LATJ: Getting Well

16 09 2009

BruceAlmightyI find it interesting that Jesus asked the sick man in John 5 if he wanted to get well. He could have just walked up to him and said “You are healed” and went on His way. Many people think that God should just be going around making everyone well and fixing every problem that we have. He should be the benevolent father that just gives us what we want and stop all bad things from happening. But that is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is interested in our relationship with Him. To have a relationship there must be communication and for that relationship to be meaningful it must be by choice, not forced upon us. That is part of free will.

In the movie “Bruce Almighty”, God gives Bruce all of His powers to do with as he pleases. The only stipulation God puts on him is that he can’t affect “free will.” While Bruce is able to make anything happen, the one thing he finds that he can’t control is the love of his girlfriend. After numerous failed attempts to get her to love him, Bruce says in frustration “How can you make someone love you without affecting free will.” You can’t! In his book “Think Like Jesus”, George Barna says this about free will: “He seeks a genuine relationship with us because we want to love Him and are willing to turn our back on the best that the world has to offer in order to receive the best that He has to offer. It must be a choice for it to be meaningful.” Could God make us love Him? Sure, but then it wouldn’t be meaningful. It wouldn’t be a true relationship. That is why Jesus asks us if we want to be healed. He loves us so much that He gives us the choice to follow Him. When you do, it will be like it says in John 5:8-9: “Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk.’ And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.”

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