THE QUESTION OF QUESTIONS
John 5:6 GNB
In John 5, Jesus encountered a crippled man who had not walked in 38 years. Every day, his friends carried him to the Pool of Bethesda in hopes of being healed—they believed an angel of the Lord periodically stirred the waters in the pool, and if you got in first, you were healed. (It was a superstitious belief, but some people believed it was true.)
Jesus asked this desperate, pitiful, forlorn man, “Do you want to get well?” It seems like a strange question, perhaps even bordering on cruel. Of course he wanted to get well, didn’t he? Why else would he be coming to the pool each day?
A PROBING QUESTION
On further examination, the Lord's question was not cruel. His question cut to the chase and hit at the heart of the issue—do you really want to get well … or do you just want to keep doing what you are doing? To quote Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?” In this crippled man’s case, his excuse was that no one would help him get into the water first. It was someone else’s fault. So, he just laid there in his sickness … day after day, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. "Hey Mister, do you want to get well, or do you want to keep wallowing in your misery and misfortune?”
The truth is that many people in our world today are just like the crippled man in John 5. They have a glaring problem, but they are not doing anything constructive to address it. They blame others. They play the pity card. They keep doing what they are doing even though it is not making one bit of difference. The question still stands today, “Do you want to get well?”
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET WELL?
1. Honesty. You and I will never see God work in our hearts unless we get honest with Him about our situation and circumstances. If you want to fix it, you must face it, and face it honestly. Take off the rose-colored glasses and call it what it really is.
2. Humility. God hates pride. If you are going to continue to walk in pride, He is not going to be free to help you. If takes humility to experience His help. The Lord says, "But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word" (Isaiah 66:2).
3. Help. Deep problems require outside assistance. A godly, wise, loving and objective friend or counselor is often needed to help us through the mental, emotional, marital, spiritual, or relational difficulties of life. To be sure, the help comes from the Lord as we trust Him, but He uses people to assist us in experiencing His help. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, but He told his friends to unbind him and let him go. One of my favorite maxims goes like this, "God will not do what we can do, and we cannot do what He can do."
The church is designed to be a hospital for hurting people. We come together in the Lord to love and minster to one another in the power of the Holy Spirit. We “get well” as we put God’s Word into practice in our lives, knowing we have a family of supporters to pray for us, encourage us, hold us accountable, and love us every step of the way.
Listen, we all need Jesus … and we need one another to keep us going and growing in the Lord.
So ... do you want to get well, or do you want to keep wallowing?
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Direct questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
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