There’s an old adage that says there’s no such thing as a dumb question. Well…that’s debatable. We’ve all heard some that seem to fall squarely in the category of “well, duh!”
Ask me if I could use a million dollars, and I’ve got a question for you—What do you think?!?
One day Jesus asked a man a question that, on the surface, seemed rather silly. This man had been crippled for nearly four decades. He was sitting in a crowd of other sick people by a pool that was known for its healing power. He was apparently just as desperate as everyone else to get into that water and have his turn at being delivered. And Jesus had the nerve to ask him, “Do you want to be healed?”
It almost seems insulting to ask someone in that situation if they want to get better. But Jesus knew exactly what He was saying.
There’s a whole sermon of significance in that one simple query! But one of the most profound truths it conveys is that, to a great extent, your wholeness is wholly up to you. The Person who had the power to heal the man was present, willing, and able to do the deed. Everything was lined up perfectly. But Jesus still asked him if that’s what he really wanted.
That question still challenges us to be brutally honest with ourselves. When we are, we find that the truth is usually a little more complicated than what we would assume. Yes, we want our problems to be over…of course we want to be pain-free…yes, we definitely want to be out from under our burdens, but…
…there’s also a part of us that’s perfectly comfortable sitting right next to the healing waters pretending to wait for our turn.
The truth is that we often don’t want to be healed as badly as we say we do. One reason for this reluctance is that we get used to the privileges that come with our problems. We get used to being taken care of. We grow accustomed to the sympathy and the support. We start to depend on being dependent. Physically, financially, mentally, or spiritually we come to a place where we’re addicted to the attention and unwilling to give it up, even if it means being free from the prison we’ve been in for years. We choose security over salvation.
For some of us, it’s the responsibility of wholeness that scares us. Sure, we want to walk again, but we also know that once you can walk, you’re expected to work. No more begging. No more idleness. No more waiting for someone else to do it for you. So many people use their sickness—whatever form it takes—as their excuse to not grow in life. It becomes the familiar story that they keep telling themselves (and anybody else who will listen) about why they can’t or won’t succeed.
Another reason the honest answer to Jesus’ question might really be “no” is that we just don’t think we deserve it. Guilt is a huge part of why many people stay stuck. Sometimes the painful knowledge of what you’ve done and where you’ve been will have you feeling like your brokenness is exactly what you deserve.
Thankfully, there’s a spiritual remedy for whatever sickness is keeping you sick—a renewed life begins with a renewed mind!
Maybe you need to decide that you’re ready for real renewal, not just temporary relief. That you’re ready for Someone to save you, not just content having someone to sympathize with you.
Maybe you need to make up your mind to get moving in life again. You need to decide that, however scary it may be, growth is always better than comfort.
Or maybe you need to let yourself off the hook. Just give in to the grace that’s being offered. Jesus wants to heal you. Despite the fact that you don’t deserve it, He’s giving it anyway. So just take it.
You didn’t choose to be hurt, but you can choose to be healed. The first question you have to ask yourself is, do you really want to get well?
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