Choose Change

Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ –John 5:5-6( NKJV)


In Jesus’ day, there was a public pool in Jerusalem that was noted for having miraculous healing properties. The Scriptures tell us that the people believed that an angel would stir up the waters and that the first person in would be supernaturally healed. At the edge of this pool, there was a man who had been suffering for an excruciating thirty-eight years!


Few of us can imagine dealing with anything for such a long time, much less a physical infirmity. Therefore, it seems a bit strange, if not comical, that Jesus asked him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ Let’s be sensible for a second; after being in such a condition for so long, it was a given that this man wanted to be made well . . . or was it?


It’s a sad commentary on our human nature, but true nonetheless, that it’s possible for people to become comfortable in a condition of sickness. Rather than receive the healing and transforming touch of God upon their lives, they would rather stay sick because their sickness provides security and comfort for them. Perhaps this man had been sick for so long because deep down he didn’t want to accept the requirements and responsibilities that would come along with change.

C. S. Lewis remarked in a sermon that


. . . it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because she cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

Even though the Lord wants to make us spiritually well, we must decide that we want His touch upon our lives. He requires that we leave our old ways and adopt a new way of living godly in Christ Jesus. Though it breaks His heart, the Lord will not change a life that is unwilling to accept change or to be made well.