5 Reasons Why You Might Not Want to Get Well
In John 5 Jesus is walking through Jerusalem’s skid row, a placed filled with men and women crippled physically and emotionally. Jesus was drawn to one particular man who had been an invalid for 38 years. Jesus asked, “Do you want to be healed” (vs.6)? This seems like a profoundly silly question. Or course he wanted to be made well! Right? Well, maybe not. If all sick people want to be healed, why ask the question? Why press the point? I want to suggest that sometimes people don’t want to be made well. Whether that was the case of this guy, we don’t know. Nevertheless, this question is not profoundly silly; rather it is simply profound, especially when we apply it to sickness of the soul. It has been my personal experience that there are many folks who don’t want to be healed. Here five reasons why:
1. Sometimes people love the thing that makes them sick more then they hate the pain of their sickness. They’ll take the highs of their drug, even if it comes with significant lows.
2. Sometimes people fear the responsibility of being healthy more than they hate the disability of the sickness. With a new set of legs, they would be expected to walk and work.
3. Sometimes people are resigned to their sickness. After thirty-years of disability, health had become a non-issue for this man. To entertain it is to set oneself up to the pain of disappointment.
4. Sometimes people derive their identity from their sickness. They deep down want the attention of others and find that it is secured when they are constantly in need. To get well is to be lonely. To be healthy is to be ignored.
5. Sometimes people don’t recognize that they need to be healed. “Do you want to get healed?” “Yeah, if I were sick.” “But I’m fine.” For these, their sickness is the norm; their unhealthy is health.
Remember when Jesus told the Pharisees and Scribes that he came as a physician of the soul for folks like the tax-collectors and prostitutes, he certainly didn’t imply the health of these religious leaders. Rather he was implicating their ignorance and/or unwillingness to say “yes” to Jesus’ question, “Do you want to be healed?”