When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
I like excuses. There, I said it! The truth of the matter is, so do you! There is something comforting and safe about them. If we are not careful, they can become our security blanket that keeps us stagnant and from becoming who God calls us to be.
In John 5, there is a recounting of an interaction that Jesus has with a crippled man. This man gets a bad reputation. To his credit, he had been crippled for 38 years. He did not know who Jesus was. All of his hope hung on a myth or superstition at best. Then, he encounters Jesus. Jesus asked this penetrating question that He often poses to us. “Do you wish to get well?” At surface level that question seems insulting or naïve at best. Yet, we know that Jesus always ask questions that moves beyond the mind and penetrates the heart. We would think this man would give a resounding yes, but instead he gives an excuse. This man is face to face with the creator of heaven and earth. Instead of answering "YES", he explains why "NO" seems more logical. I have come to find that I share more in common with this man than I care to admit.
Here is one truth to be gleamed from this encounter. One Word from the Lord is more potent than several paragraphs of excuses! Let that sink in. As great of an excuse we can conjure up, it is no match for the omnipotent Savior. This does not mean we should ignore reality and walk in foolish faith. However, it is a challenge for us to seek God’s face, and when we encounter Him by His Word, take Him at His Word!