Scripture: John 5:1-18
Key verse: (6) When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
Reflection: The gospel writer John tells us that the man had been ill for thirty-eight years. Jesus came to Jerusalem and there, by the gate, was a pool. Apparently people believed that if the water in the pooled rippled or stirred, healing was available for those who made it into the water quickly. This man had been waiting a long time but no one helped him into the water. Opportunities came and went, and nothing ever changed for the man. Jesus saw him lying there. Probably he was such a regular fixture by the pool that most people no longer even noticed him. Jesus initiated a conversation with a man who was probably ignored much of the time.
Do you want to be made well? At first it seems like a ridiculous question. Of course he wanted to be well. Why else would he be at the side of the pool? Doesn’t every sick person want to be healthy?
Maybe not. If being made well involves change, then maybe not. If being made well forces new patterns of daily behavior, then maybe not. If being made well transforms familiar relationships, then maybe not. If being made well brings new responsibilities, then maybe not.
So often I think I want some problem fixed, some brokenness healed, some habit broken, or some tension resolved, but I would like that to happen without having to change! I know it doesn’t work that way. Every solution, every healing, every resolution brings transformation. When we realize we have been stuck too long, we open ourselves to the healing power of Jesus Christ. As we journey with Jesus through Lent, he asks “Do you want to be made well?” Are we willing to say yes and to get up and walk when he calls us?
Prayer: God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
(Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr)
Author: Millie Snyder]
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].