After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 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?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. (John 5:1-9, NRSV)
There was a man who laid by this pool every day and he had been ill for 38 years.
When the pool was stirred by the angel, which was what tradition said happened, and the first person in the pool would be healed. The man could not make it to the pool before someone else would get in and be healed.
So Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to be made well?”
This seems to be an easy question. I know many people that if I were to ask them this question the answer would be a resounding YES!!!! Most of us, if held back by something we can be healed from, would jump at the chance to be healed.
But this man gives excuses. He has no one to put him in the pool. He can’t move fast enough to get in the pool before someone else. It could be he was complacent in being as he is. And changing that, by being healed, would cause him more harm than staying ill. His life was ok and why upset that.
“Do you want to be made well?”
How would you answer Jesus?