Friday, August 3, 2012
Scripture: John 5:6 (The Message)
"When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, "Do you want to get well?"
This is yet another miracle story that was turned into a trap by those who couldn't see beyond their own agendas. It was probably the Pharisees, although John doesn't specify, who could not see the miracle because it did not line up with what was important to them. What was important to Jesus was not necessarily protecting their laws (which, by the way were also his laws), but instead being faithful to the One who had sent him, and the work he had been sent to do.
The decision was his. Jesus only made the offer. The man could take a risk, believe that Jesus was who he said he was, and be healed. Or...he could continue living as he was. It wasn't the life he was created to live, but it was safe...no risk involved. Day in and day out, all he had to do was lay by the pool and hope that he was quicker than the others that day. Or...he could answer the call of the One who stood before him offering him another way...the decision was his.
At first, he did exactly what we try to do in similar situations...give a list of reasons why he had not yet been healed, and why Jesus' offer might not work, but Jesus didn't ask for excuses. He asked him one question: "Do you want to get well?"
Well, do you?
God of the hopeful and the hopeless, grant us the ability to hear when you call and the strength to accept your offer of healing. Forgive the tendency within us to make excuses, and lead us into the courage to pick up our mats and walk. Amen.