|(Source: Wikimedia Commons)|
Did you notice in today’s Gospel (John 5:1-16) that the paralytic did not answer Jesus’ question: “Do you want to get well?” Instead, he complained and whined about the injustice of not having anyone to put him into the healing waters of the pool once they were “stirred up”.
In not answering the specific question posed to him, this paralyzed man was much like many of us. One of the most difficult things I could get my clients to understand when I practiced law was the necessity to just answer the specific question they were asked. It is shocking how few of them and us actually do that. We are all over the place, either because we didn’t listen carefully enough to what was asked or because we want to avoid answering that question at all costs – to do so might make us uncomfortable or suggest changes we should, but are unwilling, to make in our lives.
Fortunately for this man, Jesus took no offense at his failure to answer the question and healed him anyway.
But what if this man had not done what Jesus directed him to? What if he remained motionless on his mat unwilling to believe and to obey?
I suspect that most of us are very much like this disabled man. As uncomfortable as we may be with our own sinfulness, we remain attached to our sins, just as this man was attached to his mat. We may loath our sinfulness (as he did his physical paralysis) but we hold on to them as tenaciously as he did to his mat, convincing ourselves that we have no one to help us overcome them.
But we would be wrong.
Jesus is ever present and ever ready to forgive us and to make us whole. He is constantly asking each of us “if we wish to be well?”
Learn a lesson from today’s Gospel and answer immediately –“Yes. Lord, Yes! I want to get well!" - let Him lift you off your mats of addiction, fear, discouragement, despair, gluttony, lust, selfishness, self-loathing or whatever other sinful behavior you have allowed to paralyze you.
Today, walk into His forgiving, merciful, healing and loving arms!