Summary: Jesus encounters the man at the pool and seeks to empower him with more than what the man had had for the past 38 years. Jesus asks us as individuals and as a church, "Do We Want To Get Well"
Do You Want To Get Well
Luke 19:28-40 John5:1-15 Palm Sunday Calvary 4/2/2012
Jesus Christ came into this world to give people another chance at life. Palm Sunday was his announcement to the world that he was the king they had been waiting for to turn their lives around. One of the problems Jesus ran into, was that many people did not even know they needed a change, or that they needed to turn from anything.
Have you ever ran into someone whom you knew the person needed help, but the person was just as sure he or she was fine just like they were. I know of a young single mother who has three kids. All of them are under 14 and totally out of control. They’ve been kicked out of school, and are barred from their grandmother’s home. She has been beaten by her boyfriend and gotten restraining orders against him. Now she’s pregnant once again, by the boyfriend who was beating her. I look at her story being repeated again and again and I wonder, “do you want to get well.” Do we want to be changed by the power of God? Do we want more than what life throws at us.
Palm Sunday takes place on the Sunday before Jesus is going to be killed on a cross. Jesus knows when he comes to Jerusalem, he is going to be killed by the very same people he was coming to help. Though there were some who were eager to receive Christ, Jesus knew that there were those in the crowd waving and shouting with palms who were not really with him. Are you really with Jesus today?
What makes the difference in peoples lives in their reception of Jesus is their attitude. Jesus can do practically nothing for the person who believes, I am fine just like I am or for the person who decides to be content just making excuses and blaming someone else. If you think you have it altogether already, you won’t hear God calling for you, and you won’t call out for God until something tragic happens.
Our attitude is a choice. It is something that’s very valuable, because it lets us be in control of how we feel inside. If attitude was not a choice, we could not follow Christ, because Jesus requires of us some unexpected attitudes in certain situations.
There was a man we met in our Scriptures today who had been paralyzed in his legs for some 38 years. He was near the pool of Bethesda, because of a rumor that he had heard.
It went like this, every now and then an angel would come and stir the waters. Whoever was the first person in the pool when the waters were stirred would be healed of whatever disease or sickness they had. Now people gathered here because this was like a building with a roof being held up by five colonades, but no walls. It gave you some relief from the weather. There were plenty of people there who would be begging for financial support.
Let’s name this guy at the pool Ronnie. Ronnie is unable to walk. His goal is to get to the pool before anybody else so that he can be healed. But what is his strategy. He is going to look and see when the waters get stirred so that he can take action. But consider this. He cannot walk. He cannot run. He has not made provisions for anyone to be by his side if the waters are stirred. He’s been using this same strategy for 38 years and he’s still in the same shape. Does Ronnie have a realistic plan for a change in his life. How many people have a goal in life with no realistic chances of reaching it. They just hoping for the big one.
One day something different happens. A guy is headed in his direction with a look of compassion on his face. Ronnie is probably thinking, this guy is going to leave me a good amount of change in my begging cup. The closer he gets to Ronnie, the happier Ronnie gets. You can just see the compassion in this guy’s eyes. The guy approaching him is Jesus, but Ronnie’s been at the pool so he has no idea what Jesus looks like.
Jesus comes to Ronnie, and asks the question: Do you want to get well? You’d expect Ronnie to shout out, “Sir if I could be made well it would be the happiest day of my life. If you have an answer for my condition, please tell me immediately.” But that’s not what Ronnie does. Ronnie responds, “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool, when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”