One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” John 5:5-7
Whenever I first read that verse, my initial thought was, “Jesus, of course he wants to be healed! Why else did he lay by the pool everyday waiting for the angel to stir the waters?” So why did the all-knowing Son of God ask such an obvious question?
Who would say no to their only hope of restoration? I think I’m starting to understand why Jesus asked such a seemingly “obvious” question. Just because someone has had a chronic problem or a disability, don’t assume that he or she wants to be fixed.
They key word I want to emphasize here is chronic, essentially something that has existed over a long period. When you live with something for so long, you kind of forget how things were before. In this man’s case in the passage, he had always been crippled. He essentially never experienced a better life. On a very small scale, it’s like eating corn flakes for cereal every day, but you never tried Lucky Charms.
Now think back to when you didn’t have Christ in your life. You were dead inside, a walking talking zombie destined for hell, but did you know that at the time? Did you comprehend an iota of what redemption meant as an unbeliever? No, of course not! Until you have tasted the living waters that Christ offers, you will remain in your chronic state of “living”.
One case that has really bothered me this rotation is about a 26 year old female who has hyperthyroidism. This young woman has an overactive thyroid causing her entire metabolism to be in a chronic accelerated state. Now this can easily be fixed after seeing an endocrinologist to get treatment. Here’s the problem: she refuses to see the one person who can heal her due to expenses. Over a year passes by, and her condition had deteriorated by the time I see her in the clinic.
I wish I could share with you the audible recording of her heart. Instead of a normal heart beat of “lub dub”, I heard “whoosh whoosh”. It was the worst heart murmur I had ever heard. She was showing other signs of heart failure, and when I left her room with my preceptor he turned to me and said, “She’s going to die.”
Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. John 5: 8-9
My heart felt so heavy for the entire situation, but I was grateful when she said that she would try to see the endocrinologist soon. (I can only hope and pray that she is not too late.) How many people do you have in your life who have not accepted the Gospel of grace and hope and are facing eternal damnation? Do they even know that they have a chronic problem?
It starts by asking some seemingly obvious questions. Why do you get out of bed every morning? What is your purpose and why? Do you feel like something is missing? Then you ask what Jesus asked: Do you want to be healed? Just as this girl had to face an expense to see the endocrinologist, the lost sinner also has an expense to pay. While Jesus paid the ultimate expense in order to clothe us in His righteousness, we are called to step out in faith and lay down our past, our sins, and our struggles onto Christ. That may seem like an easy thing to do, but that initial, detrimental step is the difference between life and death.
If you are reading this, I pray that you latch on to the hope of Christ’s finished work with all that you have. You will never regret it, and you will taste and see that the Lord is good! Claim your new life now! Don’t wait a day for complete restoration.
Sometimes what’s obvious is completely hidden. If you have the eyes to see, ears to hear, and feet to walk, then lead the way for the blind, deaf, and crippled. If you have already received healing through His grace, then share the cure!