Yesterday I was reading in John 5 where Christ heals the invalid man laying by the waters at Bethesda.
Something struck me about this story and it’s been on my mind a ton since then.
This man had been laying there for THIRTY EIGHT years. Not a month, or even a decade, 38 years. So I would think, when Jesus sees the man there, he would instinctively go to him and heal him immediately. Maybe he would say something like, “My name is Jesus, and you are healed.”
But instead, He asks the man, “Do you want to be healed?”
Of course this man wants to be healed, right? He’s been laying there so close to the healing waters. But maybe Jesus asked him BECAUSE he had been there for so long. Essentially saying, “Why aren’t you already healed? You’ve been here for close to four decades?”
That got me thinking. I wonder how many times Christ has to ask me this question. Or a question like it.
“Do you want peace today?”
“Do you want wholeness?”
“Do you want joy and life?”
Of course I want peace, wholeness and joy! “Well then why aren’t you walking in it?” The truth is, maybe, just maybe we like the attention of being invalid. Maybe we’re more comfortable lying where we’ve been for the majority of our lives. Maybe we’ve become friends with the other invalids and would hate to leave them there while we walk in newness.
There are a thousand reasons that we might answer no to this question. But how ridiculous! Christ knew that before He could do what only He could do, he needed to ask the man, “DO YOU WANT TO BE HEALED?”
What’s awesome is the man didn’t get frustrated at the question, or demand anything from Jesus. He basically said, “Yes, but I can’t do it on my own.”
And that was the perfect answer.
So now the question turns to us, “Do you want to be healed?”