A. First of all, Jesus encouraged the man to identify what he wanted. Vs. 6 says, "When Jesus saw him lying there & learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, `Do you want to get well?í" That sounds like an absurd question. Of course this man wanted to get well! You wouldnít ask a starving man, "Do you want food?" would you?

Actually, it was a very valid question, for there are people who, if given an opportunity for healing, might actually choose to remain sick. Right now theyíre free of some unpleasant responsibilities, & they get sympathy by complaining about their sickness. They can manipulate people by being sick, or punish themselves if they feel guilty.

ILL. Dave Reavor, disabled Viet Nam veteran, tells of a young man in the 1960s who didnít want to be drafted. So he had all his teeth pulled out to make himself unfit for military duty. But when he took his physical, he was declared unfit because of flat feet!

So when Jesus asked, "Do you want to get well?" He seems to be saying, "You have friends who bring you here, & youíve developed friendships with others who come here regularly. If I heal you, your life will do a complete reversal. Youíll be expected to get a job & relate to people on a different basis. Are you ready for that change? Do you really want to get well?"

B. Thatís a question we may need to answer, as well. What do you want? The first step to gaining something is to want it.

ILL. Zig Ziglar says he looked into a mirror one day & realized he needed to lose a lot of weight. He really wanted to get in shape. As an incentive, he put a picture of a thin man on the refrigerator door.

There are all kinds of gimmicks offered as motivators to dieting. You can purchase sound tracks that laugh at you & call you "fatso" when you open the refrigerator door! But Ziglar wanted a positive reinforcement, so he put a picture of what he wanted to look like on the refrigerator. That constant reminder was the first step toward a healthier body for him.

ILL. Drs. Minirth & Meyer have written a book about overcoming depression entitled "Happiness Is a Choice." They wrote, "As psychiatrists, we cringe whenever Christian patients use the words, `I canítí & `Iíve tried.í Any good psychiatrist knows that `I canítí & `Iíve triedí are merely lame excuses. We insist that our patients stop saying `canítí & say `wonítí instead."

"They need to see what they are really doing, so we make them face up to it by saying, `I just wonít get along with my wife.í `My husband & I wonít communicate.í `I wonít discipline my kids the way I should.í `I wonít find time to pray.í `I wonít stop gossiping.í When they change their "caníts" to "woníts" they stop avoiding the truth & start facing reality."

We need to determine what we really want, & as Godís people, learn to say with the apostle Paul, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" [Philippians
Nelson Vitug
November 26, 2008
it is excellent and inspiring
Roberto Flores of Spanish Church Of God
August 23, 2008
excellet and inspiring, hit rigth in the matter of christianity
As one who was healed out of a wheelchair after nine years, I find this message to be right on. I can parallel this with my experience. Jesus spoke to me in about the same way. By cueing off the sayings in this passage, I can set my story right into this one ... I will be doing that this weekend at a rescue mission here in town. Thank you for your help ... may God continue to hold you in His Righteous Right Hand...