I have some major issues with this story. First, letís examine the facts. To start with, the man had been blind for a number of years- not since birth. This would indicate that something happened in his life that caused him to be blind. He went to the pools to get healed, apparently oblivious to Jesus. Either he knew who Jesus was and simply didnít care that he was there, or he had no idea that he was literally in the presence of a possible miracle. Jesus took the initiative and asked him politely enough if he wanted to be healed.
ďEvery time the water is stirred someone gets in ahead of me.Ē
If I had a mini violin Iíd play the saddest song I could think of. (Assuming I could play the violin, of course). This manís mind was obviously on other things. I can excuse the fact that he didnít recognize Jesus due to the blindness. Maybe he really didnít know that he was in the company of greatness. What I canít wrap my mind around is how he could say anything but yes when asked if he wanted to be well. Iíve been battling diseases and sickness for a long time and if thereís the slightest chance for wholeness, you can bet Iím going to jump on it. At the very least, Iím going to let it be known with everything in me that I want to be whole. I want to be whole!
Following his miraculous healing, this man got up and simply walked away. He walked away from Grace with barely a nod of the head. We donít read of any leaping or dancing or Hallelujah choirs going off. There wasnít even a thank you. In my mind, I imagine him sprinting out of there as if the very idea that he had been broken was nothing but a bad dream. Whatever sin he was involved in must have been so great that he couldnít see the amazing opportunity that was before him. As if on cue, Jesus just happened to be sharing the same space with the same man again later on that day. This time he came with a warning.
ďStop sinning or something worse may happen to you.Ē
At this point in the story Iíd really like to know what happened next. Did he stop sinning? Did something worse happen?
I do believe that God is not above ulterior motives. There was a reason why he healed this manís body but did not say anything about his spiritual condition until their second meeting. The question, ďDo you want to get well?Ē was a two-parter.
ďIíll work on the outside but itís up to you to work on the inside.Ē
I think the healing was a freebie- a precursor to their next meeting. For some reason, it was very important that Jesus move slow with this man and take things at a gentlemanís pace.
We need to pay attention when God moves in our lives. When he says, ďDo you want to get well?Ē make sure you answer honestly and are prepared to give something back in return. He is the ultimate healer of all that is broken but there are some things he canít fix without your help. He may want you to remove something from your life that you no longer need. He might be warning you to stop whatever youíre doing or youíll wish youíd stopped. He could be simply reminding you that all things are possible for the believer and he has all the power and authority to remove every hindrance that slows you down. Godís love is unconditional but itís not all that rare for him to ask us for unconditional love in return. Sometimes that means we have things we need to let go of. The amazing thing is that once we do, suddenly we are made well, from the inside out.
If you want to get well, but are having trouble with your faith or something you canít let go of, drop me a note. At the very least I can pray for you. May God richly bless you.
This story has always caused me 'intellectual problems.' Why ask a person in such a condition 'Do you want to be cured?' What's the answer to that question.' And then, why leave all the others in the same terrible condition !!! You who know, please tell me.