he? Thirty-eight years is a long time to endure any affliction; it might have become all he knew. It could have been scary to find out what “well” meant. 

If the man hesitated, it wasn’t for long. Jesus told him to pick up his mat and walk, and he did. 

The religious “leaders” (see v. 10) saw the man who was now walking after helplessly lying beside the Bethesda pool for years, and what they had to say to him was that he was breaking the Sabbath law by carrying his mat. They wanted to know, “Who told you to pick up your mat and walk?” These men “began to persecute” Jesus because they found Him guilty of breaking the Sabbath. They didn’t ask Him, “Will You also heal us?” (Although they were very much in need of healing and restoration, they didn’t seem aware of it.)

They weren’t talking to Jesus about the miracle of healing that happened at Bethesda. They were trying to kill Him—for breaking the Sabbath and for calling God His own Father. 

Jesus knew who was persecuting Him. They wanted a way to accuse Jesus, to put Him on the defensive. But instead of defending His actions, He gave them more ammunition. 

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” (John 5:21-23)

Getting well is for everyone who hears Jesus and believes in Him. As the Father gives life, so the Son gives life. Moreover, the Father has entrusted all judgement to Jesus. Do we want Jesus as our Healer—or as our Judge? For those who receive Him as Lord, He is both. In Him, we’re going to get well, whether in this life or the next, and we have nothing to fear from His coming judgement. 

A get-well card from Jesus: 

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (v. 24)


Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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About The Author

Helen R.

Helen has been writing, editing, and proofreading for CBN since 1986. She enjoys cooking, the Oxford comma, learning piano, and birdwatching in her backyard.

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