by Stan Smith
In John 5 we read the story of the man at the Pool of Bethesda. Without all the details, it was a guy who had been lame for 38 years trying to get healed.
When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well?" (John 5:6).
What an astounding question! "Do you wish to get well?" I mean, "Duh!" What else could he possibly wish?
This wasn't the only time that Jesus appears to ask a "no-brainer". In Mark 10 we read the story of blind Bartimaeus of Jericho. He was calling out to Jesus and everyone was shushing him, but Jesus stopped and asked, "What do you want Me to do for you?" (Mark 10:51). Seriously, Jesus? Wasn't it obvious?
Of course, Jesus wasn't blind Himself. He wasn't unaware. He wasn't confused. He didn't actually have to ask the questions. Remember, when Jesus forgave the sins of the lame man in Luke 5, He knew what the Pharisees where thinking (Luke 5:22). The questions, then, were not for Him, but for them ... and for us.
You see, often we get confused. The man at the pool was so caught up in his condition that he forgot why he was there. He was bemoaning the fact that he couldn't get to the water rather than remembering that the goal was to be healed. In far too many cases our obvious condition is forgotten and we want that which isn't obvious ... or even necessary. Like the finger pointing at the moon, we begin to focus on the finger rather than the moon.
The most obvious of these kinds of conditions for us is found in our sin condition. Jesus comes to us and says, "Do you wish to get well?" He has to ask, you see, because even though we are aware of our horrible, mangled, spiritual condition, getting right with God isn't often our first thought. No, we want a better life, marital healing, a better job, more comfort, a happier existence. Right with God? Yeah, that's a lot farther down the list. I'm sorry, Jesus, what was the question?
What do you wish from Christ? Do you wish for Him to make you a reflection of Him rather than the spiritually disfigured human that you are? Do you want Him to open your eyes to more of Him rather than giving you more pleasure? Do you wish to get well? What do you want Him to do for you? Sometimes, even though the answers shouldbe obvious, we miss them.
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I'm married with four grown children and (currently) four grandchildren. My wife and I live in sunny Phoenix by choice. I hope to encourage people with my words and to share with others what God has shared with me.
For more writings you can see my blog at birdsoftheair.blogspot.com.
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