Finding God's Winning Spirit

Living Life Poolside

January 30, 2014 | Greg Smith | Christianity


Speaking from a Christian therapist’s point of view I believe that the most powerful, yet challenging, words spoken by Jesus in the New Testament are found in John 5:6. These words are in a form of a question asked to the paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda (and of course to you and me). That question was simply, "Do you wish to be healed?" (NIV).

The Pool of Bethesda was a local water spring positioned on the eastern side of Jerusalem near the Fortress of Antonia. The name Bethesda means "house of mercy”. This particular pool had five porches and according to the Bible there was a tradition that anytime an angel stirred the waters the first person in the pool was healed. It was here at the Pool of Bethesda that Jesus healed the man who was lame for thirty-eight years.

What is so powerful about this simple question? The answer is that it is not simple at all. In the original Greek this question translates, "Do you wish, desire or are you willing to be pure, well, whole, sound or healthy”. Jesus simply does not ask the paralytic, or you and me, if we simply want to get well or "get fixed" but rather if we are willing to be transformed. It is a daily question that will require faith, dedication and our total commitment.

It is not a simple question because Jesus is not looking for a simple yes or no answer – it is more of a contract than question anyway – a simple yes will not get it done. We are being asked to activate our spiritual lives and maximize the gifts God has given us - to move His kingdom forward. We are being challenged to make a difference, to do, to perform at a much higher level.

It is a challenging question because it is a question that we cannot dodge. We cannot answer this question as did the paralytic with the excuse that “there is no one there to put us into the pool” or that we have been sick too long. It is a question that hangs in the air waiting for a response – waiting for us to commit to our Lord. It is free to us therefore putting the ball in our court.

What does it mean for us to answer Christ in the affirmative? Well, our answer is no less simple than the question. As we see with the paralytic (John 5:8-14) once we become willing to be healed our lives can and will drastically change.

Obviously the interaction between Jesus and the paralytic was not about asking or answering a question. It was a fundamental theological truth put into simple question form which is, “God loves us and wants us back. He wants us fulfilled and healthy – He wants us to take up our mats and walk”.   

We all reside at the Pool of Bethesda from time to time and are infirmed in one way or another. It does not really matter if our particular paralysis is emotional, physical or spiritual but what does matter is how long we have been laying poolside. The good news is God is holding out his healing hand and for us to be pure, healthy, whole, or "well" - all we need to do is take it. 

Love your explanation of the ques. in Greek. Such great insight!
Posted by Joelene Vickers on
i really understand this now :-)
Posted by karesa Adams on
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