Expand

"Do You Want to Be Healed?"

We've all heard it said, "There's no such thing as a dumb question."

I'm not so sure that's really the case. I have heard some dumb questions in my 28 years so far. (For example, "Do you know you're short?" I can't begin to tell you how many times I heard that one growing up.)

And then I grab my Bible and read through the stories of Jesus' life. To be honest, there are times I read the accounts of His curious interactions with people and wonder what was going through His mind when He posed questions to people.

One such story is found in the fifth chapter of John. You may have heard sermons preached on this passage. You may have even read this story yourself. Often this story is referred to as "The Healing at the Pool" or "Jesus Heals a Lame Man."

To begin with, this man was lame. And lame, in biblical times, wasn't a way of saying he wasn't cool. It means, in the most literal sense, this man could not walk. We discover he had been this way for 38 years. I don't believe wheelchairs had been invented yet. That means this man was dependent on the mercy of others.

We also find out he spent most of his time lying by the pool; however, he wasn't looking for a tan. He was hoping to be healed. And according to legend, this pool—the Pool of Bethesda—was known for its healing powers. The Bible tells us an angel would stir the waters of the pool at any random time and heal the first to enter. Every time the water was stirred, though, this lame man was pushed aside by those less lame (literally and figuratively).

But today will be different.

Enter Jesus.

Jesus opened His mouth and uttered what can only seem like one of those dumb questions I referred to earlier. 

"Do you want to get well?"

Talk about a dumb question—every time I read this, I wonder what in the world Jesus was thinking. Then my mind wanders to the lame man, and I put myself in his shoes—er, I mean sandals. And I can't help but think that after laying there day in and day out, this man would have made some smart remark.

"No, Jesus, I can actually walk. My friends and family just carry me here so I can pick up the ladies. The sympathy card works wonders! ... Of course I want to be healed. I can't walk! I've been this way for 38 years!" 

I tend to think there was more going on here than meets the eye. Given the fact that Jesus is God in the flesh and that circumstances made the answer to His question quite obvious, I can only conclude Jesus was talking about something not-so-obvious. You see, God doesn't ask us questions because He lacks information. He's omniscient.

Let's try to unpack this question by looking at it in a different light. Perhaps Jesus was digging deeper and asking things like: Do you really want things to change? Are you ready to leave behind all of the excuses? Can you handle the responsibilities that will become a regular part of your life now?

Being healed changes everything. Sometimes our healing comes with a price tag. The question then becomes, Are we willing to pay the cost? Are we willing to do what it takes? Often, I wonder if we want to be healed but aren't ready for the change that it brings.

Believe it or not, there are many people who do not want to be healed. Their ailments (physical, mental and emotional) have come to define them. They do not want divine help with their problems. They do not want to be helped out of their weakness. They are used to thriving on the sympathy and pity of others. They sometimes flee from assuming responsibility for their own lives. People will openly turn their backs on the deliverance offered them, all because of the responsibility that will come with it.

Maybe putting this into everyday scenarios makes this easier to grasp:

"Do you really want the responsibility of a promotion, or is it more comfortable to complain about your current workload and money?" 

"Are you ready for the sacrifice of being in community or starting a relationship, or are you used to the self-pity of being alone?"

"Do you really want to forgive that person and move on, or is it easier to distance yourself from the pain they once caused you?"

"Are you willing to change your lifestyle habits, or will it take too much energy to quit your unhealthy routines?"

As Jesus points out in a roundabout way, you cannot help someone who doesn't want to be helped. So, the question remains: "Do you want to be healed?"

Jordan Davis is an aspiring writer, aspiring preacher and aspiring pastor. Every day, he is trying to figure out what it means to follow in the footsteps of an itinerant Rabbi.

10 Comments

85,229

Anonymous commented…

Awesome devo-article Jordan.

85,229

Christian Woman commented…

Rush Limbaugh Issues DMCA Takedown To Censor Sexist Video Criticism..

.

Streisand effect : lets go forth and multiply this video the sexist Rush hates.

.

53 of Rush Limbaughs most vile smears against Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/...

http://www.dailymotion.com/vid...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

http://www.veoh.com/watch/v312...

85,229

SevenBlueSeven commented…

As someone who is a brain injury survivor from chronic carbon monoxide poisoning (along with other injuries) - I am OK with being disabled. I am OK with not being healed and I find PEACE in my situation.

