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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
May 4, 2013

[NOTE: This message was originally published March 9, 2001.]
"Do you want to be healed?"
John 5:6 (CEV*)

Jesus asked this question of a crippled man who had been at a pool with springs of reputedly healing water for 38 years. Each day, the man had tried to get in when the waters were stirred up, but someone else always got there first.

It seems like a strange question to ask of such a man. And the man did not answer directly, but rather told Jesus of this daily effort.

The stories of Jesus have several layers of meaning. We always need to be asking how a particular passage speaks to our life today. Probably none of us is in quite the position of the man in the story, but still we need to look at the story as if Jesus is asking the question of us.

On the surface, the question can seem merely rhetorical. Doesn't it seem obvious that this man wants to be healed and to be able to walk? Don't we want to be healed of our infirmities?

But when we look at this question more deeply, we can find it to be deeply probing and not at all rhetorical. We become comfortable in our ways, even when they are unhealthy. The healing Jesus offers is a transformation of our selves into whole people living up to our God-given potential. This can seem very threatening because we know how to live as we are living now, and change brings uncertainty.

Do I want to be healed? Am I ready to give up comfortable habits that may be unhealthy and lead me away from faithfulness? Am I willing to give up the feeling of security I get from my possessions and my financial resources in order to put all my trust in God? Could I walk away from my job if Christ called me to? I know in my heart that God's promises are true, and there can be no more fulfilling life than one lived in accord with God's will. Yet, I also know that I am reluctant to change and that I treasure the things the world offers.

The Living Christ continues to ask us, "Do you want to be healed?" We each need to reflect prayerfully on this question.

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2001, 2013 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 11-May-2013 20:48:27 EDT