It seems like a question with an easy answer, especially for a man who knows everything, so why did Jesus choose to ask it?
Lost? Let me back up a bit. Take a look at the story in John 5:
Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches… 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
Of course the guy wants to get well. Who wouldn’t? I mean he’s been sick for thirty-eight years. He’s hanging by the pool hoping to be healed. It seems like an obvious yes, right? Maybe not.
Jesus realizes that just because someone is sick doesn’t necessarily mean they want to get well.
We all know people who have different struggles that keep them from experiencing God’s best for their life. In many cases we are those people.
It’s like someone who chooses to smoke. They know it’s bad for them and chances are it will end up killing them, but there’s always an excuse as to why they can’t stop.
“Would you like to get well?” 7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
For many of us, Jesus offers healing, but all we offer is excuses.
Would you like to save your marriage? Well, you just don’t know what it’s like to live with her.
Would you like to be debt free? Well, I don’t make enough money.
Would you like to be set free from that addiction? Well, you don’t know how rough my childhood was.
Yet, despite the excuses, Jesus offers healing…with a catch.
8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” 9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!… 14 Afterward Jesus told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”
For many of us, if we’re honest, we want to be healed, but we’re not willing to give up what’s making us sick.
We want a better marriage, but we’re not willing to stop watching porn.
We want more money in our pockets, but we’re not willing to live by a budget.
We want to draw closer to God, but we’re not willing to wake up early in the morning to read His word.
We want to get well but not if it takes work. Not if it means giving up something we enjoy. Not if it costs us something. Many of us choose to stay sick despite Jesus’s offer to heal us.
So, I ask again, do you want to get well?
What’s been holding you back in life? What do you need to let go of? I’d love to hear your comments.