To ‘Be’…or Not to Be

by Lester Young

“Will you be made whole?” (John 5:6)

Okay, let’s stop and chew on that for a minute. At first reading, I think it’s easy to find yourself quietly wondering, “Why in the world would Jesus walk up to a man – knowing he’s been sick for decades – and ask him such a ‘seemingly’ simplistic question?!?” Can’t you just hear that guy’s mind thinking, “Do I ‘want’ to be whole?! Look, yo… I’m layin’ here on this porch, lookin’ all sick – right along with everybody else out here, gotta be hundreds of us – and you ask, ‘Do I wanna be whole?’ …Seriously?!?”

We know that Jesus certainly had (and has) a very well-developed sense of humor. (How do we know this? Just look at a face shot of an ostrich and try to tell me the Maker of it doesn’t have a funny bone… but I digress.). Nevertheless, we can be just as sure that the Lord was in no way trying to be ‘funny’ during this interaction with the sick man. Jesus said and did only what He was instructed to by His Father (John 5:19; 8:28), so His inquiry – by its very Origin – could not have been flippant, stupid or anything resembling useless. Let’s do a little digging, then, because obviously something deeper’s going on.

Now, consider the situation. Those sick folk were all lying around the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-9). The word Bethesda literally means “house of kindness” (remember to always take note of the meaning of names in the Bible – both of people and places – because they’re often a big, blinking hint about something). So this was indeed an act of kindness from God that someone got completely healed, even if it only happened only once every so often. The healing was available to anyone… *as long as you were proactive enough after the angel touched the water to be the first one to get in it (John 5:3-4). Now there’s a disclaimer for you.

I’m sure it’s safe to assume that everyone lying around that pool wanted to get healed – to ‘be made’ whole. But how many were actually committed to it? Probably not the full number of them. And how many fewer still were so bulldog committed to getting well that they would’ve done whatever it took to make it happen, up to and including running over the person next to them? Or getting there at three in the morning to make sure they were right at the edge of the pool so they could just roll right in when the proper time came? There were sooo many sick folks out there; all of them wanting to be whole and indeed there for that purpose, yet only one actually got healed at any particular time. Has the thought ever crept into your mind that it ‘seems’ just a little cruel for God to pit people against each other to get their healing? Why, Lord?

Ahh, but Jesus’ very question to the man gives us insight into the vital principle of what’s happening here. You see, His question really wasn’t made in the passive tone; i.e., “Do you want to get well?” I mean, of course the man wanted to get well, and Jesus fully knew that. No, He put forth the much more ‘active’ query, “Are you willing to ‘be’ well? Will you – as an active choice made through your own free will – be this condition called ‘wholeness’? You’ve had plenty of practice ‘be-ing’ sick, thirty-eight years’ worth, in fact. Have you had enough of it yet? Are you ready now to ‘be’ whole? If so, then go ahead and ‘be’ whole, right now! Stop ‘be-ing’ sick – ‘be’ whole! Get up, pick up your bedding, and start walking!”

You know the rest of the story. The man obviously made a decision to ‘be’ whole: he got up, picked up his electric blanket, and walked away. How’d he do that? By trusting what Jesus said to him, and then acting on it. In other words, he obeyed what the Lord told him to do (John 5:19; 8:28). Out of all that crowd of sick people, he was the only one who got well.

The same thing’s true today. Multitudes of people are sick in every way imaginable – in body, in mind, socially, financially. But so few have made the quality decision to just go ahead and ‘be’ whole and free because of what Jesus did for all mankind on the cross. He bought and paid for ‘wholeness’ for all of us. It takes more than simply ‘wanting’ to be whole; everybody wants that. We’ve got to come to grips with the Truth that we’ve already been made completely whole, sound and well in the Anointed Jesus (Colossians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:3), and therefore decide that by faith we’re going to BE just that!

So, how do you ‘be’ whole? Well, it starts with your tongue – that is, with your words (James 3:5-6). Make a firm commitment that you ‘will’ (you choose to) BE whole because wellness in every area of life has already been paid for by Jesus and given to you as a gift… so it’s yours! (Deuteronomy 30:14, 19; Proverbs 18:21; Galatians 3:13-14; 2 Peter 1:2-3) Then, BE it: you believe it, so speak it! (Psalm 116.10; 2 Corinthians 4:13) Instead of saying, “I ‘am’ sick”; begin to declare, “I ‘AM’ healed and well!” (Joel 3:10) Instead of confessing, “I’m broke”; start professing, “Praise God! The Blessing of the Lord is making me rich, so I ‘AM’ rich!” (Proverbs 10:22) Instead of talking the problem, embrace God’s promises as your own and start talking and acting like they apply to you personally – because they do (2 Corinthians 1:20). That’s called “walking by faith” and not by what you see (Romans 10:8; 2 Corinthians 5:7).

God said in Genesis 1:3, “LIGHT, BE!!!” And guess what, it obeyed: light became and ‘was’. You do the same: BE what He tells you you are (2 Peter 1:4). Just follow the man’s example when Jesus told him to get up – believe the Lord’s Word, and do exactly what He tells you to do. That’s really all we’re responsible for; He’ll take care of the rest.

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