Yesterday I heard a teaching from one of the well-known pastors in the world. This pastor spoke on the story of the man in John 5 who was crippled. The story tells of how this man has been crippled for 38 years and how he used to wait at the Bethesda pool where sick people gathered, hoping to get healed. When Jesus asked this man if he wanted to be healed, his response was, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Jesus told him to get up, pick up his mat and walk, and the man was healed! Now this pastor interpreted that this man wasn’t healed earlier in his life because he had been avoiding responsibility and that he blamed others. The pastor went on to say, Jesus didn’t feel sorry for him but commanded him to get up and walk.
Now this got me thinking. I personally would rather disagree with the Pastor’s teaching. I have found that the Word of God is subject to one’s interpretation but I do believe this is a rather incorrect interpretation of what really happened. I believe that this man hadn’t been healed in 38 years because his time for healing had not yet come. If we look at the story of a blind man being healed in John 9, I believe we can find a reasonable explanation as to why the crippled man had not yet been healed. The man in John 9 had been blind from birth, Jesus disciples asked “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus’ answer gives us a very straightforward explanation, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” I believe the same applies to the crippled man in John 5. His healing was for an appointed time for the glory of God. So for one to say he hadn’t been healed because of his attitude is wrong to me. I ask the question, so if my attitude is right and I have been praying and believing for something, how come I haven’t seen the result manifest? Are you still going to point out that there is still something wrong with my attitude?
Another possible reason the crippled man hadn’t been healed until then may have been for the salvation of his soul. It is possible this man did not believe in God and only believed that his healing would only come from the stirred waters. In this instance, his healing would have been set for an appointed time for the salvation of his soul.
This brings me to a word I first heard a while ago. The word is Maktub. I found this translation of the word on the internet from this website http://www.mysticsaint.info/2006/06/maktub-what-does-it-mean-that.html. “Maktub is an alchemist term (arabic word) which literally means it is written. From mystical point of view, it points to the fact that whatever happens is already known to the One. It signifies that Destiny exists. It points finger to the fact that everything is already known to God.”
I believe in an appointed time for everything. I believe the appointed time for what we are believing for is coming! God has set a time for His glory to be manifest in us. Psalm 139: 16, “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
Habakkuk 2: 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.