In John 5, Jesus meets a man at the Pool of Bethesda that had been crippled almost four decades. He asks the man a seemingly odd question.

Wilt thou be made whole? John 5:6 <KJV>

Today, Jesus might say, “Do you want to be healed?”

I can’t imagine anyone saying no to being healthy and free from any plague, disability, or physical impairment. But in a way, that is exactly what this man did. He started complaining about his limitations, and the lack of help when it was time to get in the water. All his hope was resting on a legend that the first person in the water when it was disturbed would be made whole. Instead of turning to God, he had turned to the mystical.

John tells us that the man had been this way for 38 years, and Jesus was well aware of his suffering. It is an interesting coincidence that 38 years is the exact amount of time it took for all of the unbelieving Children of Israel to perish in the wilderness. God had wondrously freed them from Egyptian bondage with many displays of His Power and Love, and taken them to the entrance of the Promised Land. Twelve spies entered the land and returned with a glowing report that confirmed it was just as good as God had promised. Two spies wanted to immediately go and possess their land, knowing that God had given it to them. But ten spies gave what God called an evil report, claiming that they could not take the land because of giants and walled cities. The people were overcome with fear, and some even suggested that they return to Egypt!

They complained and murmured in their tents that it might be better to die in the wilderness. Their very words had trapped them. Because of their unbelief, only two people of that generation would enter the land, Caleb and Joshua, the two spies that trusted God. (Numbers 13:25-33, 14:1-11, Deuteronomy 1:20-36, 2:13-14, Proverbs 6:2, Hebrews 3)

The Bible does not say what specifically kept this man by the pool impotent. Nor do we know what actions he may have taken to get better. But we do catch a glimpse of what the man was thinking. There was bitterness, and frustration because of his predicament. There may have been a hint of self pity in his complaint.

But let’s go back to Jesus’ question. Did the man want to be made whole? Jesus knew the desire that was in the man’s heart. And he also knew it was Satan that had kept this man in bondage. Jesus needed the man to stop looking at the circumstances and his symptoms, and look at the solution that was standing in front of him. He needed him to ignore his giants, no matter how big they appeared, and trust in Jesus, who was THE answer.

Also note that Jesus did not even answer the man’s complaint. Nor did he sympathize with him. He simply told him to get up, take your bed, and walk. He was not talking to the outer man, that man knew he was crippled. He was speaking faith filled words to the heart of the man. Jesus’ words resonated in his spirit, and without saying another word, the man got up, picked up his bed, and walked!

Jesus does not change. He is still looking for people with ears to hear that will listen to his Word and obey it. He is asking you the very same question.

Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?



Faith Building Exercise

Say these out loud every day until you believe them in your spirit. They will build your faith. Look up these verses and read them as they appear in your Bible. You can always trust God’s Word because He cannot lie.

I worship the Lord my God. He Blesses my food and water and takes sickness away from me.
(Exodus 23:25)

The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing.
(Psalm 23:1)

Because I have made the Lord my refuge, the Most High my dwelling place, no harm will come to me; no plague will come near my home. He orders His angels to protect me in all my ways. They support me with their hands so that I don’t even strike my foot against a stone.
(Psalm 91:9-12)

I praise the holy name of God with all my heart. I Bless the Lord and never forget all the glorious things he does for me. He forgives all my sins. He heals me and saves me. He surrounds me with love, kindness, and mercy. He fills my life with good things. He renews my youth like an eagle.
(Psalm 103:1-5)

Everything is possible because I believe in Jesus!
(Mark 9:23)

Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.
(3 John 1:2)

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