Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 244

Act When Opportunity Knocks, August 20

Do you want to be made well? John 5:6.

The healing of the sick man at Bethesda has a lesson of priceless worth to every Christian, a lesson of solemn and fearful import to the unbelieving and the skeptical. As the paralytic lay beside the pool, helpless and well-nigh hopeless, Jesus drew near and asked, in tones of pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” Be made whole! This had been the burden of his desire and prayers for long, weary years. With trembling eagerness he told the story of his efforts and disappointments. No friend was at hand to bear him with sturdy arm into the healing fountain. His agonizing appeals for help fell unheeded; all around him were those who sought for their own loved ones the coveted boon. When at the troubling of the waters he painfully sought to reach the pool, another would be hurried down before him.

Jesus looked upon the sufferer and said, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” There was no assurance of divine help, no manifestation of miraculous power. What marvel, had the man made answer, “It is impossible! How can I be expected now to use my limbs that have not obeyed my will for thirty-eight years?” From a merely human standpoint, such reasoning would appear consistent. The sufferer might have given place to doubt and thus have permitted that God-given opportunity to pass unimproved. But no; without a question he seized his only chance. As he attempted to do what Christ had commanded, strength and vigor came; he was made whole.

Would you, doubting reader, receive the blessing of the Lord? Cease to question His word and distrust His promises. Obey the Savior's bidding, and you will receive strength. If you hesitate, to enter into a discussion with Satan or to consider the difficulties and improbabilities, your opportunity will pass, perhaps never to return.

The miracle at Bethesda should have convinced all beholders that Jesus is the Son of God....

At Christ's command, the paralytic had borne away the simple mat on which he had lain; and now Satan, ever ready with his insinuations, suggested that this act might be construed into a violation of the Sabbath.... It was hoped that a controversy on this point would destroy the faith inspired in some hearts by our Savior's act of healing.—Signs of the Times, June 8, 1882.

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