Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Do you want to get well?

Thirty-eight years. According to John 5, that’s how long the man had been an invalid. He was waiting by the pool of Bethesda, hoping to be healed. When Jesus saw this man, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

Why would Jesus even ask?

Honestly. The guy has been lame for thirty-eight years. He’s lying by a “healing” pool, waiting.

Of course he wants to be healed.

But Jesus asks him, “Do you want to get well?”

And the man’s response? “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me” (John 5:7)

Right. It was a yes or no question, but instead of answering, he gives us a list of reasons why he hasn’t been healed. And is it just me, or is his tone kind of whiny?

It’s easy for me to judge this man for his response, and yet I know I do this. I claim to be waiting for Jesus to heal me. I even get upset that he’s kept me waiting too long. And then when He shows up, I hesitate.

I think Jesus asks the man if he wants to be healed because he knows there is a cost involved. For thirty-eight years this man has been lame. Being healed would mean learning a new way of life; working; being productive. As difficult as it was living with his infirmities, for thirty-eight years, it is all this man had known.

Jesus healed the man.

How about you: do you want to get well?


Jenn said...

I have had this same reaction to this story. (It continues with the dude-formerly-known-as-lame blaming Jesus for healing him on the Sabbath, so he doesn't make himself look any better.) But I *still* hesitate, I find. I think most of the time, I want to be healed on my own terms . . . which often isn't true healing anyway.

Thanks for saying this.

Llama Momma said...

Thank you for sharing this, Jenn.

I seem to want a lot of things on my terms! (As do many of us!)

Sandra said...


Very thought provoking. Thank you for this post.

Llama Momma said...

Sandra -- thanks for stopping by and chiming in!

L.L. Barkat said...

I love this little event. Once, I had to speak on it. And I must say that the same thing jumped out at me... the question. Do you want to be made well? And I couldn't really answer it with a resounding yes. Sometimes we like to nurse our old wounds, keep them, for the strangest reasons.

Llama Momma said...

LL -- Yes. It's a strange thing, this holding on of old wounds. A bizarre kind of pseudo-comfort.

Jenny from Chicago said...

Okay, I leapt over here because of your comment on my blog about not including you in the "hip cool single" group I talked about today and I find this...

You are the coolest, hands down.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and we have so many things to be healed from, don't we? You've brought up such good points here.

spaghettipie said...

Isn't that odd that we say we want to be well, but deep down we actually want to stay in the familiar infirmity? It's like we enjoy the idea of being well, but in reality are too scared of what that might require of us. Thanks for sharing your insight.