Scripture: John 5:1-9
Key verse: (6) “Do you want to be made well?”
Reflection: Thirty-eight years. He had been by the pool of healing for thirty-eight years. Where were you thirty-eight years ago? I was 14, finishing up Middle School. Where were you? That man was at the pool, and has been there the past thirty-eight years.
“Do you want to be made well?” Jesus asks. The word translated “well” could be interpreted “whole,” or “healthy,” or “sound.” On the surface, it’s an obvious question. Of course he does. But after thirty-eight years of lying on that mat, thirty-eight years of isolation watching others helped to that pool in front of him, maybe it’s not that obvious. After thirty-eight years, maybe you settle for life as it is. After thirty-eight years, perhaps you prefer life as you have known it to life as you’d given up dreaming it could be. “Do you want to be made well?” asks Jesus.
How do we answer? The man at the pool doesn’t answer the question, he explains why he’s still on that mat. Perhaps after thirty-eight years, he’s a bit defensive about his past. Jesus challenges him to a new tomorrow. “Take up your mat and walk.” And he does; praise God!
Do you want to be made well? Is there something in your life that needs healing, something that keeps you from being whole? Have you lived with it for thirty-eight years? Has it become so familiar it’s hard to imagine being healed? What would it mean for Christ to call you to take up your mat and walk? What if today was the day you gave it a try? What might tomorrow bring if you did?
Prayer: You know where I need healing, O Lord. I want to be well. Give me the courage to take up my mat and walk into the tomorrow you will for me. Amen.
Author: Joe Clifford
[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].