RHYTHM: Gotta Want It – John 5

Easter 6 John 56th Sunday of Easter: John 5:1-9

Reading: John 5:1-9

Gotta Want It

Let’s give this guy a little credit. The text of John 5 doesn’t actually say he’d been by the pool for 38 years, just that he’d been ill for 38 years. It’s clear to Jesus that the man has been there for quite some time, so Jesus’ question is a bit unusual: “Do you want to be made well?” The man replies, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.”

For some reason Jesus doesn’t come back with, “Sir, that’s not what I asked you.”

The man is so conditioned to not getting what he wants that his response to a direct question about whether he even wants to be healed bounces off of his ears. He responds by explaining why it’s not going to happen. Jesus could just as easily have responded, “Well, why are you still here then?” The man had set up camp at a life obstacle. We’re not going to find victory at every turn. When we encounter failure or disappointment or rejection in life, though, we can’t just sit down and give up on the spot.

So Jesus heals him. The hilarious conclusion to this man’s extended convalescence was getting in trouble with the Jews—he was carrying his mat on the Sabbath. “Not so fast there, buddy. You’ve been on that mat for years—what’s one more day?”

For reflection:

When have you let a defeat completely trump your resolve?



RHYTHM is a daily lectionary devotion series in development by Youthworker Circuit. YWC members also receive weekly curriculum sessions for Sunday’s readings. To subscribe to Youthworker Circuit, click here. If you’re new to us, you might like to know more about RHYTHM. You’re also welcome to check out more of our devotions, or come visit us on Facebook!