Sunday, May 7, 2017

May 7

1 Samuel 1:1-2:21; John 5:1-23; Psalm 105:37-45; Proverbs 14:28-29

“Do you want to get well?” Jesus asks a poignant question in John 5:6 when He sees the invalids lying by the pool of Bethesda.

Do you want to get well? Do you? Do you want to leave the comfort of the way you live, the depression that accompanies you everywhere, the mess your house is in, the finances that are out of control, the sin that controls your life but brings you lessening pleasure—do you want to get well? The answer is less obvious than it seems.

Because there is comfort in the life we know, the sin we are familiar with, the mess our house is in, the crazy finances. To get well means everything will change. And it will have a cost. To get well means to surrender some of my independence and do the things that will make me well. To change my thinking, to agree with God that healing is better than sickness. But that means laying down my pride.

Do you want to get well? The question seems so strange when we first read it. And the man answers that he has no one to help him into the pool—he doesn’t really answer the question Jesus asks.

But Jesus in his compassion and mercy sees beyond the superficial answer and heals the man. He goes straight to the heart of the matter, says, “Stand up! Pick up your mat and walk!” The text says he was cured at once and did as Jesus said.

Healing never looks quite like we think it will. The man encounters opposition at once from the Jews who are quite interested in his ‘breaking of the Sabbath’ and not at all interested in his cure.

Do you want to get well? What will that look like? You will encounter opposition but it will be worth it.

Jesus, we trust you with our healing. We are sinners deeply in need of your grace, your kindness, your mercy. We are undeserving of your healing, but you “open a rock and the water gushes out; like a river it flows in the desert” (Ps. 105:41).

Thank you, Jesus.

- Nell Sunukjian

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