"When Jesus saw the man lying there and knew that he had already been there [for 38 years], he said to him, 'Do you want to be made whole?' The sick man answered him, 'Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.'" (John 5:6-7)
The man in this account had been some sort of invalid for at least 38 years...probably his whole life. So for 38 years this man has sat by these waters that supposedly had healing powers, no better off than he was 38 years earlier when he arrived. In his response to Jesus' question of whether he wants to be made whole, the man wrongly assumes two things: 1) that being made whole has primarily to do with his life circumstances as opposed to his relationship with God, and 2) that Jesus is incapable of restoring him to wholeness.
What life circumstances are you tempted to equate with wholeness? Career success? Financial security? Physical health? Appearance? Relationship status? How does your definition of wholeness impact your day-to-day life?