All of us go through times in our lives when change is inevitable. Sometimes, we can almost sense that a transition is about to take place where one season ends and another season starts. Having a baby, graduating, moving home, starting a new job, getting married, or caring for a loved one are all expected or unexpected changes that can be positive and stressful all at the same time. Change means you must leave the familiar for what is unfamiliar.
One of Jesus’ most famous miracles occurs in the Gospel of John, when Jesus heals a man who had been crippled for 38 years at the Bethesda pool. In John 5:6, Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to get well?” It seems like a very simple question, but the man doesn’t respond to the question. Instead he replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” We can gather from his defeated response that he had given up hope on ever being healed.
Not everyone who needs to change wants to be changed. Though Jesus saw the man’s condition needed to change, the man himself needed to decide if he was willing to leave his current condition behind. Many of us want the situation or pain to be different, but we don’t want to really be different. We get attached to and find comfort in familiar problems rather than a new solution. Overcoming weight loss, alcohol and drug abuse, or a gambling addiction are all areas where we need to decide if the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of changing.
I believe the Holy Spirit is whispering to many of us today that it’s time to move toward making changes in our lives, no matter the discomfort or cost. Jesus asks each one of us, “Do you want to be healed?” What’s your answer?
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of conferring on two extraordinary leaders honorary Doctorates of Divinity on behalf of the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Pastor James Meeks has been ministering in Chicagoland for over 40 years, helping to reshape communities, serving as Illinois State Senator, and leading tens of thousands to Christ through the ministries of Salem Baptist Church.
Reverend Theo Asare from Ghana has impacted hundreds of rural communities, ministering to many people each week through Bible listening groups in remote African villages. His team has recorded the New Testament in hundreds of languages so that people can hear the Word of God.
Please join me in giving thanks to God for the impact these two men have had in the city of Chicago and around the world!
Mark Jobe serves as president of Moody Bible Institute and host of Moody Radio's Bold Steps. He is the author of Unstuck: Out of Your Cave into Your Call (Moody Publishers). He is also the founding pastor of New Life Community Church, a Chicago-based ministry with 27 locations throughout Chicago. Mark earned a diploma from Moody in 1984, a master’s degree from Moody Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in transformational leadership from Bakke Graduate University. He and his wife, Dee, have three adult children.
Bold Steps with Dr. Mark Jobe takes you on the path to freedom and authenticity in Christ. With candid, topical teaching from God’s Word, Dr. Jobe offers simple gospel messages with the power to transform your life.