Do You Want to Be Healed? (John 5:1-9)

Rich Mullins, a famous Christian musician, said, “People don’t read the Bible to know stuff; they read it to know God.” So I wondered what I was doing. I did start off to know God. I got a Bible College education because I wanted to know God. However, something happened. Something changed. There was a slow fade into knowledge about rather than a knowledge of. So I began reading John 5 specifically asking, “How does this apply to me?” something I rarely do. Usually I begin with the exegetical process of observation and interpretation rarely having time for the application much less correlation (if this means nothing just keep going).

So in John 5, Jesus approaches Bethesda, where there are many sick people, who sit there doing the same thing again and again watching the pools hoping that one day it would change them. But there was nothing. So Jesus speaks to a man who had been ill for 38 years. How long have I been in my condition and bondage to pornography? I’ve been stuck for about 17 years. It’s deep. It’s wide. It’s ugly. Then Jesus asked a pointed question: “Do you wish to get well?” Do I? Do I really wish to get well? Do I desire in the depths of my heart to be free from my porn addiction? Where does my heart lay? How would I respond to this question? How DO I respond to this question? Even trembling, weary, utterly sad, guilt-ridden, I do.

The man replies with an answer that he does but he needs help because others beat him to the punch. So Jesus replied, “Get up, pick up your mate and walk.” There’s the command. Does the man feel better? Does he feel different? Does he know something is different? Does he peer into the eyes of Jesus with doubt, confusion, or glee? Verse 9 then says, “Immediately!” Immediately. Can I be healed immediately? Or is it just a process? Does this text promise me immediate healing? I’d be lying if I said it did. I does not. Nor does the text say that he healed everyone there (but then again it doesn’t say he didn’t for John later writes that he couldn’t write about everything that happened which suggests that he could have, and possibly did). Verse 9 continues, “the man became well, and picked up his palley and began to walk.” It was a fact that Jesus healed the man apart from the man’s faith. We, through faith, have been set free from our bondage to pornography, but do we want to be healed? While the passage’s main thrust is Jesus’ ministry of healing, the question that is posed to us all is: “Do you wish to get well?” Do I? Do you?

There are three basic responses to this. First, one can say “Yes.” Second, one can say, “No.” And finaly one can ignore the question or say, “I don’t know.” This last response which has been mine for some time is the most dangerous with its passivity. We can easily rationale that we did not answe, “No.” But in failing to say, “Yes,” we say, “No.” So what will your answer be? What is mine? I say YES! ten times over again. Lord, will you heal me?

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