Over the past few years, there have been a number of movie releases that would make one believe in the good, humanitarian side of people. We are led to believe that if the world was coming to an end, everyone would lay aside their own interests, join forces, and save the world together.
Say there was a movie plot where one guy had waited longer than anyone else—practically his whole life—to enter a pool with the power to heal any disease. Even though the pool would only have power once in a while and there was a huge crowd of people who needed healing, we would still imagine, or even expect, that the poor fellow would be allowed to go first, based on our altruistic ideals.
Well, this actually happened about two thousand years ago and unfortunately, no one even took notice of this man for thirty-eight years (John 5:2-5). What would you have done if you were him? If it were me, I am sure I would have exhausted every possible idea over the thirty-eight years of lying there. “If you help me, I will forever be indebted to you. All you have to do is put me into the pool the next time the water is stirred up. Afterwards, you can put yourself in the pool and then I can serve you for life. It’s a win-win situation.”
Even if this man was a genius, I still don’t think anyone would have helped him. Why? The sad truth is that man’s nature is to be selfish. All the sick people at Bethesda desperately wanted to be healed. Besides that man, there were many who were blind, lame and paralyzed, so nothing made him unique or more deserving to be healed.
In the same way, we may be just like this man. We have been suffering for a long time but no one knows nor takes pity on us. Everyone has their own problems. There is no one to help us no matter what we do or how hard we try. Reality for us is that the world is not fair and everyone is just fighting to survive.
Fortunately for us, we know that Jesus came along, saw this man, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time. This tells us that Jesus is the only one who can see our deepest need even when no one else can. In the same way, He asks us, “Do you want to be made well?”
If we place our hopes in this world and try to rely on our own methods, we may be spiritually immobile and lost for the rest of our lives. More tragically, we would miss out on the greatest help we can possibly obtain in our lifetime. However, if we look to Jesus for help, He not only can make us well but immediately so. Do we have this same faith or are we still trying to fight our own battles today?