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?”
That’s a qoute from John 5:6. The man has been paraylzed for years and is suffering and Jesus asks do you want to get well? If someone came up to you in your suffering you’d be pretty insulted by that or think its a bit of a silly question to ask someone.
Of course you want to be healed of this illness and so you’d respond right away that you wanted to be healed.
However much it seems like Jesus is asking a stupid question he is indeed not doing so. Jesus knows the parylytic wants to be healed of his physical illness even before he asks but Jesus is asking a much deeper question.
Here’s the thing: Most of us come to God on the rare occassion that we want something. It might be a job, house, car, wife or to be healed of a life long illness.
Jesus on the other hand isn’t asking if we want to be healed of these things but do we want to change our life in which we hold onto our sinful ways and be renewed in the Spirit. To have a complete radical change of life so as to follow him completely with our hearts.
People are like a person standing up to his neck in watery shit. . . right up to their nose where they can just about breath. When someone comes along and offers to take them out of this sewage, putting an end to their torment, the victim replies ”Oh no I’m fine, can you just be careful not to make any waves? because every time waves come I find it hard to breath but I’m quite content where I am.
The victim wants people to stop making waves. He want’s RELIEF but does not want to CHANGE. In fact one could say he’s become so accustomed to shit he is standing in that he is not even aware its there. Isn’t that the perfect picture of us all? we have been so accustomed to secular life from birth that we are not aware we are the victim of something much more sinister or the victim of the secular life which is choking us and preventing us from a relationship with Christ.
The first step to healing therefore must be the willingness to be honest with ourselves and admit we don’t want to be healed, we don’t want to change. We’d rather Jesus give us what we want and get back to being a victim of the secular world with all it’s egoism, anxiety and thrills of power, sex and drink/drugs.
Some of us are up to our neck in it but we don’t see how it’s holding us back from a close relationship to God and how this secular unchristian life is actually the true sickness of our souls that needs to change.
In the Gospel Jesus understands that we want to be healed of our paralysis but he’s asking us all a deeper question for our paraylsis does not effect the eternal. He wants to know do we want to be healed and enter eternal life and become a renewed person who has the awareness now to see that all this power, riches and false wisdom of the world is nothing but an illusion holding us back from tasting the beautiful truth?
The paralysed man in the Gospel doesn’t answer Jesus. He instead just ignores that question and says he can’t make it into the pool to get healed. The man knew what Jesus was asking but he refused to answer the deeper question.
However, even though Jesus healed him he later comes back to find the man in the temple and is upset with his relectance to change his ways. He reprimands him as a loving father and says:
Afterwards, Jesus findeth him in the temple, and saith to him: Behold thou art made whole: sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee.
Wow. Here we find Jesus telling him more clearly: CHANGE YOUR WAYS or else SOMETHING WORSE WILL HAPPEN YOU.
Whats the worse thing that will happen? He will become lost to the eternal fires of hell thats what will happen. and that my dear readers is much worse than any cancer or suffering this world has on offer. to be cast for all eternity into hell and to put ourselves there because of our own fault because we refused to change is just a horrible thought.
So Jesus is asking you and me right now….do you WANT to be healed? stop ignoring the question like the disabled man in the Gosepl did and begin asking questions about what it means to be healed spiritually.
To have a radical change in your life and friends around you or anything within you that you’re holding back being brought to the light, this is what it means to be transformed and healed.
This is the question Jesus is asking you so answer truthfully and admit you don’t want to be healed. You don’t want to let go of your worldly and sinful sickness. I’m the same, letting go is difficult for all of us.