Jesus asked what may be the most intriguing question of all, to the most unlikely person. In John 5:6 he asked a crippled man, “Do you wish to get well?”
Well, hello! Our initial reaction is, “Of course he does.” But the fact that Jesus asked it meant that He wanted this man to really think through what it would mean. Here is the crippled man’s response: “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me” (verse 7).
The crippled man doesn’t say, “Of course!” He gives an explanation for his handicap. Or should we call it an excuse?
Could Jesus be pointing out through a question that this man depends upon his excuses to stay in his condition? After so many years of a debilitating disease (38 years), was he comfortable in his problem? What would it mean to be healthy again? Could he handle the responsibilities of normal life?
I wonder how often Jesus asks a similar kind of question of us. Maybe by allowing circumstances that try our patience, He’s asking: “Do you want to give up your disability of anger?”
Is He asking a question by allowing someone to do something hurtful to you? Maybe He’s asking, “Do you want to be emotionally healed by relinquishing your bitterness?”
Or maybe He’s asking the question, “Will you give up your victim mentality?” by orchestrating someone trying to take advantage of you.
“Do you want to get well?” Maybe we need to consider how we might be making excuses for not getting into the waters of healing. Thankfully, Jesus graciously heals this needy man.
John 5 continues with the story: “Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.’ Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.”
The man picked up his mat. He didn’t leave it on the ground just in case he needed to come back and lay down again. What do we need to remove from our lives so that we can walk in health?
Jesus wants to heal us also. Will we get up? Will we remove the thing that makes it comfortable for us to stay in our emotional disability? Will we walk in strength by faith?
I’m so grateful for Jesus’ question and for His healing power. There is hope.