John 5

Our small group has been studying the Gospel of John together. My favorite book of the Bible is generally whichever book I'm studying at the time. Even still, one of my favorite favorites is John's Gospel. It accomplishes what every evangelist hopes to accomplish: simple and profound at the same time.

A couple of weeks ago, we studied John 5. I can't stop thinking about John 5:1-8.

You know the story: Jesus goes to a pool near the Sheep Gate to Jerusalem. The superstition was that an angel would dip down and stir the water of the pool. When the water was stirred, the first person in the water would be healed.

Jesus meets a man who had been a quadriplegic for 38 years, and asks him what seems like a really dumb question: "Do you want to get well?"

Seriously Jesus? This guy has been unable to do anything for himself for 38 years. He reveals he doesn't even have a hope of getting in the pool on his own. He can't do it and has no friends to help him. While he scoots and rolls and struggles to get in the pool, someone else always beats him to it.

You know the rest of the story too: Jesus speaks to the man and the man goes home well.

Here's what I love about this story: The lame man by the pool is every man or woman who has ever lived.

We can depend on superstition; we can depend on others; we can depend on ourselves. We can scoot, roll, flop and strain. We can show up in places where supernatural things are reported to happen, hoping against hope that they'll someday happen to us. But at the end of the day, there will always be someone faster, quicker, better than you, and you'll be left lying on your mat by the side of the pool.

If healing depends on you, you'll never find it. You need a Savior.

Jesus asked what seemed like the ultimate in stupid questions, but when we look at our lives, we realize it's a question that needs asking: Do you want to get well, or do you just want to sit by the pool and take your chances?