|John 5:6 – “Do you want to be made well?”
John 5:6 tells of a man who has been laying paralyzed by a pool for 38 years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been that way for a long time, he asked, “Would you like to get well?” The first thoughts that come to my mind are “OF COURSE HE DOES!” and “why would he even ask that?” I know from first-hand experience now that when Jesus asks you a question, it isn’t to get your information. The purpose of his question to you is to set up the learning opportunity, encourage deeper thinking, and open the door for introspection.
The part of the scripture that hit me is when Jesus asked him the question, that man didn’t answer with just a “Yes!” No… he replied with an excuse instead – he says he has no one to help him to the pool. So, then I questioned myself – Do I want to be healed? Like really be healed? There is a cost associated with being healed and I wrestle with my flesh in trying to decide if those costs are worth it. For me, the costs of my healing are my excuses. Excuses that bring me comfort, convenience, enablement, and pity. If I am well, I can no longer excuse myself from opportunities, the pressure and expectations of me might be too great to handle.
My “I can’t because …..” reasons have served my dysfunction well and have enabled me to live small. If I am healed, nothing is stopping me from stepping into the full potential God placed in me. When I’m healed, I lose that identity that I carried for so long. I’ll have to show up to life in a whole NEW way … and if I’m honest, the thought of that terrifies me. I have been longing for healing and breakthrough for so long now that the idea of living healed is scary and uncomfortable. It’s easier to live life as a victim. I have created an idol of my brokenness.
I have some bad habits, traumas, and issues that I identify with but now I’ve re-named these as my personality – “That’s just how I am” Healing isn’t easy… why is that the harder I try to be better about my faults, to be better ‘how I am,’ the more I fail? Ugh. When I do this though, I put all the focus and pressure on myself, and then I hate myself when I fail. But God doesn’t seek to change you by making you “better” He changes you by making you “new.” Those lies and old labels that were spoken into your heart by the enemy were never yours to hold or own.
Instead, focus on what Jesus did for you. Magnify what he did FOR you to be bigger than what anyone else has done TO you. After the paralyzed man gave his reason, Jesus told him to pick up his mat and walk. His decision to obey was what flipped this man’s world around. Because he focused on the powers of Jesus over his own abilities. Because his faith was stronger than his fear of the unknown. He was healed by his obedience.
There is a saying that is often brought to my heart and on the surface seems insulting, “It’s not about you.” People are waiting on the other side of my obedience. My healing is not only about me but also for them. When I think about the hefty price I must pay for my healing, I shift to thinking about all the doors that will open for others because of my obedience. This makes the place of healing seem a lot less frightening.