Do You Want To Be…?

Jesus asked the man by the Bethzatha pool in Jerusalem if he wanted to be made well. (John 5.1-20) It would seem to be a question too obvious too ask. (The man had been ill, apparently unable to walk, for 38 years.) On the other hand, maybe it’s not a bad question for Jesus to ask after all. We certainly learn to accommodate the parts of us that aren’t well. What if Jesus asked us that question today? Would we admit that anything was wrong, that we needed to be made well? Sometimes that’s hard to do. Once we get past the hurdle that something needs fixing in us, would we want the challenge, the change, and the trusting in Jesus that being made well involves? We’re all for physical wellness, but it’s the other kinds that we’re slow to say yes too. After all, wellness may affect my relationships, how I spend time, the dependencies I need to let go of…and, oh yes, trusting God in the unknown.

Being made well is a gift of grace, but it involved more than the man realized. That’s why Jesus went and found him again, just to talk to him about not sinning. (In John’s gospel “sin” is not believing, not trusting in Jesus’ way). Being made well is more than just picking up one’s mat and walking away, but about believing and trust. Unfortunately, sometimes it is easier to stay with what’s broken than to start trusting God for a wellness that brings deep change. In the story it is not clear whether the man chose the kind of wellness that trusts God or not. So, do I want to be made well? Really?


  1. I suspect that these are very Johannine questions.

  2. Our pastor spoke on this passage last Sunday and our small group discussed it. After seeing what remains of the pools of Bethsaida, i understand better why it was so difficult to get to the water….today it seems much easier to seek physical healing ….just visit a doctor…..spiritual healing is always a bit harder and involves more self-reflection and sacrifice. …still thinking about this. Will try to send you a pic of the pools of Bethzatha