Spend some time reflecting on where you are in relation to Jesus Christ. Where have you come from? Where are you at, at this point on your faith journey, and in your life as a whole? Where are you going? You could think of taking some time out from church in order to do this. Here are a few thoughts to get started with:
To begin with, Do you still want Christ to be the meaning and purpose of your whole life? Do you really need him? The story of the man who was healed at the pool of Bethsaida is a good one to mull over. Before he actually heals the man, Jesus asks him ‘Do you want to be healed?’ What an odd question. But the fact is that until now the man had managed to ‘get by’, presumably with the help of faithful friends and relatives who brought him to the pool every day and took him home again in the evening. Perhaps you are at a similar point, either in the context of the church you currently go to, or in your life in general. Are you getting by with a bit of help from your friends? – to paraphrase the Beatles. Would you like your experience of Jesus to be more vital and real? Or to have greater depth? These are important questions. They are ‘crisis’ questions.
The Greek word ‘crisis’ means judgment, so his meeting with Jesus was a defining moment for the man waiting by the Bethsaida pool. Did he, or didn’t he, want to take responsibility for his life and not blame others for the fact that he never managed to get to the pool in time to be healed? Jesus is offering him not only healing, but freedom. He gives him the confidence, the grace, to pick up not only his pallet, but his life and his own unique personhood. So this passage suggests that rather than going round and round the same questions regarding how we have come to be where we are in our life at present, we simply let go of these doubts and questions and look Jesus in the eye. Do we want to be healed?