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 5:6 (NIV)
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Long ago and far away I was diagnosed with clinical depression, and began the hard work of deep, lasting, in-Jesus recovery.
One day Jesus asked me, “Do you want to be healed?”
I was reading John’s book about Jesus, and he was telling me about the time he stopped with Jesus by the Sheep Gate in ancient Jerusalem. There was a pool there where people waited for a chance to be healed by one of God’s angels, but, as I read, Jesus looked over and into my eyes.
“Do you want to be healed?”
It seemed like such a ridiculous question. Of course, I want to be healed! But, then, I knew, in the way you know, what he meant.
Was I willing to do the hard work of facing painful situations, of uncovering bitterness and admitting to deep, resentful anger? Was I willing to give up my stubborn excuses that allowed me to stay the same, somehow seeing my sickness as more secure than my health?
Was I willing to give up control, let God be God, and admit that I can’t, but he can – or would I rather insist that I can, even though I can’t, holding myself in a cycle of helplessness and hopelessness?
By the pool at Sheep Gate, Jesus asked an invalid of 38 years: “Do you want to be healed?” and his question swept through the man, swept through 2,000 years, and swept into the shadows of my soul.
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me …” (John 5:7 NIV).
But there stood the Great Healer holding out help, acutely aware that we can’t, but God can, knowing this to be true because he was walking toward the only way to recreate us whole and healthy. He was on the road to Calvary.
The question lingers for you: Do you really want to be healed?