“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’” John 5:6
“Do you WANT to get well?”
Seems like a bizarre question to ask someone, don’t you think? Especially when the person you are addressing has been crippled and definitely very unwell for 38 years. But this is Jesus speaking, whose words always seem to cut to the core whilst offering ultimate healing, and inevitably hold more depth of meaning than we ever first assume. Therefore, I’ll write His question again:
“Do you WANT to get well?”
Here is this poor, lame man, sitting on his mat surrounded by many other sickly and infirm individuals at the pool of Bethesda, in Jerusalem. He waits patiently for the next “stir” of the pool, when it says an angel agitated the water and the first person to take a dip received complete healing. No joke. This must have been the place to be— especially if you happen to be crippled, like our man. So why did Jesus ask him this question? Clearly, He knew the answer, and being the Son of God, He knew this was the foundation being laid for a wondrous miracle. Do you think, maybe, that Jesus asked it so that WE would read it, too?
I may not be physically lame, but have I become spiritually lame, content to sit on my mat? On my big, comfy couch? It’s a dangerous place to be. Have I become complacent in my journey with Jesus, merrily watching others race past me to the pool while I recline in my cozy zone? But the pool is where it’s at— miracles happen there, lives are changed, people are transformed and go on to live vibrantly for Him. Seems crazy not to want in on that…
For me, “Do you WANT to get well?’ could be translated as, “Do you WANT to step out in faith with your writing?’ or “Do you WANT to roll your sleeves up and make a difference in your community?” or “Do you WANT your children to follow me, wherever that may be?” or “Do you WANT to be a strong, gutsy, compassionate Christ follower?”
What might your question be? The one that peels you off the big, comfy couch?
It takes faith and courage to say, “Yes, Lord.” But oh, that pool is soothing and invigorating, and full of potential and promise. In our story, the lame man was completely and instantly healed by Jesus. He didn’t even need to make it to the pool— Jesus was right there for him.
He’s right here for us, too.
We know we have it easy in North America— we’re in no imminent danger of persecution or mistreatment for our faith. We can even be tempted to use Jesus as an “app”… something we can click on and plug into when we’re in the mood. From the comfort of our couches, no less! But He asks more and deserves SO, so, so much more. Not to mention our lives are so much richer and fuller when we give Him lordship and move toward the pool.
It might be time to roll up our sleeves, shimmy off the couch, and take the plunge.
You take courage. He’ll take your hand.
The water never looked better…
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers: