SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
Do You Want to Be Healed?
by Dave Mann
This week and for several weeks following, our daily readings are walking through the Scripture passages that lie between the Sunday texts. In today’s reading, Jesus meets a man with a long-term disability and heals him. Jesus also gets entangled with the religious leaders because this miracle was considered work and therefore banned on the Sabbath.
But what strikes me most about this passage is Jesus’ question posed to the man who had been paralyzed for 38 years, “Do you want to get well?” Some may consider this question out of line, thinking, “Of course, he wants to get well!” But no, it is actually a very good question. When we have lived with a problem for a long time, we may have grown into the problem. Our identity may have been formed by the problem and in a strange way, we may have become dependent upon the problem. Our spouse may have a drinking problem, and we may have grown to need to be the responsible one in the family. We may have an issue with chronic depression or mental illness, but we have come to expect such difficulties as our normal state in life. It could be a physical illness or disability as in this passage.
Answering Jesus’ question could be a prerequisite for our time of prayer when we ask the Lord to fix things in our lives. Before we ask the Lord for his intervention, it would be wise for us to ask ourselves Jesus’ question, “Do you want to be healed? Do you want your life to change? Are you ready for new priorities, new circumstances, a new approach to life?” For when Jesus enters our life, he will move the furniture around as he sees fit. Things will not be the same. Do we trust him enough to allow him to heal, to restore, to change us and our way of life?
The lame man at the Pool of Bethesda never really answers Jesus’ question directly, but Jesus heals him anyway. Grace.
Lord God, you know how many times I have asked you to intervene in my life. In addition to those prayers, I now pray that you would also transform my heart to accept whatever you want to change in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.