Do You (Really) Want to Be Well?
Text: John 5:1-9
Theme: Some people aren’t ready to be healed.
Key verses: “One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ ‘Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘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.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked” (v. 5-9).
What God said to me: Dwayne, are you listening? Are you focused on me and my Word this morning? You are often distracted by your busyness and the things around you. Stop, focus, listen and learn what I have to say to you. This invalid man had been there 38 years. Imagine that for a moment. Imagine lying there day after day, struggling to get a spot near the water. It wasn’t that he was immobile or incapable of getting to the stirred water; he just wasn’t fast enough. In that length of years, you’d think he could have made friends with someone to help him or somehow gotten creative and determined enough to get to the water first. Now, imagine the scene from Jesus’ perspective. There was a “great number of disabled people” lying around pool. Many of these had, like the invalid man, most likely been there for years. Some of them had no doubt grown accustomed to their blight, perhaps even accepted it and grown morbidly comfortable in their situations. Ever wondered why Jesus asked such an obvious question to the invalid man? Maybe Jesus sensed that some lying there had lost motivation and stopped trying to get well. Maybe he sincerely wanted to know if that particular man was truly ready for a change, a change that would affect everything about his life from there on out. Think about it: Healing would mean no more relying on others to bring him food each day. Healing would mean no longer being dependent on the government or neighbors or friends. Healing of his body would mean having to work for a living and provide for himself–something he had never had to do before. So, was healing really all it was cracked up to be? Dwayne, many people today say they want their lives to change; they say they want health again, but do they really? Some have grown comfortable in their needy situations. They have grown so dependent on others that they have lost the hope and desire to be responsible for their own provisions and help. Jesus knew that before he could heal him, the invalid man had to really want to be healed; he had to want his life to change. So I ask you, Dwayne: Do you want to be “healed” and delivered of your sinful habits and selfish ways? Do you really want to change and forsake your old lifestyle to live a life of holiness and responsibility? Do you want to die to what you were, to what you’ve come to morbidly enjoy, and be made whole? When you come to that point, then I will help you overcome and change and be made perfectly whole.
What I said to God: Lord–no, scratch that; I’m not sure I’m ready to call You “Lord” just yet–Holy, omnipotent God and Savior, You have seen right through me today. Once again Your Word has cut through me like a two-edged sword exposing the deepest parts of me. You know my pride, my lust, my selfish thoughts and ways. Do I really want to be well? Yes, I think I do. Lord, I believe in You; please help my unbelief. Thank You for reminding me that people have to want to be made well. Thank You also that You put the want-to inside of us, and that You give us the push and power we need to take up our long overused, proverbial mats and start to walk in freedom and wholeness. I need Thee every hour–and I need You now–as do my family and friends who also need some “Want to” from You today.