It is a question that Jesus asks on a number of occasions in the Gospels in different ways. Do you want to be made well? Do you want to be healed?
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic[a] called Bethesda,[b] which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.[c] 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” John 5
Why does Jesus ask for what seems like an obvious answer? Simply put, because sometimes we don’t want to be made well.
We may say we do, we may think we do, but given a choice we are more comfortable in our misery then we are being set free. Change is hard and freedom always involves risk. It can feel safer to stay miserable.
As terrible as our problem may be at the moment, the change that comes with being made whole can be terrifying. As bad as our current situation is, at least we are familiar with it. We have to give up what we have in order to have our lives completely transformed. That involves a significant amount of motivation and trust.
In order to flee from something bad, we need something good to run to. We need a trustworthy beacon to guide us away from to safety on a dark and stormy night.
As a follower of Christ, we always have that light guiding us from the darkness: Jesus. He is our lighthouse when we are lost at sea and headed for the rocks.
If He is calling us out of anything, even something that previously was good, we can trust that He is doing it for our good and for His glory. It is just who He is. He loves us and wants us to have abundant life in Him.
We can run with confidence towards the unknown because we know Him. If it is from Jesus we are sure it is good and filled with joy. If it is from Jesus, even if it seems scary, it is so much better than what we have now.
We have to be willing to let go though. He will never force us. He will ask us to let go. He will encourage us to let go. The Holy Spirit will motivate us to let go. His love for us includes free will even if we use it to refuse to be healed.
Do you want to be made well? Let go…