Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A second question - about human will (5)

4. It’s about WHOLENESS.

In sum, what this question does is ask this man if he really wants a new beginning with Jesus. Is he going to trust this Jesus wholeheartedly that he might help him be better? Is there a longing inside him, a desire that he never felt before that something good, pure, wonderful could happen to him?  Jesus is asking him: 'Do you believe that I can do something good for you'.

As one commentator put it: Here at Bethesda Jesus can resurrect a dead desire and can create a new one. Is this hopeless case, right now faced with Jesus Christ, going to let a miracle happen to him: Do you will this?  If deep inside there is no desire to be better, only a sense of weakness and helplessness, then he will stay just as he is. In this moment of meeting, can he believe in Jesus Christ’s healing enough to say YES?

Woody Allen once said: “Eighty percent of life is just turning up.” You don’t have to do anything – life just happens to us, around us.  But when Jesus Christ meets us and offers us health, he smashes that percentage to smithereens. Instead of 80% predictability, passivity and mediocrity, Christ claims us physically, morally, socially by his spirit for his kingdom.

But when we don’t want a miracle, we cannot face the consequences, we say NO.  Bluntly, the reason why many people do not become Christian believers is because they don’t want to. The reason why many of us Christians are not better is not because Jesus is powerless, but because we don’t want to be better.  Rather, we hold onto our weaknesses, avoid relationships, escape the kingdom's multi-dimensions of being made whole.

This story ends well. There is enough will for Christ to work with this disabled no-hoper.  He is told to get up and walk. And what happens next has nothing to do with that wretched pool. Every hope had been invested in its waters. No, it was Jesus who made him whole.  He then walks into both trouble as the pedants say he shouldn’t have been healed on a Sunday and also into glorious history as a man who did want to get better with Jesus Christ. When Jesus finds him again he says: See you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” Wholeness is not just new legs but a whole new way of life. He says 'Yes' to the new beginning. That’s always the story of Jesus.

That prayer remains with me for the many dimensions of wholeness Jesus offers: 'Thank you God for the healing you gave me today. Please heal me tomorrow'  If we were truly spiritually sensitive, we would have prayed that way all of our lives.


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