Are you struggling with sin in your life? Do you want to be healed?
Are you struggling with sin in your life? Is it dragging you down? I bet that you want to be free of the consequences of sin. No one wants to experience pain and suffering. The question then is do you really want to be healed? Really?
I am not being flippant or unfeeling. I know what it is like to be plagued by sin and feel trapped by addiction. I also know what it is like to fiercely hold onto my sin as the Holy Spirit was convicting me for it. God was offering me freedom and I was choosing imprisonment with every drink. This is the reason Jesus pointedly asked the very same question to the man at the pool of Bethesda. The man was trapped by his own sin but needed to answer, Jesus, honestly.
Do you want to be healed?
38 years is a long time. It is a life for some. For those trapped in sin and addiction, it can feel like 10 lifetimes. Time moves slower in some ways while being imprisoned by sin. The constant drive to feed the addiction never quiets. The cycle of indulgence in sin followed by guilt and shame never stops. It seems unbreakable. The man Jesus encounters by the pool of Bethesda is said to have been paralyzed for 38 years before meeting Jesus. For all those years, he had been lying by the pool waiting. For almost 4 decades he was trapped under the control of a condition that left him in a terrible shape. He was a slave to a malady that we learn was ultimately caused by his sin.
When the man meets Jesus everything changes. He is set free in a moment. But that change first involved a choice. Jesus or his sin – who did the man want to follow more? Jesus puts it in the form of a simple question:
“Do you want to be healed?” A Question from Jesus
If you recall the story in John 5, the paralyzed man is described as laying by the pool of Bethesda every day waiting for the stirring of the waters. There was the belief at that time that the first one in the pool after the water was stirred by an angel would be healed of whatever it was that ailed him. The problem was that the man, being paralyzed and placed near but not in the pool can’t get there. He has no actual hope of getting in when the water got stirred up. He had no one to help him. He was stuck in a position near the cure for his problem, it was obvious and just in front of him, but due to his ailment he believed could never take advantage of what he believed was a cure for his problem. His disease stopped him from taking advantage of what he thought would heal him.
It would also appear that this was not his first day lying there. Each day, he would be helped to his position lying helpless next to the pool. He would spend his days hoping in his powerlessness that somehow he would get to that pool first and be healed. Day after day he relied on a healing that his own flesh was unable to provide him. In his condition, he could never get himself to healing.
Then He meets Jesus.
Jesus sees the man lying there and asks a simple question:
Do you want to be healed?
The man’ s answer seems to determine what is going to happen next. If he truly wanted to hold onto his sin, Jesus is not going to rip it out his hands. He may allow painful consequences. He may provide incentives to let go of the sin. He may call the man and come directly to Him with the offer but Jesus will never force us to be healed.
Jesus takes His precious time to approach the man and make the offer but if he chooses his sin over than Jesus, his choice will be honored.
Has sin left us so under its thumb that we are left its prisoner, bound to its power but at the same time desperate for it? Are we fighting to hold onto our sin while at the same time being destroyed by it? Are we like the paralyzed man laid out completely by our sin but believing that the solution somehow still lies in our own sin plagued strength?
I still remember being at this exact spot. The Holy Spirit showed me how much drinking was polluting every aspect of my life. I was addicted to it and under its power. It was my first love and my idol. God convicted me and every single day I felt the huge consequences of my alcohol dependence. It was hurting me, my family and everyone around me. Despite this, I was not willing to let it go. I was not able to comprehend what life looked like without booze. I loved alcohol and the release it provided more than I loved a life in Jesus. My mind and my life were so intertwined with alcohol that when Jesus asked me that great question:
Do you want to be healed? My answer truthfully was no.
I did not want to be healed. My lips said “Yes” but frankly I was lying, it is what addicts do. I wanted to not feel the consequences of my actions. I wanted to quiet the voices bugging me about drinking. I wanted to feel better but “No, Jesus, I really do not want to be healed” was my response. Not really. Not yet. So recovery efforts and religion efforts just did not work. It was not until I truly hit the proverbial rock bottom that things changed. I was only then I truly wanted to be healed. That is when Jesus went to work on me. Like the man at the pool of Bethesda, I was healed in a moment.
Do you want to be healed?
Do you want to be free of the addiction that is killing you? Do you want to be free of the sin that is destroying you?
Then answer Jesus’ question truthfully, unreserved and with all your heart. Yes, Lord, I want to be healed! It may not be as simple as taking up your mat and walking, but Jesus is faithful. He will set you on the road to healing if you truly wish to be healed and you trust in Him.
So answer Him today!