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 5:1-6


After years of suffering, despite lack of improvement through medication or therapy, have you ever wondered whether there might be hope for you? Have you ever considered that God with his power could help you create a more whole life? Are you able to entertain that hope today?

I never seriously wondered whether wellness would ever be possible. I just got up each morning, hoping the day would be one of the better ones. I didn’t believe that my condition could improve.

The disabled man Jesus found lying by the pool called Bethesda felt the same way. He had been an invalid for thirty-eight years, hoping – but in actual fact, having given up – receiving healing in the medicinal pool. He had become quite comfortable in the place in life he had.

Listen to what Jesus asked the man: “Do you want to get well?” He asks you and me the same thing. A deeper form of the question would be: “Do you want your life changed?” Because when we’re made whole after a long illness, our life is bound to change.

Being whole is to be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually well. It is to live life fully and happily. Wholeness is possible, even when we have a physical illness or disability.

How can we find such wholeness?

If you’re to be whole, change will have to come into the life you now have. Trouble is, some of us are afraid to let God change us. We resist. Like the invalid lying at the pool, we feel comfortable where we are. It might be too hard to make the effort. Or maybe, after being sick for such a long time, we have become discouraged. Some of us are in too much pain – physical pain, emotional pain.

Are you, too, fearing change?

Jesus is asking you, “Do you want to get well?” He offers you healing and will give you the courage and the strength to become the whole person you were always intended to be.

Here are a few things you could, with God’s help, change about your life to help you heal: Pray for friendships through which God can work. Focus on the beauty of the world around you. Let go of all that will hamper what God wants to do inside you: anger, hurt, grief. Give up destructive habits like smoking or drinking. Clear the way for God to do his work in your heart and soul.

The most important thing about being whole is making Jesus part of your life by developing a deeper relationship with him. Jesus invites us to come to him in faith and trust, saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Are you willing to be made well?

Jesus said to the lame man, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” And he tells us the same.

Walk with Jesus. Live with him. He’ll bring you peace for your soul. You will find the wholeness you’ve been longing for.

Lord, we thank you for your presence. Help us to stay open to you – open to the good you want to fill us with. Make us whole – wholly yours in every way.