If given the choice, few—if any—would choose to suffer. So, when Jesus crosses paths with a man who had been sick for 38 years, we’re surprised by His question: “Would you like to get well?”
Um, yes? Is this a rhetorical question?
But after Jesus heals the man, He finds him later and gives a firm warning: “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”
While the man was now physically healed, Jesus ultimately wanted him to be spiritually healed as well. All in all, no one chooses to suffer; but at the same time, many do not choose to turn from their sin either. And if we don’t turn from our sin, worse things may happen.
Jesus has the power to transform us, and there’s nothing we can do to earn His grace. But it is our decision. Will we accept His grace and salvation and be grateful for His healing? Or will we stay stuck in our sin? The choice is ours. Thankfully, just as Jesus found this man once again to offer a warning, Christ will continue to pursue us until the very end.
- Who do you know in your life that exudes the same attitude as this lame man?
- May this be our prayer: “Lord, open my eyes to the negative effects of sin. Strengthen my convictions, so I can heed your warnings and avoid worse things that are also preventable. Thank you for being my Guide!”
Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda,[a] with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.[b] 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”
11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.
13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.