Today I want to begin to take a look at the story in John 5. Here are the basics.
Jesus is in Jerusalem and ends up by a pool near the sheep gate. It was believed that when the waters were stirred (perhaps a spring occasionally bubbled up there) that the first person in the water would be healed. Because of this there were many lame, blind, and otherwise ill people laying there. One such man was paralyzed and had been in that condition for 38 years.
Jesus approaches the man and asks him, “Do you want to get well?” Wait! What?!
I want to stop here and consider this moment. First, let’s just get a few facts out of the way. Jesus can for sure heal this guy. He’s already done some healing previous to this. He has the power to heal this man. And this man has been in the condition for a long, long time. Frankly it’s a minor miracle that he lived that long in those times while in that condition. He is also at the pool, hoping to get in at the right moment. Why else be there but for the hope of being healed?
So why does Jesus ask him if he wants to get well?