When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)
Sometimes what we think we want isn’t actually what we really want. The fact is, we’re often content with life the way it is, and because it’s “normal” we’ve become accustomed to it. It’s only in the late hours of the night when our inner filters turn off that we sometimes realize our heart’s deepest longings. I think that’s why Jesus’ question to the crippled man is so interesting: “Do you want to get well? Seriously? Is it something that you want? Or are you happy being crippled?”
That may sound insensitive, but to Jesus, it was a fair question. What did the man really want? He had a life of excuses, and he was the recipient of pity. So when Jesus asked “Do you want to be healed” the man probably had to think about that for a little while. Did he want to get well? Or was he so content with the life he was living that it wasn’t worth the effort to be healed? Seemingly, he was satisfied living as a cripple on the handouts of those who passed by.
We need to ask ourselves the question that Jesus asked the man. Obviously, most of us aren’t facing paralysis, but we allow sin to cripple us. Given the option to let the sin go so we could be set free, we cringe at the thought of giving it up. Jesus’ question is just as appropriate for us as it was for the invalid. What’s your form of paralysis? What’s keeping you from the life God has for you? Do you REALLY want to live the life God has for you? Then you must be willing to let the other stuff go.
Lord, reveal to my heart those things that I cling tightly to that keep me from living the life You desire for me. Help me to give them up for Your sake – knowing that the life You have for me is so much better than anything I could possibly imagine. Give me wisdom to see what I need to do, and then give me courage to do it.