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What Do You Want? Lenten Devotions

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Blessings, Cost, Lenten Devotions

“After this … Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. … One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?'”

(John 5:1-3, 5-6 ESV)

It’s a strange question, isn’t it? Of course a sick man wants to be healed! Why would Jesus even ask?

But then I think again. What does being healed mean? Clearly it will change the man’s life in many ways, good and bad. He will have to work instead of lying by the pool. He may become a caregiver instead of a care receiver, a provider instead of a dependent. Some people will adapt to these changes with great joy. Others might have trouble. Does he want this change?

And what about us? Jesus offers to heal us, too—of the sin and evil that have broken and ruined our lives. But that change comes at a cost. For Him, the cost is suffering and death on a cross. For us, a life made new—and some of the newness might be hard or painful. Friends or family might be angry. We might lose out on pleasures or opportunities.

Following Jesus is a great blessing—but it comes at a cost. And so Jesus asks us, too: “What do you want?”

We Pray: Lord Jesus, help me to want what You want—my life, salvation, and blessing. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
* What has being a Christian cost you—what are the negatives?
* What are the blessings?
* Why do you think Jesus asks us instead of just rushing ahead with His plans?

Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on February 21, 2024
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights