Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

Day 1 of 3 • This day’s reading


The Paralyzed Man

Have you ever met anyone who continually complains about their lot: "This is no good, life isn’t fair," over and over? But when you reach out and try to help them, they almost bite your hand off! What?! Help?! Change?! What’s the matter with you?! 

They’re comfortable in their situation. Comfortable to complain, but not to do anything about it.

In this plan, we’re going to look at some of the miracles that Jesus performed as recorded in John’s Gospel. And right now, we’re going to meet a man stuck in his misery, doing the same thing over and over again. The only problem is, his life isn’t getting any better.

And then Jesus walks in and turns his whole life upside down.

In John chapter 5, Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem near the pool of Bethesda, where He meets a man who has been paralyzed for 38 years.

So, what’s the deal here at this pool? Well, the word ‘Bethesda’ means ‘House of Mercy’ or ‘House of Grace’. And both Jews and Gentiles went down there because they believed that an angel would occasionally come and stir up the water—and that the first person into the pool would be restored. 

The problem was that many people had been going there for years but had never been healed. 

How many of us are living like that? A difficult marriage, a wayward child, a deep nagging sense of inadequacy or low self-esteem, an addiction of some sort… and we just sit there, day after day, with that wishing-well mentality. 

We imagine that somehow, someday, things will get better. But on the other hand, we never really expect anything to change, and don’t want it to, really! 

And then, in walks Jesus.

He asks, “Do you want to be healed?” – John 5:6 (ESV) 

Does the man immediately say, “Yes”? No, he doesn't! Even after 38 years of suffering, he gives Jesus excuses as to why he hasn’t been healed. He’s seeing things through the lens of his circumstances; he’s looking from the bottom up, not from the top down.

But what does Jesus do? He commands healing.

Do you know what I believe? I believe that today, through the power of His Word, Jesus has just walked into your life… into your ‘same old, same old’ situation… into your particular, personal need for healing. 

And He’s asking you: “Do you want to be healed?”

Life application questions  

  • If you were that man, would you have hung around that pool for all that time? Had you been sitting at that pool on that day, what would you have been thinking and feeling? 

  • What do you learn from this man about how you could think and behave when the situation seems hopeless?

  • Now imagine you’re another one of the people in need of healing near that pool. What would you have done if you had seen Jesus heal this man?

  • What do you need to do now to put yourself in a place where Jesus may walk into your life and perform a serious miracle?