If you were to go up to someone that is sick and ask them if they want to be made well, in our society, some would get offended by the question, others would get sarcastic and some would oblige. It seems like a question that has an obvious answer, but is it possible the answer seems obvious, because we are not sure what the question means? In John 5 Jesus encounters a man sitting outside the gate of the temple called Bethesda. This man, has a deep seated and lingering disorder, of which he has suffered for 38 years. This is the context in which Jesus asks the question, do you want to get well.
Jesus noticed two things about this man, one, the man was helpless and two, the man had been in that condition for a long time. These are the things Jesus is thinking about when he asks the man, do you want to get well. What is not stated, but is implied, by the man’s response to Jesus’ question, is that he felt like he had seniority, he was entitled to be healed, because he had been in that condition for so long and had been at that gate for more time than others. Have you ever met people that feel like time in a certain condition, entitles them to be picked first? Some people have been in the wilderness for a long time, they have dealt with one disappointment after another. If we are not careful, we will think we deserve something, because of how long we have been in this condition.
Jesus asked the question, do you want to get well, He did not say, do you want to be healed. Healing is different that wholeness. Many people get healed, but they are not made whole or well. Jesus knew He could heal the man, but He wanted the man to know He could also make him well. I believe the Lord’s desire is to make us well, which includes healing, but requires partnership between us and God to take place. Remember the story of the 10 Lepers in Luke 17, how all 10 got healed, but only one was made whole? The one was made whole, because he partnered with God by coming back and saying thank you.
3 John 2 says, “May you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers.” For our souls to prosper, we need to partner with God by having a grateful attitude. Paul tells to give thanks at all times for all things; James says, consider it pure joy when you face trials; David said, give thanks to the Lord; and Jesus said, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name! For us to be made well, to be made whole, we need to partner with God in giving thanks to Him, no matter the season of our soul.
The man in John 5 meets Jesus in the temple after he is healed, and Jesus says to him, stop sinning or something worst will happen to you. This statement offended the man and he reported Jesus to the Pharisees, which began their witch hunt to catch him doing something. People that are not grateful will never be made whole. Gratitude is the key to wholeness, which leads to prosperity. So, the question remains, do you want to be made well?