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Daily Devotional John 5:1–15

Once when I was stopped at a traffic light, a man came up to the car window and asked for money. I reached into my pocket and handed him a few bills. To my surprise, he said I should have given him more. While I didn’t voice my question out loud, I wondered, “Did he want to work?”

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

In John chapter 5, Jesus encountered a man who was an invalid. He had been lying near a pool in Jerusalem where there were many disabled people. The pool, known for its healing properties, was surrounded by “the blind, the lame, the paralyzed” (v. 3). Everyone was hoping for a miracle; they longed to be healed.

When Jesus saw a man who had been lying there for some time, He asked a surprising question, “Do you want to get well?” (v. 6). This question may seem odd. Obviously, this man wanted to get well. Why wouldn’t a lame person want to walk again? But Jesus was getting at something deeper than his physical healing.

Getting well would mean a new life. It meant this man could no longer depend on others to help him. It meant that he would have to become a responsible citizen of the community. It meant that people would begin to expect things from him. Getting well also meant that God would expect things from him.

When Jesus healed him, He gave him two new responsibilities. The first was physical: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (v. 8). The second was spiritual: “Stop sinning” (v. 14). This would be a new start, from inside out.

>> We have to answer the same question, “Do I want to get well?” When Jesus makes us well, He has new expectations for our life. He challenges us to leave our old sinful ways behind and walk in a new way. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17).

Pray with Us

Leaving behind old sin patterns doesn’t always happen instantly. We never cease needing Your conviction, forgiveness, and sanctification. Teach us to be on our guard against temptation and to choose You over self-indulgence.

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