Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: OPEN UP A CAN OF WORMS (08/22/19)
TITLE: Who Wants to Be Healed?
By Donna Martelli
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There were many sick people there. One version says “multitudes”. They were all lying around on their mats waiting for an angel to come and stir the waters so that if they were in the right place at the right time they might be healed. I don’t know, but it seems that this didn’t happen every day or else why were so many invalids there? Jesus goes on to tell of a man who had been there for thirty-eight years! Can we even imagine such? Jesus saw him lying there on his mat and asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6 NIV}. Check this out: He answered,
“I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” (John 5:7 NIV)
Why didn’t the sick guy just say, “Yes”? Herein lies the can of worms that he did not want to open. I think he didn’t want to be healed right then because he did not want the responsibility that would come with it. It is easier to be affirmed, established and pitied rather than to change. However, Jesus doesn’t pity or enable us in our issues, but He calls us to change. The guy on the mat had been there for so long that it had become his identity. He no doubt had other friends on mats, and they would talk about their issues together. They had become a culture. If he was healed, he would have to give up his identity and change his way of life. What about us? Could it be that some of us have had an issue for so long that we really don’t want to be healed? We want Jesus to love us and comfort us in our affliction.
Additionally, the man said that no one would help him. Do we blame our issues on someone else who didn’t help us, affirm us and enable us? Are our issues because of something someone did or did not do to help us?
Today the people, especially the religious people do not want to hear about anyone being healed. Brokenness has become an idol and people defend their right to bow down to it. They want to be like the man on the mat gathering others with like symptoms and talking about their afflictions thus magnifying and further establishing them. They too have a culture. It is the voice of enablement and in order to be healed we have to silence it.
“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.” (John 5: 8,9 NIV). When we are willing to be healed, and accept all of the responsibility that it entails, God will heal us. He told the sick guy to do something He previously could not do: to get up and walk. He will do the same for us if we will just get off the mat of our issues and walk.
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