Reflecting on God’s Word …

John 5:1-15 NLT
[1] Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. [2] Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. [3-4] Crowds of sick people-blind, lame, or paralyzed-lay on the porches. [5] One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. [6] When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” [7] “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” [8] Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” [9] Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, [10] so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!” [11] But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.'” [12] “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded. [13] The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. [14] But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” [15] Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.

Reflection

Would you like to get well?

Jesus’ question points directly to the heart of the problem. Whether we want to believe it or not, many people don’t really want to get well or better, at least not on other people’s terms. We want what we want on our own terms and in our own timing. Many people are so used to the pain and frustration that it’s become part of their identity, and to let go of it and accept someone else’s purpose for their life is not freedom! It certainly couldn’t bring healing, could it?

Jesus warns him to stop sinning and live worthy of the new life he has experienced. This request is echoed in Paul’s teaching.

Philippians 1:27 NLT
[27] Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.