By Miriam Rossow
Do you want to get well?
What kind of question is this? The answer seems obvious. Do you know anyone who is sick; mentally, emotionally, or physically that doesn’t want to get well? I don’t. When I am sick I don’t want to stay that way. When my kids and husband are sick they certainly don’t want to stay that way. It is uncomfortable. It hurts. Being sick is yucky.
So what is this question that Jesus asked about? Why would He even bother to ask. Even in our mortality and humanness we know the answer to be yes. Why would this Jesus who is God in the flesh, who knows all, even need to ask this question? He knows the answer. He knows the answer is obviously, yes! I want to get well after a day of being sick and this guy has been sick 38 years! Yes, is the answer.
No one wants to stay sick.
Or is it? Look at the text again. The man doesn’t answer the question with a yes, heal me or a yes, help me to the pool. He simply gives an excuse of why he can’t get well.
When I move past thinking of physical wellness I can see myself in this guy a little bit more. Of course I want physical healing, but what about mental or emotional or spiritual healing? Those, although on the surface I would answer yes, in reality I would likely hold onto the ‘illness’ a bit tighter.
If by, ‘Do you want to get well?’ Jesus means, ‘Do you want to change your life or allow me to change your life?’ then I would not be so quick to answer yes. Now I think I am standing in the shoes of this man in John 5.
On the outside I want conformity to the Christian life but, do I want an actual transformation of my life? Do I want to be touched by this Jesus in a way that brings a new life? Do I want this Jesus to touch my life in a way that changes what I know and how I live? When I think about it that way I can sit and offer up my excuses that allow me to stay in the life I have.
Do I want this Jesus to touch my life in a way that changes what I know and how I live?
Jesus, don’t blame me for not praying. I’m too busy. Jesus, don’t blame me for not reading the bible. I’m too tired. Jesus, don’t blame me. I’m taking care of my children or my family. Jesus, don’t blame me. I can’t change until the church figures out what they are doing. Jesus, don’t blame me. I am the pastor’s wife and no one wants to truly be my friend. They just want to use my influence with my husband. Jesus, don’t blame me for not having a relationship with you. It isn’t my fault.
Jesus, don’t blame me.
How easy it is to sit in these excuses. Jesus is inviting us to more. In this question, like the last two questions, Jesus is inviting us to step into the reality of our lives and experience it in the light of Him. Jesus invites us to say ‘who are you to offer healing? Or Yes, Lord I want to get well. Help my unbelief. Jesus invites us to lay the excuses and our life before the cross. In the light of the cross these excuses look different. The excuses fall away and we can see the invitation to get well as an invitation for the power of Jesus to transform our lives.
It is His healing power. Jesus can work even outside our unbelief and in our excuses and yet He invites us to believe. He invites us to answer, ‘Yes Lord, I want to get well.’ And then as He pours Himself out on us and for us our lives are changed.
Jesus can work even outside our unbelief and in our excuses and yet He invites us to believe.
What excuses do you need to lay before the cross? What excuses are keeping you from seeing and experiencing the healing power of the Jesus in your life? What excuses keep you from seeing and feeling Jesus pour Himself out for you?
Do you want to get well?