I didn't get far in John 5 before something grabbed me this morning. Actually, it's something that I've thought about and written about before, but it seems especially appropriate for me today.
Jesus comes to the pool of Bethesda, where there are crowds of people with all kinds of diseases and disabilities. He singles out one man and asks him if he wants to get well. The man replies with a discouraged excuse -- he doesn't have anyone to help him get into the water when it is stirred up, so someone else gets there before him and gets healed. But then Jesus heals him.
It's Jesus' question that always gets to me. Here's how it reads in the Amplified version:
When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?] (John 5:6)
This past week has been about finding areas where I've been "out of alignment" -- areas where I am not well. Some of those areas are things I hadn't seen before. Others are things that I've definitely known about for many many years, but haven't been able to change on my own. And when you've been frustrated because you've tried and haven't been able to change, you start to make excuses about why you can't change.
So this morning, I find myself asking, "Am I really in earnest about getting well?" Or, to paraphrase a bit: "How serious am I about getting 'in line' with God?"
Have I been focused on the pool when I should have been focused on Jesus?