John 5:6 “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?”
Called Out Of His Comfort Zone
This man was taken aback by Jesus’ question. He had resigned to his unhealthy condition and it became a way of life. When he initially became lame he did his exercises very religiously as advised by the doctor, he found an accountability partner in his friend, he maintained a journal to pen his future plans. But he made little improvement. Then one day his superstitious aunt told him about Bethesda pool which presumably healed others. So he moved beside the pool to get healthy and whole. But alas his condition did not improve. His friend moved out of town on a job, his family stopped visiting and his journal stayed untouched. The last 38 years beside the pool had finally taken its toll; his desire to get whole has died away. He had finally come to accept his condition, he made some friends, he got used to a routine, he started a card club and had finally settled down to a pool side view. He got used to the religious Jews who threw in a couple of coins after blowing the trumpets. He got used to the pressing crowd during the festive time at Jerusalem. He held out his hand to the crowd for alms. Amidst the crowd he was amazed when Jesus lovingly held his hand and asked if he really wanted a new healthy life style. He dodged the question and presented his case “you see, I don’t have any one to help me get well”. He was rudely awakened to confront his attitude of denying his responsibility. It was a call to get out of his comfort. Jesus asked the question again to which the man now embarrassed, replied “Yes, I want to be healthy again”.
No matter how unhealthy we find ourselves in, we endanger ourselves by getting comfortable in those circumstances. God calls us out of our unhealthy habits and practices to wholesome and purposeful living. Instead of blaming others, let us own up and endanger ourselves by saying “the buck stops with me” only then will we open the door to healthy living.
John 5:8 Then Jesus said to him “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” At once the man was cured, he picked up his mat and walked.
Called To Commit Himself
The last thing he wanted to pick up was the mat that had contained him for so many years. The mat was a reminder of his past. He wanted to do away with it. But Jesus asked him to carry his mat. As he made his way through the festive crowd he was questioned by the religious police of his time. Instead of delighting in his healing they took offense at his carrying his mat. He bore witness to Jesus his healer and publicly committed himself to obeying his new master in defiance of the rules of man. He cared less for people who would wish him to stay comfortably upon a mat rather than commit himself to obey Jesus.
We are not only called out of our comfort but into a new public commitment of our choices for wholesome living. We may have to be accountable to a friend or group of people that can encourage us to stay on course on our new pathway.
Prayer: Lord, so often I find myself comfortable in practices that give rise to unhealthy relationships, unhealthy usage of time and resources and unhealthy eating habits. Renew my mind and give me strength to break free from such practices and commit myself to healthy people who love you and your ways. In Jesus name, Amen.
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