1 John 2
“DO YOU WANT TO GET WELL?”
“[Jesus] asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ ‘Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’” —John 5:6-7
A story was once told about a pool named Bethesda by the Sheep Gate, that an angel from heaven was sent down to stir the waters. The first person who got into the water after it was stirred was healed and completely restored. Ever since that event, people had been holding on to the hope that it would happen again. Hence, when Jesus said to the invalid man sitting by the pool, “Do you want to get well?” the man responded, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred” (John 5:6-7). This man was looking on how God moved in the past and hoped that this tradition would prove true in his own life. In his fixation on tradition and how God moved back then, he was missing the reality that the Son of God was standing right in front of him. Jesus was about to do a new thing but this man was fixated on the past.
Did we also notice that the man’s response pointed to his own resources—I have no one to help me? Not only was he trapped between the traditions of how God moved in the past and being fixated on them, he was also trapped by his own inability to make
things work in his life.
If we turn the tables, the invalid man’s life is like a metaphor for all of us, because left to our own strength, we are feeble, weak and in a state of dependence. Some of us may even be in circumstances similar to the man, where the issue may not be physically obvious but something hidden under the surface of our life. It could be the trauma that we experienced in our past, a relationship in our life that is broken and hurting us or a sin that we are nurturing in secret. We could have grown comfortable with such weakness and infirmity, allowing suffering to become a part of our identity and making accommodations to ease the pain.
We return to Jesus’s question: Do we want to get well? What He is really asking us is if we want to let go of the pain, let go of the anger that we have been feeding, let go of the unforgiveness that we have been holding on to and let go of that sin we have nurtured in secret.
Are we ready to leave behind the invalid life and live again? May we move past the fixation on traditions or our own resources and recognize that Jesus is standing before us and He can do things that we cannot do for ourselves.
Lord Jesus, I want to get well. I want to live again. I am ready to leave behind the “invalid life” and live in You. Thank You, Lord.