Jesus asked the strangest questions . . . or did He?
It’s feast time in the city. The Lamb enters through the Sheep Gate into Jerusalem and chooses to walk among the lame, the blind, and the withered. Over the course of my young life, I was all three waiting for someone to come along and change my situation.
In John 5:1-9 we see one who stayed sick until he met Jesus. Paralyzed for 38 years, laying next to healing waters, yet waiting for someone to help him in. This man was like many of the infirm that lined the floors, waiting for an annual angel visit to stir the Bethesda healing pool. Waiting for waters to move, because they couldn’t.
As I read the gospel story, I can smell the sickness while walking by the emaciated. I can see the haunting glances and vacant faces of the hurting while pleading for healing mercy.
It’s not just a scene from thousands of years ago in the holy city, but today, everyday . . . we pass by the hurting and withered in spirit.
The question behind the question is “Do you want to be changed?”
So, Jesus looks into the face of one (and every one) and says, “Do you want to get well? The afflicted one, much like us, answers “I cant” . . “I need someone to help.”
What if the paralytic said, “No thanks, I’ll be fine. I can stay here for the other half of my life and keep waiting for someone to put me in.”
Merciful Jesus doesn’t pick him up and toss him in. He says, “Rise up and walk.” The one who couldn’t, now does. Divine healing.
Sometimes afflictions can define us if we let them.
Many of us truly can’t physically get up, but we can spiritually rise up above our excuses, our emotional wounds, and unhealthy patterns that keep us paralyzed on the ground. We can arise from the place of “No thanks!”
We seek expensive healing for our bodies today – or – doctors and pharmaceuticals wouldn’t be so prevalent. However, we have available a free of charge fix for our spiritually sick souls.
But, I might have to change! I might have to quit blaming others for my condition!
Isn’t this how we feel at times?
Look to the One who asks where we hurt and if we wish to get well. He’s waiting for our answer.
Everybody into the pool!
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” John 5:14