Daily D – John 5:5-6
One man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?”
JOHN 5:5-6 (CSB)
He blurted out, “Son, I didn’t ask you how to build a clock. I asked you what time it is.”
Unaccustomed to having someone talk to me that way, I was grieved by the abruptness and rudeness of the reaction. He wanted a Yes or a No. However, there was more to the story than a simple affirmative or negative could bear. He didn’t care.
There are plenty of jerks in the world. We do not have to add to their number.
Jesus stepped into a place where there, “lay a large number of the disabled—blind, lame, and paralyzed,” (verse 3). Jesus did not generalize his action. He particularized it with attention given to a man who had been disabled for thirty-eight years.
After that length of time, you kind of get used to whatever problem you have. It is hard to imagine not having that problem anymore. How about you? Is there any limitation you live with today that has hindered you in some manner for a long, long time?
Jesus asked a question that sounds like the answer should be obvious. Even so, he asked. Jesus did not impose his will on the man. Jesus did not force a gift on a man who had grown to hold no expectations of a better life.
Notice what happens next. The man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years began building a clock, so to speak.
Jesus did not need the clock. He knew what time it was. It was time for this man, with his tepid, kinda, sorta Yes to be made well.
Oftentimes people say Yes with their words and No with their actions. This man did not quite say Yes with his words, but his actions tell us that he was finished explaining how to build a clock and was ready at that time for whatever Jesus offered.
There are a good handful of lessons here. Let’s consider one in particular. Whatever Jesus asks, the answer should be Yes.
Do not give Jesus clock-building lessons.
Do not tell Jesus, “It is what it is.”
Do not tell Jesus, “Now Jesus, once upon a time, I believed in stuff like that. However, some things are just too good to be true. I have learned to do without what you’re talking about and I’m just fine the way I am.”
Do not tell Jesus, “I can’t.”
Instead, tell Jesus, “Yes. Whatever you want, I want, too.”
Jesus only gives good gifts. You can trust him to be better to you than you would be to yourself.
Let’s practice today. Choose the Jesus Way first time, every time. See what happens. There is no guarantee everything will be problem-free, but there is a guarantee it will lead to the best it could be. A simple Yes can set you free.
I will say Yes to Jesus.
Our Father, you know what we want and what we need. You know that we often live beneath your good intentions. We hide behind our fears. We make endless excuses. We worry what someone else will think. Please give us the courage to say Yes with our words and with our reactions to whatever you ask. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.