Original Posting At http://soundbitesministry.blogspot.com/2020/01/a-loaded-question.html
“One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’” (John 5:5-6 NIV)
It’s a strange thing to ask. A man is severely handicapped and spends his days hanging out at a healing pool. Does he want to get well? Do people at the gym want to get in shape? Would Gilligan wish to disembark the island?
Seems like a silly question — unless it’s a loaded one. But the longer I serve people as a minister, the more I understand the question Jesus asks here. The answer is not self-evident at all. There are lots of people who like to hang around the waters without actually wishing to be healed. A lot of people come to church but don’t really want God’s help.
People do things for lots of reasons, not always the most obvious ones. They have motives they themselves may not even understand.
So Jesus gets right to the issue: You’ve been stuck in neutral for a while. Do you really want something better? Or have you laid down roots in a place of quiet desperation and low expectations?
— Kyle Idleman in “The End of Me: When Real Life in the Upside-Down Ways of Jesus Begins”