Questions that seem obvious:
-Would you like dessert with that?
-Do you want fries with that?
-At buffet, did you get enough to eat?
-Ask Grandchildren: Do you want me to buy that for you?
All the questions SEEM to have obvious answers. The question that Jesus asks the man in our scripture today is very similar. When I read it, it seems like one of those questions that would have an obvious answer. But, as we read, we find out it isn’t as obvious as we might think…
Did you hear the question…”Do you want to be made well?”
This man has been sick for 38 years! That is a really long time to be sick. It would seem obvious that he would want to get well. He has come to the pool, but hasn’t gotten in yet.
But, it isn’t quite that easy. When Jesus asks him the question…he doesn’t come up with a resounding YES as we might expect. Instead, he begins giving excuses why he hasn’t gotten better yet.
Jesus didn’t need the moving of the water or anything else…He had the power and did heal the man instantly.
But, it certainly makes me think a lot about this man. Did he really want to be made well? Or was something else going on? If someone has had something going on for 38 years, it becomes a part of them. It becomes a part of their identity. If he is made well, he isn’t the man with the infirmity. He isn’t the sick man any more.
That is really hard for many of us. It is scary to think about not being who we thought we were or who we have been known as…even if it isn’t positive. It is so scary that often people will choose to stay in their present condition just to avoid being changed…even if it is for the better.
It could be one of the reasons that many people who confess Christ don’t give of themselves completely and wholly to Jesus. If I give of myself completely to the Lord, He is going to change things. If I let Him into my home, things are going to change. If He truly becomes the Lord of my life, He isn’t going to like some of the things in my life. If I trust Him completely, then things may not go as they always have.
The changes could be amazing…they could take us into places that we would have never even thought about. But, the prospects of such are frightening. So, instead, we choose not to be made well. We choose to stay in the ‘rut’ we find ourselves in because at least that is comfortable.
If I truly allow God to change me to be more like Him, what will happen? What will I have to give up? What will I have to do differently? Will I lose friends? What will happen? The unexpected is so scary that we too don’t really want to be made well.
We don’t want to get that close to Jesus until the life we are living becomes unbearable. We don’t really want all of Jesus until we can’t stand to go on. We don’t want Him until we are in such a crisis that we can’t do it alone any more. THEN, we want to be made well because we are willing to do whatever it takes…we are desperate for Him.
What if Christians instead decided to follow Jesus with our whole hearts because we know that He loves us and wants the best for us? What if we jump in with both feet and give God a complete and total devotion because as scary as it is, it doesn’t get any better than following the Master…the creator of the universe…the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? What if we just said yes to Him rather than being frightened…and let His peace rule our hearts and His Spirit so fill us that our lives are forever changed?
What if we just allowed Him to heal us of our sins…our shortcomings…our fears…our anxieties…our selves…and really, truly trusted Him as our Lord and Savior? DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WELL?