Context: John 5: 1-47
Focus: John 5: 1-15
“Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” John 5:8
In this event Jesus visits Bethesda in Jerusalem, where the sick and lame come to be healed. He sees a man who’s been an invalid for thirty eight years and asks if he wants to be well. The man immediately responds that when the water is stirred there is no one to carry him to the pool, and he is unable to go there. “Jesus then says with all authority, ” Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk.” The man does as Jesus says, and he is healed.
Upon reflection of this event I saw how Jesus was building up this man’s confidence to believe he could be healed. He didn’t say “Walk”, but first told him to stand, then pick up his mat , then walk. With the first action, he must have been amazed he could stand, which gave him the confidence to pick up his mat, and receive his healing by moving forward. I thought of how Jesus spoke with authority, it was a command, and the lame man had the option of obeying or remaining seated, feeling hopeless, waiting maybe for someone to do something. But Jesus was telling him to do something. This seems to be a pattern with some of the healings that took place. On one occasion, Jesus made mud and placing it on a blind man’s eyes, told him to go wash them in the pool of Siloam. Another time ten lepers were healed when Jesus told them to just show themselves to the priests. And Lazarus was raised from the dead when Jesus said, “Lazarus come out!”
I also recall how a lame man was healed by one of Jesus’ disciples, when Peter said,
“Look at us!, Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” he then lifted him up by grabbing his hand and in that instant, his lame feet were healed and he went forth jumping and leaping for joy. ( Acts 3: 1-8)
In each of these examples the command was paraphrased to “rise up”, leave your circumstance behind, trust God at His Word, and move forward.
I’ve had few physical ailments that made me immobile, but I’ve suffered from emotional stress and periods of depression which virtually left me feeling hopeless, stewing in my circumstance and unable to move from my bed. I would often over analyze the situation and create my own net, while the enemy would throw his darts, as I laid submissively, down for the count.
But when I’d remember God’s faithfulness and His Word, I would quietly say,
“I still trust you, Lord”, Oh the mercy of God that He would recognize the first inkling of faith and run to us with open arms and a strong hand to pull us up.
As soon as my confession leaves my lips, I feel my emotions quieting, and His Peace encompassing me about. My mind soon rallys, and as I move away from my pity party, I move forward, trusting the Lord, for my circumstance.
The Lord has taught me His Peace is a choice, as His deliverance and healings are also. I could choose to believe what the enemy was saying or believe His Word, and so it is when I choose His Word, I get enough strength to change my posture from lying down to moving forward in Him.
Lord, always remind me of your faithfulness of your Word and your presence whenever my circumstance overwhelms me. Thank you for always being there with me and at all times.
” Just walk away, don’t give it the time of day.”, my Lord said to me one day, as I felt His Peace and began to soar. (Isaiah 40: 30-31)
Appreciate your sharing of your own struggles Mary! Jesus meets us exactly where we are at and does what He does best….He heals us!!