IN THOSE DAYS, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a Jewish feast. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate, there is a pool, called in Hebrew “Bethesda,” which has five porches. In them lay many sick people – blind, lame, and paralyzed – waiting for the stirring of the water. For an angel went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. And whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was made whole from whatever disease that person had. A certain man was there, who had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, He said to the man, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Jesus, “Lord, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. And while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” And Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” Immediately, the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a Sabbath, so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” But he answered them, “The Man Who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the Man Who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” But the man who had been healed did not know Who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found the man in the Temple and said to him, “Behold, you have been made well. Do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Blessed Theophylact commenting on the patience displayed by the paralyzed man, says,
For 38 years he lay there waiting, each year hoping to be healed. But every time, those who were stronger and quicker got to the water before him. Yet he never despaired. The only purpose of the Lord's question, "Do you want to be made well?" was to reveal the paralyzed man's patient and steadfast endurance. What sick man would not want to be healed? And indeed, the paralyzed answers gently and humbly, "Yes, Lord, I wish to be healed, but I have no man who can put me into the water." He does not blaspheme, he does not rebuke Christ for asking a stupid question, he does not curse the day of his birth as we often do, fainthearted as we are, when subject to a much slighter affliction than his. He answers meekly, having no idea to Who he was speaking, but hoping that Jesus would help him into the water. Note well that the Lord asked, "Do you want to be made well?" and not, "Do you want Me to make you well?" He posed the question as He did to avoid any appearance of boastfulness.