“Do you want to get well?” – Jesus
Seems like a pretty easy question to answer, right? If we’re sick, if something is wrong with us, if we are hurting, of course we want to get well. But if you know anything about Jesus, you’ll know that He doesn’t just arbitrarily say things that we are meant to gloss over. So in revisiting this question, which Jesus asks to a man who has been paralyzed for thirty-eight years, I have to wonder if we as humans really and truly want to get well. I know when I re-dedicated my life to Christ a little over a year ago, I needed to get well. And thankfully, enough of me wanted to get well to allow God to come into my life and begin the healing process. Words cannot adequately express how grateful I am for His rescue. But goodness, is He relentless in His pursuit of every part of me that needs healing. Frankly, if Jesus were to stop me at every crossroad and ask me if I wanted to get well, the answer would probably be “no” more often than I would like to admit. I want to be healthy, I want to be happy, I want to grow in my relationship with Christ, but does every little broken part of me need to be fixed? Can’t I keep this one vice or this one idol or hold on to this one grudge, just for a little familiarity? God’s answer – no. I have died to myself and been reborn to a new life, and I must crucify my brokenness if I am to truly live as one who has been reborn in Christ. God never starts anything He doesn’t intend to finish, and we are no one to tell Him otherwise. So maybe that’s why Jesus asks a man who has spent thirty-eight years of his life waiting to be healed if he wants to get well. Because getting well is hard, and it’s unfamiliar, and it requires action on our part, and God has a lot greater expectations for us than we ever had for ourselves. Jesus asked this man if he wanted to get well because Jesus knows that in many ways getting well is harder than staying sick, even if we have Jesus helping us. I think when Jesus reaches His hand out to us to offer us salvation, the question He is asking each and every one of us is just what He asked the paralytic: “Do you want to get well?” And it’s up to us to decide if we do want to get well, if we want to be healed from everything inside of us and saved from everything surrounding us that keeps us sick and keeps us from living the full lives that God intended for us. So God, here’s where I need Your help – I need You to help me to say “yes” to You every time You ask me, even when my first inclination is to say no. Because it’s really easy for me in my short-sightedness to try to keep You from healing certain parts of me, and I don’t want myself to get in the way of Your sanctification. Make me want to get well.