he asked him, “Do you want to get well?…(Jn 5:6).
Do you want to get well? It’s a simple question, really, with what might seem like an obvious answer. Well, of course, if there’s something wrong we’ll want to get well if we have the opportunity. Yet, getting well requires leaving something behind and to be quite honest, that can be the hardest part.
In John 5 Jesus asked a paralyzed man to leave the mat he had known for 38 years to walk into a brand new life. That sounds great, doesn’t it? I’d want to leave that mat too, but I’d like to suggest this morning that we all have a mat. Something we’ve known for far too long. Wrongfully, that mat may have become part of our identity. The thought of losing it feels immensely painful.
The mats of hurt, pain, anger, addiction or pride feel better to hang onto. The faces of people who have hurt us are hard to leave behind, aren’t they? It’s the mat we’ve carried with us for many, many years. Yet, Jesus comes to us this morning simply asking, “Do you want to get well?”
To me, that question puts me in such a raw place of vulnerability. Quite frankly, I feel deeply uncomfortable there, because I have to be honest before the Lord about the mats He already knows I carry. Yet, when I do come before Him, honest and vulnerable, He meets me there, in my willingness to be honest before Him and He brings with Him mercy.
Jesus, yes, I want to get well. I don’t want to carry those mats of hurt feelings, vanity or pride any longer. I want to be humble before you. I want others to see Christ in me, for your glory, Amen.