Do You Want to Get Well? - The Warrior's Journey®

Do You Want to Get Well?

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“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 want to get well?’” (John 5:6) 

By a series unfortunate of events in 1988, Iranian Merhan Nasseri became a prisoner within a Paris airport terminal. His home country had disowned him. His money, visa, and identification were stolen.  Without these, no country would accept him. He had no other place to stay than in “free soil” of the Paris airport. And there he remained for the next eighteen years! 

How did he survive? He washed in the airport restrooms and ate at the airport fast food stands that would give him handouts. He slept on a bench in the underground level of the terminal.   

But didn’t anyone try to help him? Yes, many did. But when the door to freedom finally opened in 1994 and 1998, Nasseri refused to leave the airport. Why? Because his prison had become a refuge. All his needs were taken care of and he wasn’t required to do any work, carry any responsibilities, or take any risks. Finally, in 2006, Nasseri was evicted from the airport and moved to a homeless shelter. 

Now look at the man who sat at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years, living off the charity of others. Isn’t it possible that his infirmity had become a refuge from obligation and responsibility? For 38 years other people did everything for him – gave him alms, food, and transportation. Is it any wonder that Jesus asked him the question, “Do you want to get well?” Jesus knew that getting well and growing up meant taking responsibility for oneself and facing the challenges of life. 

Jesus Christ calls us to growth and maturity. He calls us to relinquish childhood and victimhood and to become mature men and women of God. 


  • In the military there is only one way to survive professionally: grow, develop as a leader, and get promoted. What does this have in common with spiritual growth? 
  • Think of the Israelites in Numbers 13 and 14. God was calling them to face the challenge of taking the Promised Land. What was the outcome? 
  • What challenges are looming on your horizon? It’s disastrous to shrink back from growth and maturity. Ask God to make you strong and courageous (Joshua 1:5-9). 

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