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?