Walk through any hospital or ask anyone who is chronically ill or otherwise disabled, “Do you want to get well?” and they will whole heartily answer, “Yes!” Yet, start stopping random people on the street and ask them, “Do you want to be saved?” Most will give you a funny look.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus encounters a man whose been disabled for 38 years, so Jesus asks the man a question.

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

John 5:6 (NIV)

Instead of whole heartily answering, “Yes!” the man gives Jesus a different reply.

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “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.”

John 5:7 (NIV)

This man was disabled. There’s no question of that. He also wanted to be healed; otherwise, he wouldn’t be sitting by the pool waiting for a mythological angel to stir it so he could get healed. Instead, it seems the man is explaining why he hasn’t healed. However, Jesus doesn’t buy into the man’s drama and heals him.

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

John 5:8 (NIV)

For years, I’ve thought it absurd that Jesus would ask the man he knew had been disabled for 38 years if he wanted to be healed. However, this exchange intends to stir our feelings and make us think.

We see a similar exchange in Luke with the paralyzed man.

Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

Luke 18-20 (NIV)

That paralyzed man didn’t agree to be taken to Jesus to have his sins forgiven. No, the man’s friends took him to Jesus so that their friend would be physically healed and be able to walk. Of course, after Jesus declared the man forgiven of his sins, the Pharisees and teachers of the law were beside themselves with indignation.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Luke 18:21 (NIV)

Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

Luke 18:22-24 (NIV)

One takeaway from these two incidents, the man at the pool and the paralyzed man on the mat, is that there is healing, and then there is healing. Healing of the body and healing of the soul. Both men knew they needed physical healing, but only Jesus saw the importance of healing their souls over healing their bodies.

When Jesus asked the man at the pool if he wanted to get well, he could have been talking about his soul and not his body. However, the man rightly thought only of his physical condition. Yet, we know that the man at the pool honored God after being healed, although he didn’t know who the man was who healed him. We know this because Jesus finds the man later on at the temple.

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

John 5:14 (NIV)

The difference between the two men was that the paralyzed man on the mat believed that Jesus would heal him, while the man at the pool had no idea who Jesus was. Perhaps the man had turned to God at one time, but no longer. The man at the pool had given up and turned to myths and legends instead of turning to God.

As Christians, we know it’s better to be saved and laid up for life than to be healthy and on the way to hell. Often, when someone is disabled, it’s apparent to everyone. However, when someone doesn’t know Jesus, they don’t know their peril. They don’t realize they need to be made whole. They don’t know that they are separate from God and need to accept the gift of salvation to be in right standing with God. Yet, as Christians, we do know. Therefore, it’s our privilege and duty to tell them. Even if they give us a funny look.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.