We all know the street level definition of insanity, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Pam and I see insanity everyday in personal lives, marriages and families. We see the same behavior and habits practiced day after day, and people have the insane idea that things will change for the better. Ain’t happening! Things won’t change without something fundamentally occurring in the lives of the “insane”.
We see a harsh example of “insanity” in John 5:1-5, “Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 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. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.” In this story, a great number of disabled people daily would make their way to a pool in Jerusalem called Bethesda with the superstitious belief that an angel periodically would stir the water. Once stirred, the first person in the water would supposedly be healed. Day after day, a great number of disabled people would make their way to the pool hoping to be healed. They had no other hope. Let’s face it, it was a place for a community of disabled to hang out day after day with a very feint hope of being healed…insanity.
One of the “pool dwellers” helplessly had been sick for thirty-eight years. This man was incapable. Even if the superstition came true, it was physically impossible for him to be the first one in the pool. What insanity and he does this daily!
H-O-W-E-V-E-R, something or should I say, “Someone”, changed the narrative. Verse 6 tells us what happens, “6 When Jesus saw (the invalid of 38 years) lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” Jesus does what Jesus almost always does. In a crowd, He encounters an individual personally. Often these people are hopeless, helpless, and broken-hearted, impossible to help themselves. After learning from others about the man’s physical condition of thirty-eight years, Jesus engages this man, “Do you want to get well?” Jesus asks an insightful question. People often allow their hurtful situations to become their identity…“my depression, my injury, my husband is such a jerk, my wife is an emotional nightmare, my family of origin and my past experiences are irreparable, my anxiety, my mental and my emotional condition…” We often feed off our helplessness. “I can’t get better. That’s just who I am and my plight in life.” Others of us are so numb, we are conditioned not to respond to God’s Word.
“Do you want to get well?” “‘Sir,’ the invalid replied (in verse 7), ‘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 down ahead of me.”’ Even after thirty-eight years and a painful yet emotionally numbing daily walk to the pool, He wanted healing, but someone always beat him to the pool. “Then (in verses 8&9) Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk. At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.’” Desiring to be healed, he responded immediately to the command of Jesus. “At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked!!”
Do you want to get well? Something or Someone has to impact and change your current insane environment, or you will not get well. The good news for you is God loves the broken-hearted, impossible situations, and the helpless.
- Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
- Psalm 147:3 declares, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
- Matthew 17:20 exclaims, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
“Get up! Pick up your mat and (start) walk(ing).” God can heal…start the journey today.