“Do you want to get well?”

It’s an odd question, right? It must have given the man pause as he lay under the colonnade beside the Pool of Bethesda, where a great many disabled and disenfranchised gathered daily. Of course he wanted to get well. Who wouldn’t want healing? Why else would they keep coming back, waiting for their chance to be first to the poolside when the angel of the Lord stirred the waters?

From time to time, the angel came, and there was a mad rush to hobble or crawl or drag yourself to the pool anyway you could. Yet the man’s response to Jesus’ question—those questions that always pierce the heart of the matter—was almost as curious as the question itself. In fact, it was hardly an answer at all. “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. Someone else always gets there first.”

Jesus met the man’s despair with a word of healing. “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once he did, cured in an instant by his encounter with the compassionate Presence of the One who heals. The One eager to meet the hunger for wholeness in the heart of the “forgotten.”

The Pool of Bethesda was shallow hope for the broken; they competed for benefits the pool seemed to offer only to a lucky few. Futility and disappointment must have lingered for those left behind when the lucky one danced away, leaving them to wonder when their turn might come.

“Do you want to get well?”

The question invites us to anticipate the reality of Jesus’ Presence with us – the Presence that changes everything – even broken hearts and bodies. In many ways, the Pool of Bethesda was a foreshadowing of the greater gift: the Presence of God in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We miss the goodness of God and the manifestation of his Presence if we do not give place to His promise.

“I will send you another helper, the Spirit of truth who will remain constantly with you. You know the Spirit because He lives with you, and He will dwell in you,” Jesus promises in John 14. “I will never abandon you like orphans: I will return to be with you. You will know that I am in the Father, you are in me, and I am in you. I will love you and reveal My heart, will and nature to you.”

What about you? Do you want to get well?

Have you made room to experience the reality of God’s Presence in your life?

How do you respond his invitation to come, to abide, to rest in Him?

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