I can related better to Job and his experience of loss - the lesson from his story is that it could happen to anyone. And the recovery of 'lost' family or property is not guaranteed by God. God just promises to walk with us - not that life will be perfect and we will never experience pain or loss.

Paul also had his 'thorn in his side' that he lived with and yet he was still able to be faithful to the Great Commission. Apparently, Paul was also shorter than average and also bald - he was not going to win any bachelor competitions.

God does not require perfect people to be guided by the Holy Spirit or to share His love with the world.

God more often than not uses imperfect vessels to bring His perfect love and grace to a situation. I feel as though there is less of me, so that I can allow more of God's love and grace flow through me. I do not see my condition(s) as a limitation but as an opportunity for God to use me in a more unique way than I thought I would be in my imperfect/human logic before experiencing the injury.

God needs imperfect people just as much as normal people. God needs scientists as much as He needs preachers. God needs artists as much as he needs farmers. The same goes for disabled people as those who are in good health.

Those of us with disabilities can bless others in surprising ways of encouragement, perseverance, compassion and breaking of prejudicial barriers. For those of us who have experienced injury, it is good for those of us to come to a place of peace like this. Because there are other people out there (both believers and non-believers) that need to hear and see God's grace and love to know that God cares for them in their situation. I am able to related to returning military personnel who have sustained Traumatic Brain Injuries from IEDs or other injuries. This puts me in a humble place to speak God's love into their situation and that recovery is possible. Sure, we might not be the same again; but we can grow as people and our faith can grow; maybe even more-so than if we had not been injured.

For me, it is not a question of if I am healed or not that is important. But how am I reflecting Christ to the world and honoring God with my life. That is more important than being in perfect health. Regardless of if I am as rich as Solomon or as lowly as Job - I do not care. Win, lose or draw, all I want to do is to love God with all of who I am. Heart. Mind. Soul. Strength. AND Disability!

I do not see my disability as an excuse to not grow in my faith or be responsible for my life as the author suggests. My capabilities might be different than someone else - but that does not mean that I am not capable. I feel that that suggestion is insulting to me as well as to what God is doing in my life as a person with these life-changing injuries.

I can see how some people do not want to be 'healed' of certain sins in their life. Such as, alcoholism or other addictive behaviors. Or maybe someone who is crippled emotionally because there are still people they need for forgive or themselves. Unfortunately, I think that they are the ones that should be addressed by what the author suggests more so than someone like myself. But, knowing that people in situations like that - they are all too often comfortable with their sin/injury and do not want to be healed. Then again, that is where recovering alcoholics and others who have received healing and have chosen to be sober are also necessary. They are the ones that can best relate to those who do need the suggested healing and help share God's love with them in their situation.

I feel that the author did not write his article well enough to get across their intended point. It is vague and not clear about whom would be the audience for his concept of healing. I feel that the author is trying to challenge people to apply their faith and God's love to their life to change and grow as people. That means, forgiving others and themselves, receiving His love and being honest with God, themselves and others. But this is also not clear. The author's message is not clarified adequately with the given examples and gets lost in metaphors. I feel that a better literary approach could have been used by the author to bring insight and inspiration for the reader to be open to the whole-person healing of God's love. If anything, I think the author could have better encouraged and challenged the reader to consider how we can reflect Christ into people's live who do need the healing that only comes from His salvation and love.

Jonathan Horne

1

Jonathan Horne commented…

Lost in Memphis,

God is only part of the answer. He won't do it FOR you, rather he will do it WITH you. We often forget that we must get up, and move to show him our commitment. You don't have to wait by the pool because he is ready now to welcome you back into his loving arms! Do your part and he will do his.

Dave Knickerbocker

7

Dave Knickerbocker commented…

I've often wondered about this question as well! A friend of minewas born with spina bifida and doesn't have the use of her legs. I asked her this question because it would hit home for her. She said that it's scary looking at life in a new way. There will be questions of performance, but there's also the learning how to live in an entirely new way - much like you share here. I've included her story in my first book, and an excerpt with her courage with weight lifting is in an excerpt on my blog: http://daveknickerbocker.wordp...

Great post.

Please log in or register to comment

Log In