Do you want to get well?  ’  (John 5 verse 6)

Jesus asked the man at the pool of Bethesda ‘Do you want to get well?’  

The pool looks a bit like an ancient swimming pool.  It was near the Sheep Gate – shepherds would drive their sheep into Jerusalem through this gate and on over to the Pool of Bethesda to the right, where they would be washed before taking to the Temple for sacrifice.  There was a dividing wall in the middle of the pool. The sheep were washed at one end of the pool, and people bathed at the other end. But they believed the water had special power when it bubbled – power to heal. Power to heal just one person so whoever got in first would be healed. The man’s answer to Jesus is ‘I have no one to help me’.  He is alone.  But is that the only reason he cannot get into the pool?

Perhaps Jesus’s question ‘Do you want to get well?’ forces the man to reflect.  Becoming well means change – is he prepared to change?  Does he want to change?  The man had been unwell for thirty eight years.  Probably he was so used to his situation that he had become institutionalised.  The change to his life would be enormous.

There is a sense in which Jesus asks that same question of each and every one of us.  And we too must consider whether we want to get well.  Do we want to change?  Are we prepared to change?  What will being well mean for us?  It may not be changing our way of life like the man in the story but it will be change -social, physical, psychological, spiritual or all of these.  It may mean changing a habit of a lifetime, or changing our way of thinking, or attitude…

The question of preparedness is relevant for all of us.  Do we want to change?  We need time to reflect on what Jesus is offering, time to reflect on what we want. Only then can we answer the question ‘Do you want to get well?’

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