Will You Be Made Whole?
James Smith, 1860
That question was asked by the Savior, to the poor sufferer at the pool of Bethesda, and the same question he puts to us.
We are morally diseased, we have been so a long time. We are getting worse and worse. Ordinances of themselves can do nothing for us. We must have a divine physician, or
die forever. There is no question but Jesus can heal us. It is his delight to exert his power, and display his skill. He asks to be employed--but he was never known to refuse to undertake a case. But every one must put himself into his hands, and trust him to effect the cure. We must not mix human quackery with his prescriptions. He must heal, and he must have the praise.
Lost sinner, Jesus asks you, "Will you be made whole?" He is prepared. . .
to heal you,
to heal you perfectly,
to heal you instantly,
to heal you forever.
If you can trust him to do so; if you will put yourself into his hand, then health, healing, and everlasting soundness is yours. He will undertake to do all for you, and all within you. He will procure your liberty, purify your nature, and make you a fit companion for the glorified spirits in Heaven. Only trust him. Only subject yourself absolutely to him, and your salvation is sure.
Seeker, Jesus asks you, "Will you be made whole?" If so, then cease from your own works. Give up all attempts to heal yourself. Let him undertake the whole work. Look to him to be to you a perfect Savior, and healing is certain. Nothing keeps you from Jesus, like your own efforts to obtain healing in some other way. Only give up all attempts to effect any change in yourself, and cast yourself at the feet of Jesus in self-despair, crying, "Lord, save me, or I perish!" Do this, and he is your Savior. Do this, and he will soon say, "Your faith has saved you, go in peace."
Sufferer, Jesus asks you, "Will you be made whole?" He is ready to soothe, support, and sanctify your sufferings. If he heals your soul, your bodily sufferings may be easily borne. Go to him, and tell him what you suffer, and from what cause, open your whole heart, and lay your whole case before him. The very act of doing so, will bring you some relief, and he will either lessen your sufferings--or increase your strength; and will very soon raise you to that state and place where sufferings never come.
Backslider, Jesus asks you, "Will you be made whole? All your wounds are the effects of your wanderings, and your weakness flows from your sin. No one can heal you but Jesus, and if he were anything but what he is, such has been your ingratitude, that he would not. But he is Jesus still. His heart yearns over you yet. He waits to welcome you back. He bids you return unto him, and promises to heal your backslidings, to love you freely, and to restore to joys--the joys of his salvation. My poor backsliding brother, come to Jesus and he will make you whole.
Complaining professor, Jesus asks you, "Will you be made whole?" Your complaints indicate disease, a disease which only Jesus can cure. Come to him and complain before him, tell him all that tries you, all that troubles you. Seek grace from him, roll yourself in the dust before him--and he will turn your complaints to praise. He will heal the irritation of your soul, cause all grace to abound toward you, and fill you with adoring gratitude and love.
Dying Christian, Jesus asks you, "Will you be made whole?" If so, lay your poor weary head on his bosom, fix your dying eye on his bright countenance, commit yourself to him anew, as the destroyer of death, as the resurrection and the life--and you will soon be well. Jesus is the antidote of death. He is the rock of the heart--when heart and flesh fails; and the portion of his people forever. Loose your hold on everything below, lean on the strong arm of Jesus, and soon, very soon will you be able to ask, "O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" Soon will you be able with your dying breath to sing, "The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted!"
Blessed Jesus, and are you ready to heal us? Do you ask each one of us, as you did the poor sufferer at Bethesda, "Will you be made whole?" You know, for you read the heart, that it is the deep-seated desire of my soul, to be made whole. My prayer at this moment is that of the prophet, "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved." Long have I smarted and suffered from sin, long have I been tortured and tormented with this plague of the heart; please heal me, and that soon. Whatever it may cost me of sorrow, or suffering, or humiliation--Lord, heal me!
Let me prove all the virtue of your precious balm. Let me experience all the strengthening power of your living water. Let me realize the efficacy of the leaves of the tree of life, which are said to be for the healing of the nations. Holy and ever-blessed Spirit, lead me to Jesus, and give me to experience now, even now, all his healing power.
O to enjoy good, sound, settled health of soul; that I may labor for God, do all that is commanded by God, and bring great glory to God!
To feel one's need of health is a mercy,
to know that there is a good and great physician is a greater mercy,
to be under his restoring treatment is a greater mercy still--
but to be perfectly and eternally healed, is the greatest mercy of all.