Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Don't Restate the Problem

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, 'Do you want to be healed?' The sick man answered him, 'Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.'" — John 5:6-7, ESV

Notice Jesus' question.  It's really a yes or no question.  Here it is again: "Do you want to be healed?" That's it.  There's not a whole lot of explaining that needs to come with the response.  And yet, the man responds to by telling Jesus why he hasn't been healed as of yet.  Now of course, at that time in Jesus' ministry, he wasn't super well known for healing people.  Jesus had performed some miracles by this point but not a lot.  So the man had a little bit of a reason to respond as he did.

But here's the thing: why do we still respond the same way? Why do we explain to Jesus the problems in the situation or the reasons why something won't work out.  Martha, the sister of Lazarus, did this same thing when Jesus told them to move the stone before he raised Lazarus to life.  Her first response: "Lord, by this time there will be an odor for he has been dead four days" (John 11:39, ESV).  The thing is this: Jesus knows the problems.  He knows the "dangers."  He understands the difficulties that come with life.  However, Jesus is the one with the solution.   I'm convinced that when Jesus asks a "yes or no" question, he is actually expecting a "yes or now" answer.  So often the miracles of Jesus get lost in our explanations of why the impossible can't happen.

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