Are we ready for the question?

February 8, 2011

1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 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: 1-6)

Now in case you don’t know the story (look it up) Jesus heals this man, but for as long as I can remember the question he poses has puzzled me a bit.  “Do you want to get well?”  I am not currently physically handicapped, but the way I have been looking at this lately is in light of my current financial situation.  I liken it to Jesus coming to me today, and asking, “Do you want a ministry job?”   My response would be something like, “What!  Are you kidding me?  Of course I want a job!!!!” But instead we hear this man almost give an excuse, a reason for not making it to the water in time for a touch from the angels.  Why isn’t he shouting, “Yes, please!  Thank you very much!” instead of listing reasons for his unfulfilled dreams and inflexible limbs?

I don’t know.  Was the man comfortable in his poolside seat, provided for by pity, but still able to sit in the sun and read the Jerusalem Times all day?  Was his beggars income enough for his meager needs?  Had he simply given up hope?

Sometimes I wonder if we are ready for the questions Jesus asks.  I really want another ministry position.  So am I willing to move to Capistrano California, or New York City?  How about Calcutta of New Delhi?  Stay in Buffalo?  I remember, there used to be a popular Christian song called “Whatever” Whatever you want Lord, I’ll do it.  I was younger then, but the question still was raised, “Will you do whatever I ask?”  I believed then, as I do now, that I would obey.

Then he tested me with Russia.  I loved it.  Then he tested me with Indiana.  I loved it.  The he tested me with New York.  I loved it.  So why do I still tremble?


When Moses met the living God

The bush, it burned, his feet were shod

Throw down your staff, throw down your Rod

When Moses heard his Savior there he trembled

Then he sang.


Joshua heard “Be not afraid”

“You will fulfill the plans I’ve laid”

“I will destroy the walls they made”

When  Joshua  heard the Savior he trembled

Then he sang



When Mary heard the angel voice

And heard the news her heart rejoiced

And knew the Chosen was her choice

When Mary met the angel there she trembled

Then she sang


I am warming up my vocal chords.



One Response to “Are we ready for the question?”

  1. […] this link: Are we ready for the question? « Tim Miller's Blog Posted in Jewish Festivals – Tagged aramaic, bethesda, five-covered, jerusalem, jesus, […]

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