Lent Week 3 Reading: John 5:1-18
Jesus saw a paralysed man waiting to be carried into a pool of healing called Bethesda and asked him, “Do you want to be made well?”(v6) What a strange question to ask a man dreadfully ill for 38 years. Or is it?
Daily Australians ask one another “how are you going?” How often have you heard the response “really busy?” Here is a lifestyle few of us enjoy yet many find themselves drowning in year on year. Our cure will be when we get a better job, or the kids leave, or retirement comes, or we find a suitable spouse, or…maybe someone will carry us to our own waters of Bethesda.
On reflection, how much of the pain or challenge in your life is sustained by your choices? All well-intentioned no doubt, but still your choice. The powerless man Jesus found lying at the pool’s edge had made a way of life out of his long wait for healing. Are we in danger of doing the same? Do we want to be made well? Can we embrace the change transformation could bring?
What is fascinating is how clueless the man is. He has a misplaced faith in a pagan pool. He doesn’t know who he is talking with or what Jesus can bring. Yet Jesus gives this man of no faith what he didn’t even ask for, his healing, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”(v8)
Have you ever felt so clueless you don’t know where to start? Our prayers can be like that, ramblings over problems as we chase solutions God has no interest in. Even then, because of his grace Jesus can give us what we are not asking for, his true healing. May he give it even when we are not expecting or possibly wanting the change it could bring. Who after all wants to wait 38 more years to find real life?
Photo by Emily Morter