Do You Want To Get Well?


John 5:1-15

“Do you want to get well?”

It seems like a stupid question. Crowds of people lie around the pool, believing that when the water is stirred it has healing power.  Amidst the crowd of blind, sick and paralysed people waiting there, Jesus approaches one man and asks him this question.

“Do you want to get well?”

Well, obviously. That’s why he’s waiting there. The problem is he’s been ill for 38 years and he has no-one to help him into the water, so it seems impossible.  Someone else always gets there first… but nothing is impossible with God.

Interestingly the man doesn’t answer the question. But Jesus knows his heart, so he gives an instruction:

“Stand up, pick up your mat and walk.”

The man is asked to answer the question by taking action, to show he has faith and to prove that he wants it. And as he does, healing comes!

“Do you want to get well?”

Not a stupid question really. Because if we really want it, we have to be willing to do what it takes, to have faith that it is possible, to believe that Jesus can do it, to put up with objections from people who might not understand- like the religious leaders, who are more concerned with criticising the man for “working” on the Sabbath by carrying his mat, than in rejoicing in the fact that he is able to walk.

I know from my own experience that answering yes to the question “Do you want to get well?” comes at a cost.

It is risky and it is scary.  Getting well means dealing with the source of the pain or disease, whether physical or emotional.  It may mean facing up to truths we would rather not acknowledge.

The healing process itself can be painful.  In the short term sometimes the pain of healing can be worse than the pain of living with the status quo.

And then there are the questions: What if it doesn’t work out as we hope?  Will God really heal me?  What if the healing we long for doesn’t come?

It means stepping into something new and, no matter how much we long for things to change, that can feel scary.

It is worth it though. It is the only way to fulfil our potential and walk in the healing God offers.

Healing is a tricky subject- we can’t always understand God’s work in a situation, or why he heals or doesn’t heal.

And sometimes the healing doesn’t come all at once.  Sometimes it’s a process.  Sometimes we have to stop and consider whether we’re still willing and answer the question all over again:

“Do you want to get well?”


This is part 2 of a series reflecting on questions Jesus asked.  You can read the introduction to the series and explore the question “What do you want me to do for you?” here.


Embracing Every Day  “God-Sized  Moments of HopeHolly Barrett         


36 thoughts on “Do You Want To Get Well?

  1. Thanks for asking the tough questions. I believe we often want to get well, but we don’t want to go through the pain and stretching that may be involved in being well in God’s eyes. Sometimes His idea of wellness and ours differ. And as for the faith…faith as tiny as a mustard seed – God can work with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true- we want healing but don’t always want the pain it involves. And it is encouraging to remember that even faith as small as a mustard seed is enough and that God can use it to do great things.


  2. Lesley, God has given you a real gift in teaching that I’m sure He’s using in the youth ministry you’re involved in too. I’ve been so blessed by the challenges and encouragement God speaks through you via your blog and today again in this post.

    That question challenges me as I prepare to (sugar and email/message) fast and pray through Lent. Do I want to get well as a Mum? Do I want God to help me turn from recurring sin? Even if it hurts? Even if it means giving up my (false) comfort and security, my control? Do I truly want to receive what He’s holding out to me?

    Thank you for this challenge. May God continue to bless the ministry He has given you here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do you want to get well? This is a question I ask many times of those I love that have a mental illness. It can be frustrating when we watch those we love not make the choices to get well. I am not saying it is simple for someone with a brain disorder, but a key component is, Do you want to get well?

    I love how you also brought to light other areas this could apply to besides just illness. It got me pondering what areas in my life do I need to apply the question.

    Thank you for your post.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Maree. I have a friend who struggles with mental illness and I know what you mean. The desire to be well is so important. I’m glad this post made you think.


  4. Interesting how Jesus often gave instructions in the natural when He was healing someone. It reminds me that obedience is important, and God may lead us to do something in the natural for our healing process today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You know that is the thing about being in the presence of Jesus… He asks us the questions we need to be asked. Getting well…living out our faith… choosing to lean, trust, and rely on God they are all a risk, aren’t they?

    Thank goodness that He is the source of the peace that comes when we are willing to step right into His Will and that is to bring us into wholeness.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Getting well is certainly not for the faint of heart! I think the work to get well is often more taxing than the trauma that cause the pain in the first place. You’ve given me lots to chew on today! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Faith requires action. I love the simple question Jesus asked-do you want to get well? As you said if we say yes, we have to be willing to accept the cost that may come with that answer. I can’t wait to see what other questions you explore.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This has been hard for me, Lesley. Every time I ask God to take away the thorn of this chronic illness, He always tells me His grace is sufficient. This week I read someone’s blog post who has often been condemned that she didn’t get well because of her lack of faith. I have felt that way, too. Do I not have enough faith? But as this blogger wrote, God still makes it well with our souls. As for emotional wellness, it can be a process and does take a lot of work. As you write – “Healing is a tricky subject- we can’t always understand God’s work in a situation, or why he heals or doesn’t heal.” Thank you for understanding. I do love how Jesus questions us like He probes deep into our souls. Nothing is hidden from Him. Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a difficult subject, Trudy, and while wanting to get well and having faith play a part I know there are lots of people who desperately want to get well and have lots of faith but it still doesn’t happen. I hate when people who are already suffering are made to feel worse by feeling condemnation or that it is their fault.
      My friend Barbara is doing an excellent series about this right now, looking at the book of Job. If you want to take a look the intro post is here and she has written 3 posts so far.
      Love and hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your words remind me of something my dear Mom used to tell me often. She said God doesn’t always heal instantly…sometimes He heals gradually. It doesn’t mean He isn’t answering our prayers for healing, it just means that, like you said we have to walk through the process of being healed, and we have to remain willing and obedient to do it God’s way. It reminded me also of Naaman and how he felt sort of insulted when told to go dip in Jordan 7 times. His healing was coming in a much unexpected way, and it wasn’t packaged all neatly like he envisioned it to be. You gave me much to think about, as you always do when I come here. Thank you, friend, and God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. It is hard to understand why God heals or doesn’t heal, why sometimeit’s immediate and other times gradual and why it sometimes happens in ways we don’t expect. The story of Naaman is a great reminder that we have to do things God’s way.


  10. Lesley, such a great post. You’re right. We can get so used to living with our status quo (those internal or/and external wounds) that the thought of something different seems scary. Even if we know we want it. We do need to step out into the new thing, trust God, and take those steps forward. I hadn’t thought about this passage quite the way you shared it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeanne. Yes, stepping forward can be scary. Even if we really want to fear can be a big barrier. It is worth it to step forward, trusting God, but definitely not always easy.


  11. You are so right. Going after our healing takes effort on our part. It’s easier for me to go after my physical healing, but to answer “yes” to the emotional healing I desperately desire, that is much harder. Would you understand if I said I’ve become comfortable with the way that I am and sometimes I fear who I may be without all of the hang ups. Makes sense? Thank you for sharing this powerful message!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Barbie. Yes, it makes sense to me. Even though we know it’s good and it’s what we want it can be hard to step into something new and although the healing process is good it can also be painful.


  12. I found you at Tell His Story. There are some powerful thoughts here…thank you. You are right, sometimes the healing doesn’t come all at once. And sometimes it doesn’t come at all in the form we hope for…but God is always faithful. Lovely post. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your title stopped me as I just finished scheduling a very similar post for next week. Seems we’re on the same wave these days. Getting well is risky. And it’s seldom immediate. Thanks for sharing these good words.

    Liked by 1 person

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