The Chance to Be Healed
As a certified coach, one of the key foundations of coaching is asking powerful questions. They are questions that should be laser focused and should help cut right to the point for the person being coached. One of the things I learned in coach training is that Jesus asked powerful questions. This is about one of those questions.
In the 5th chapter of John’s gospel, we read a story about Jesus coming into Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate. It is there that he walks by the pool known as Beth-Zatha, and the story goes that those who were in need of healing could gather by the pool, and when the waters began to churn, the first person into the water was healed. It is here that he comes across a man who has been sitting there for 38 years.
Jesus then asks the pointed … yet shocking … coaching question: “Do you want to be healed?”
The man looked at him (likely with some indignation) and said, “I’ve been trying to do this for 38 years. But I can’t walk and no one will lift me and put me in the water first, so I come back day after day … always waiting.” I would think he might have added: “So of course, I want to be healed!”
Jesus says, “Then stand up. Pick up your mat, and walk.” And the man listened, and in that moment experienced healing.
And it all started with a question: “Do you want to be healed?”
As we have talked about brokenness in Lent, both in worship and in these reflections, I think this is an important question for us to consider. As we have talked about individual and corporate brokenness. This week, we have focused on how institutions, even the church, experiences brokenness. And into the midst of all this brokenness, Jesus comes asking us a key question: “Do you want to be healed? Do you want to experience wholeness?”
At an institutional level, we kind of like status quo. We get into a comfortable place. No matter how much or how little privilege we may possess, it seems easier not to rock the boat. At the higher levels of institutional oversight and governance, there is little incentive to change because those in power either fear loss of power or wealth or privilege. Perhaps they fear completely bankrupting the organization altogether.
So no, at an institutional level, we may say we want to be healed, but we’re just not sure.
This doesn’t discount the pain and suffering that we experience in life at any level. Yet it becomes easy to get stuck in the brokenness … to find even a sense of comfort in the predictability that often comes with brokenness. Into this stuckness and comfort, Jesus issues the clarion call of healing and wholeness.
We are invited then to embrace our brokenness … see where Christ is calling us … and then pick up our mats at walk.
Lord God, you challenge us with this call of Christ. May we hear Christ calling us to move through and beyond our brokenness to the place where the hope of life awaits. Amen.