We can be disabled in many ways. Some of us are physically disabled. Others are spiritually, psychologically, emotionally or economically disabled. Here, we will examine two basic questions:
1. “Do you want to get well?”
2. Even more importantly, “are you willing to pay the cost of getting well?”
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 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.  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?” (John 5:1-6)
v 4 in some manuscripts reads:
…and they waited for the moving of the waters. From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.
This paralyzed man had waited at the Pool of Bethesda for 38 years trying to be healed. It seems a little absurd that Jesus would ask him if he wanted to be healed. But in reality, Jesus was asking much more. In the same way, we are asked much more than whether we just have the desire. The unspoken part of this question is “Are we willing to pay the cost?“
Let me ask some pretty basic questions:
1. Do you want to lose weight? The formula for most of us is straight forward… exercise and diet control. But are you losing weight? Are you willing to pay the cost of sweating and forgoing your favorite foods or reducing their portions? Are you willing to pay the cost?
2. Do you want to be more financially secure? Are you willing to set a strict budget and following it faithfully? Are you willing to pay the cost?
3. Do you want to be relieved of the anger and bitterness because you haven’t forgiven someone? Are you really willing to give up the bitterness and anger? Are you able to accept accountability for your own actions? Are you ready to love (agape) your enemy? Are you willing to pay the cost?
4. Do you want to be a true disciple of Jesus? Are you willing to study His Word? Are you ready to pick up your cross? Are you able to forgo earthly things for heavenly treasures? Will you die to your sinful self and become a new creation in Christ? Are you ready and willing to pay the cost?
Jesus told the man at the pool to pick up his mat and walk. He was healed… by his faith.
Faith is so much more than belief. Living in faith requires action. It requires change in what we do and how we do it. Living in faith is a choice.
We can do it… if we’re willing to pay the cost.
My heartfelt thanks to my rabbi, Pastor Michael, who provided the foundation of this message.
Wow. So this is just what I was discussing with my husband the other night. There are things in my life that if I really wanted to go after God in those areas, I could. But am I willing to pay the cost? I can so relate to this.