Week 33: Do You Wish To Get Well?

Week 33: Do You Wish To Get Well?

Today’s Text: John 5-6

Key Text: John 5:6

“When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, ‘Do you wish to get well?’”

The poor man whom Jesus addressed in the scripture verse above had been ill for a very long time – thirty-eight years – to be exact.

Although the place was known to be a place of healing, the poor fellow – paralyzed as he was – could not even get into the healing waters on his own.

Jesus takes compassion upon him and heals him.

Two things strike me in the story.

First, that the man has not been able to be healed for all those years because, instead of others helping him to the healing waters, “another steps down before” him.

It’s a sad fact today as well – people selfishly getting in the way of others – claiming something for themselves first – instead of trying to help one another.

Second, it strikes me that, once healed – others only criticize him and Jesus – going so far as to say that the man is a lawbreaker because he is doing work on the Sabbath (carrying his own pallet) and Jesus is doing the same (healing him so that he can carry that pallet.)

How absurd– how legalistic – how cruelly insensitive.

But again, today much is the same – people who are legalistically self-righteous – failing to see the beauty in God’s miraculous work among us.

I suppose it’s true. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

People still desperately need God’s healing today – and we should do all we can to help them find it.

But do we?


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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