Do You Want to be Made Well?
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:6)
What kind of question is that? “Do you want to be made well?” Of course, the man wants to be made well. Why would Jesus even ask?
According to John’s gospel, Jesus is at the Sheep Gate leading into Jerusalem near which is a pool. It was believed that there were times when an angel would “stir” the waters of this pool and whoever stepped in first once the waters stirred would be healed of whatever ailed them.
This poor man, who had been “ill for thirty-eight years” had no one to help him in the pool once the pushing and shoving begins as everyone rushes toward the angel-stirred bubbles. But he kept trying. He didn’t give up because he wanted to be made well.
Maybe Jesus’ question goes deeper than whatever his physical infirmity might be.
Later in the story, after Jesus healed him, Jesus finds the same man in the temple and says to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” Could it be the man’s encounter with Jesus healed more than just his physical illness?
We all struggle with out own illnesses, some more serious than others. We seek medical help hoping for a cure or at least some relief from whatever ails us.
But we often struggle with deeper issues, too. Emotional. Psychological. Spiritual. We have our struggles with faith, forgiveness, self-worth, to name just a few. To ask ourselves, “Do you want to be made well?” requires us to admit to these struggles and be willing to face them. Sometimes that can be a tall order. So instead, we focus on our physical well-being and try to ignore the rest.
God’s desire for each of us is abundant life which consists of both physical wellness AND spiritual and emotional wellness. Of course we want our bodies to be whole and we will often go to great lengths toward that goal. Are we as willing to work on our inner selves?
I won’t discount the possibility for miracle healings like the man by the pool, but today I have more confidence in God’s ability to heal what ails me within. Yes, Jesus, I do want to be made well.