I talked last week about the human will. Well, I'm still talking about it.
In Luke 18, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. It was near the end of his ministry and he knew what that meant as well as we do now. On his way, a blind man heard him coming and called out to him for mercy.
Now, I'm sure that you and I could figure out what the blind man wanted from Jesus, let alone Jesus himself. Did he need to be told that the poor man wanted sight? Probably not. I don't think that's a stretch.
But here's what strikes me: Jesus still asked, "What do you want me to do for you?" A question he knew the answer to. A question everyone around them likely knew the answer to. But he wanted to hear it from the man's lips. He wanted to know whether it was really and truly that man's will to be healed by the Messiah.
Jesus is interested in our wills. We are all blind sometimes. We all stumble sometimes. We all go to bed sometimes ashamed of our day's performance, wondering why we aren't better and wishing we could be. Believe it or not, Jesus sees that wish as much as he sees our performance. In our blindest, filthiest, most unrighteous states, he meets us and says, "I know you are flawed. I know you are not perfect. I will forgive you. And I can make you purer, more righteous. Is that what you want?"
John 5, at the pool of Bethesda. Jesus finds a man who had been there for thirty-eight miserable years, waiting for healing that would never come. Jesus knew exactly how long he'd been there. He knew exactly why he was there. But Jesus' first words to the man were not, "Rise up and walk," or "Congratulations, you're healed." They were, "Do you want to be healed?"
Isn't that an obvious question?
In the context of a crippled man, maybe it is. But what about our context? The context of men and women going about their lives in a world that doesn't see a need for Jesus anymore. A context where people can need Christ as desperately as the blind man needed sight or the lame man needed legs to walk, and yet still not want him. Still not be willing to take what he gives.
Jesus is interested in more than performance. His primary concern is the heart. Yes, we will stumble, but do we repent? Do we crave his forgiveness and his help to get back up again, better than before? Is it our will to serve him with everything we have? Do we want to be healed?
It all starts with a willing heart.
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