Jesus asked it. “Do you want to get well?”

Category: Want healing?

Jesus asked the question first, not me. “Do you want to get well?” That’s a crazy question you might say. “Of course I want to get well.” But Jesus asked it of a man in John, chapter 5. That makes it an important question–one worth our answering.

The man had been an invalid for 38 years. He hung out by the pool called Bethesda, where occasionally the waters would stir and the first person in would get healed. This man was a permanent fixture in this community of desperate people. So why didn’t Jesus simply walk over to him and heal him? Why didn’t Jesus have mercy on the poor soul?

I think it’s simple. We have to WANT to get well. We have a choice in the matter. Perhaps this man liked lying around all day. Maybe he got a lot of sympathy for his afflictions. Maybe he was fearful of finding a job, supporting his family. There are a myriad of reasons why he secretly might not want to be healed.

We all know people who do not want to get well. What about the alcoholic who refuses treatment? Or the sex addict that knows his lust is destroying his life, but doesn’t want to change? The person who is grossly obese but likes the anonymity?

A few years back I was at a writer’s conference. There was a middle-aged single woman, a librarian, who was sickly. She would faint, have spells, or experience a generalized sick feeling. One day in the middle of a meeting, she had a “spell” where she fainted. Everyone rushed to her aid. While I watched from afar, a still small voice spoke. “She does this to get the attention she craves.” So would she want to get well? I doubt it.

Someone else we know is on full disability due to depression. She has been given much love and support from her local church and many opportunities to receive healing. But as more time passes, I believe this individual is not interested in getting well. Health would mean contributing to society, getting a job, being responsible.

I heard about a man in my painting class – a friend of a friend. He has Stage IV pancreatic cancer. I left the class and kept thinking about this man I’d never met. Finally, I responded to the nudge. I called my painter friend and offered to pray for the man. I could go to his home and bring some friends to pray and lay hands on him. She said she would pass along the offer. No call has come.

I don’t understand it. Well, maybe I do. But all I know is, if Jesus is offering it, I want it. He came to bring us abundant life. Yes, Lord, I WANT to get well. In my body and in my soul. Lead me in the way.

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