Do I want to get well? Jesus is in the healing business. Jesus can heal me physically and Jesus can heal my broken heart.
Jesus wants to know, do I want to get well? It is the essential question.
Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”
The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.”
Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off. | John 5:1-9 (The Message Bible)
Do I have an excuse? In this story, the man actually had an excuse for why he wasn’t well. He hadn’t been able to walk in the last 38 years. Nobody would help him. He was there everyday hoping for a miracle but nobody would help him. I sounds like it really got to him.
It was an honest answer. It wasn’t an answer to the real question though. Jesus didn’t want to know if the man had anyone to help him.
What is Jesus going to do? Jesus wasn’t having anything to do with “the excuse”. Jesus knew how long he had been sick and coming to the pool. Jesus is on a mission. Jesus won’t be deterred.
Jesus wants to heal him. Jesus does just that. The man got up and walked.