“I can’t wait to see what Jesus will do, because He always surprises us.” And sure enough Jesus surprised them in this account. He knelt down beside a man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years. Jesus asked him a unique question. When I first read the question I thought that it was odd. Why would Jesus ask a question like that to man who has been crippled for thirty-eight years? Here is what Jesus said. “Do you really want to be healed? Do you really want to part with your problem? Do you really want me to change your life?”
If you think about it, that is a fair question. Jesus knows human beings better than anyone. He knows our tendency to build our lives around our problems, to set up systems around difficulties. Maybe this man had set something up around his infirmity. Maybe he was pleased that he would not have to find a spouse, or work. We do the same thing. I am going to ask you the same question that Jesus asked this man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years. Do you really want to be healed? Do you really want Jesus to change you? Do you really want to part with your problem?
When people, like you and me, are challenged to deal with our defects, most of us say, of course, we want to get rid of our problems. Sure I want to get rid of pride. Sure I want to part with anger and greed and slothfulness and gluttony and all those other things. Yeah, I want to. But if you stay after it for awhile, if you meditate on it and contemplate on it, a strange form of sadness invades your life and mine. Getting rid of pride, on the surface sounds cool.