The Question for Pallet Man

Are You Willing To Get Well?

A Brief Study in Faith

John 5:6-9


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When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?”  The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”  Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.”  Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.

John 5:6-9

As Jesus walked through the porticoes by the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, He saw a man lying on a pallet (Pallet Man). Jesus asked Pallet Man a simple question: “Are you willing to get well?” The simple question focused upon not just physical health, but both spiritual and physical health. 1Jesus used the Greek word “ὑγιὴς“. It is often used to describe physical healing, but it also refers to being sound in faith (Titus 1:13). Jesus loved Pallet Man and sought not only his physical healing, but also his salvation. Jesus loves you too. You may think that Jesus met a total stranger (Pallet Man) that day, but Jesus, as God, had known Pallet Man before he was formed in the womb. No one is a stranger to Jesus. He knows you too and loves you, just like He loves Pallet Man to this day.


Problem One–Not Listening To Jesus

Pallet Man was convinced that the only way to get healed was to get into the pool first after it was stirred up. Pallet Man told Jesus all the reasons he could not be made well. We are often convinced of things that impede our healing, just like Pallet Man. Jesus stands before us today ready to help us, if we are willing to listen and believe.

Pallet Man’s first problem was he was not listening to Jesus. Pallet Man did not comprehend that God was standing right in front of him. So often we do not hear the voice of Jesus calling to us. He speaks to us using the Bible, moving our spirits to listen to Him. Jesus stands before us today asking us if we want to get well. He never promised to heal all our diseases, but he did promise to bind up the brokenhearted. 2In Isaiah 61:1, Jesus said that the Spirit of the Lord God (“ר֛וּחַ אֲדֹנָ֥י יְהוִ֖ה“) was upon Him; Yahweh has anointed Me to bring good news to the afflicted and to bind up the brokenhearted (“לַחֲבֹ֣שׁ לְנִשְׁבְּרֵי־לֵ֔ב“). The Hebrew term for break describes a broken arm, requiring binding up for healing (Psalm 10:15; Ezekiel 30:21) Jesus came to bind up the broken heart of Pallet Man and also to give physical healing. The primary mission of Jesus was about the spiritual welfare of people; they needed spiritual healing, resulting in salvation by believing that Jesus the Messiah was their Savior. Jesus wanted them to believe in Him for salvation and so did works of powers.



Problem Two–The Broken Heart 

If you listen carefully, you can hear the broken heart of Pallet Man. He told Jesus that he had been lying there for thirty-eight years. He had never been made well because he could not get into the water first. Someone else always beat him into the water and that person was healed. Pallet Man must have seen many other people healed over thirty-eight years, but he thought he had no one to help him. He knew the loneliness of the broken heart. God had helped many others, but he remained Pallet Man.

Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted. Jesus knew about loneliness, but He was never alone. His Father was always with Him. Jesus knew about affliction, because He knows all affliction and loves the entire world. Jesus also knows about depression. Pallet Man was tied to his pallet, unable to get up. He thought he could not be healed without someone to carry him into the water. For thirty-eight years, Pallet Man knew no one had ever helped him get into the water first. There was no healing by being the second, third, or later person getting into the pool. It had always been you had to be first. Pallet Man was never first. Jesus came to bind up the broken heart of Pallet Man, and Pallet Man did not even see past his broken heart to behold the Messiah standing before him. Jesus was anointed (the root word of Messiah in Hebrew) to heal people just like Pallet Man. The Ruach of Adonai Elohim was upon Jesus for binding up the broken hearted.



The Commands

Jesus focused Pallet Man’s attention upon his own will. Jesus asked:  “Are you willing to be made well?” Jesus came to heal broken hearts. He promised to heal them by His divine power working through the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon Him. That same Holy Spirit power will come to bear on your broken heart if you are willing. Jesus lives and stands right before you asking you if you are willing to have the Holy Spirit bind up your broken heart today. If you are willing, then hear the three commands of Jesus:  “Arise, pick up your pallet and walk.”

First, Jesus commanded “Arise!” When we hear the command of Jesus saying “Arise,” we make a choice with our wills. We may choose to obey Jesus and start listening to His commands and obeying them. Jesus said He gives rest to the weary by putting His yoke upon them. The weary must believe that Jesus has a light yoke and His burden is easy. The weary must believe that Jesus will give them rest for their souls. 3See Matthew 11:28-30. Pallet Man heard the command and was instantly made well. He stood up.

Second, Jesus commanded “Pick up your pallet.” Having been made well, the time had come to pick up his pallet. That pallet meant a lot to Pallet Man. He had been laying on pallets for thirty-eight years beside Bethesda. Because He had been made well, Pallet Man stood up and picked up his pallet. He had not stood up and picked up that pallet in thirty-eight years. That pallet symbolized thirty-eight years of affliction and broken heartedness. He was no longer lying on it. He was carrying it away for the first time in thirty-eight years. Some of our heartaches last thirty-eight years too. Jesus can bind up our broken hearts. He commands us to carry away all our pallets and put them away for good.

Third, Jesus commanded “Walk.” Jesus did not say you have been made well and sit still. He commanded Pallet Man to walk. The porticoes were filled with people waiting to be healed. They were all going to understand that Pallet Man suddenly stood up, picked up his pallet, and walked away. Many people knew Pallet Man had been lying there for a long time. Many people know you have been suffering for a long time. Jesus came by that day and bound up the broken heart of Pallet Man. News of Pallet Man walking would spread all over Jerusalem and beyond. Pallet Man walked because he listened to the voice of Jesus. Jesus never promised to heal the physical bodies of everyone, but He did promise to bind up the brokenhearted.



Seeing, Listening, Obeying, Walking

Pallet Man did not recognize Jesus standing before Him. He heard Jesus ask him: “Are you willing to be made well?” He gave lame excuses for not being well, but Jesus healed him anyway. We all have lame excuses for our unbelief. Jesus healed Pallet Man, bound up his broken heart, and ordered him to sin no more so that nothing worse comes upon him. Seeing Jesus, listening to Jesus, obeying Jesus, and walking with Jesus changed Pallet Man forever. Are you willing to be made well today?

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