“What Do You Really Want?”
Good and Loving Father, I’m so very thankful that You know, and only want, what is best for me!
Read John 5:1-15
 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals.  Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.  Here a great number of disabled people used to lie-the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.   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?”  “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,  and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”  But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”  So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”  The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.  Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”  The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy do you think Jesus asked the man that question?
In our society 38 minutes can seem like an eternity. Still, by anyone’s standards, 38 years as an invalid is tough! For a first-century Jew, however, it prompted other thoughts —like being just short of the long 40 years (a whole generation!) that Israel had spent in the wilderness. The man had not long to go then, comparatively. Waiting a long time can prompt many doubts. Does the promise still hold good? Do I still really want this? Wouldn’t it really be easier to just leave things as they are and settle for second best? Sometimes we can get comfortable with less than the best that is possible for us. So it’s a good question—for the man at the pool, for Israel, and for each of us today. Would we actually prefer to remain a spectator, apparently still committed to the cause, but still quite content to watch others as they claim their promise? Or, like the man by the pool, will we happily respond to him now before the moment is lost and without really knowing what responding to his call might mean for us? Do you really want to be healed? Or is the prospect just too scary?
What would your answer be if Jesus asked you, “What do you really want?” Ponder that and then pray for it.
Lord Jesus, help me to want what You want for me. I know that is the way to true happiness.