Do You Want to Get Well?

 

(John 5:1-14 NIV)  Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. {2} Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. {3} Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. {4}  {5} One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. {6} 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?" {7} "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." {8} Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." {9} At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, {10} and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat." {11} But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.'" {12} So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?" {13} The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. {14} Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."

 

It may seem a bit strange for Jesus to ask the man, “Do you want to get well?” But if you think about it, just a little bit, you will realize that many people say they want to get well but do almost nothing to actually get well. Here is a short list to make the point.

 

1.     The person that has a bad tooth but puts off getting it fixed until there is no choice left.

2.     The person that is overweight but never stays on a diet or exercise regimen.

3.     The smoker that knows that quitting is easy, because they have quit many times.

4.     The person that wants to get out of debt but keeps on over spending.

These examples are physical things but the same holds true for moral and spiritual things.

1.     How about the guy that lusts and has a wandering eye?

2.     The gossip.

3.     The liar that only tells little white lies.

4.     The Christian that only makes it to Church when there isn’t something better to do.

 

All of these people would probably admit they want to get well, but only if they realized they needed to get well. Sometimes we like being sick more than the treatment necessary to get well. And often when a person gets well they go right back to the behavior that got them sick in the first place. Remember what Jesus said, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."

 

We are all aware of people that put themselves into destructive relationships. Mostly women it seems, but also men. It isn’t that they want to be hurt physically or emotionally. If you asked them if they wanted to get well they most likely would answer, “Yes." Still when told to pick up their mat and walk they simply won’t do it.

 

Now it is obvious that I am not talking about you or me, right? The truth is we all choose to be sick at times. It isn’t until we become what is referred to as, “Sin sick,” that we are willing to turn around. In church talk we become willing to repent. We are ready to change. We are ready to get well, at least as concerns a particular area of our lives.

 

When we decide to get well, if we decide to get well, we can receive a healing just as the paralyzed man did. The ultimate healing is what we call salvation. We are saved from the deserved penalty for our misconduct, not because we are worthy or slick but because we have a Lord that loved us so much he was willing to die for us. Yet we still have a part to play. We must decide to get well. We must decide to accept the gift that is free to us but a gift He bought with His own blood. We must decide to choose life even if it costs us the life we currently have. You can’t keep this life forever anyway, why not be prepared to exchange it for a life that is happy, fulfilling and permanent?

 

The question to ask yourself is the same question Jesus asked, "Do you want to get well?" If your answer is yes then join me in affirming your desire to get well.

 

Pray here.

 

Lord Jesus, I am sick in more ways than I care to count and I have been sick all of my life. I find I do things I know I shouldn’t and then make excuses for myself. I have tried to make myself well but I have failed each time without you. I know you created me and love me and desire the very best for me. I know you came and died for me. I needed you and didn’t even know it. I know now that I need you and I want you and I love you. Not just because of my dependence on you but because you have shown me the very essence of love and life. I want to be like you Lord. I pledge to follow you until the journey is complete and the reward is mine. Help me Lord when I am weak and keep me humble when I begin to lean on myself rather than on you. Lord I want to get well and stay well. Thank you Lord for hearing my cry and taking my hand. Thank you Lord. Thank you. I offer this prayer in Your name, the name above all names, the name of Jesus. Amen.