Updated: Sep 3, 2020
When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been in that state a long time, He said unto him, “Do you want to be made whole?” ~ John 5: 6
I couldn’t understand the significance of this question until I realized that there is a difference between being healed and being made whole.
The bible was written for us, to help us with every situation that we may find ourselves in:
This is “a man who had been an invalid for 38 years”, whom Jesus found sitting at the healing pool among others who were also disabled. “Invalid” is old english for made weak or disabled by illness or injury. Jesus asked this man if he wanted to be made whole. An interesting question, considering that the reason he was at the pool was for an opportunity to be healed.
What did Jesus see in this man, that his specific interaction would be what John would include in his gospel? Perhaps Jesus saw the mental and emotional impact of being ill for 38 years on this man. What he needed was beyond a physical healing. We are concerned with our physical needs alone but the Lord is concerned with all of our being. God cares about every aspect of our lives. He doesn’t just care about our souls.
This story is for all of us, even if you are not ill or injured. How many know that you don’t have to be crippled to have crippling thoughts? To be so wounded inside that you see yourself as being less able than you are. Walking but hurting in your core. A heart pain so deep that no one can see it but it’s effects cause you to be unwell. To be in dis-ease. Something is limiting you, preventing you from being how you should be.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is divided into deficiency needs and growth needs. Most of us spend all our lives consumed with lack of our physiological needs, safety, protection, love and belonging. There is a promise that we forget. The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing (Psalms 23: 1). This means as God provides the opportunities, we put in our best work as unto the Lord and leave the rest up to Him. We fail to get to the top of Maslow’s pyramid: self-esteem and self-actualization; but these are basic human needs. Without them we are left with a wanting in our soul. We need purpose and vision. Proverbs 29:18 begins “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Without purpose, we die, not physically but inside. Self-actualized people are defined as those who are fulfilled and doing all they are capable of. They are doing what they were sent here to do. That’s being whole. That is what God designed for his people when He created us in His own image. Is it any wonder the identifying marker of self-actualization is being creative? We are the image of the God who created all things. It’s our nature to create.
“So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” ~ Genesis 1: 27
The pace at which the world moves, sends us the message that we should keep moving, not desire much for ourselves, struggle inwardly, and suck it up. Socially, times have changed. It’s routine to ask “How are you doing?” but the truth is no one really cares.
NONE BUT JESUS!
Who else needs to care when the Lord of Lords does? When we pray, let’s bring it all before God, He cares.
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7
King David is described as the man after God’s own heart; he knew this truth.
It confounded him that the God who created all things would be concerned about you and I.
“What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”
~ Psalms 8 : 4
The man by the healing pool couldn’t have known that the one who was asking if he wanted to be made whole had the ability to heal him, because he responded, “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes ahead of me.” (John 5:7) He felt that the question warranted an explanation of why he was in that situation but Jesus already knew. He had no one, or perhaps he felt like he had no one, assuming that for him to be at the pool in the first place someone would have brought him there. Maybe he had someone to carry him to the pool but no one who cared enough about his healing to stick around for the stirring of the water. For 38 years someone would always beat him to the healing. He was familiar with disappointment. Get disappointed enough times and you stop expecting much. That was his life, until he had an encounter with Jesus.
Don’t hold onto the story. Release it to Jesus. Be whole again. He is able to make us whole.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” ~ 3 John 1: 2
The world says we must all be defective and broken, but the bible says, Jesus Christ came to make us whole. That is the true definition of living our best lives. Doing all that we are capable of doing for the Lord.
My prayer is for wholeness, that God would touch the pains we cannot tell or see in ourselves, our friends, and family. Jesus is the light of the world. May we invite him to light up all the dark places in our lives.
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” ~ Isaiah 60 : 1
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