|"Walk," would be the most wonderful word in the world for a paralytic.|
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
Sometimes it seems like everything falls into place. Life is easy. I put the key in my car and it starts. The traffic lights are all green. I go about my business and find the exact item I went shopping for. But then, there's days when traffic is stop and go. It seems like millions of people are blocking me from what I need.
For the paralytic, he spent years waiting to get into the Bethesda pool so he could get healed. He must've had great faith and patience to not give up. Maybe that's what Jesus saw. He really cares about those who are cast aside, seemingly forgotten.
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
I remember sharing with a girl who was in deep trouble in street ministry. I explained how Jesus could fix everything. I knew He could, He fixed mine. She really wanted to accept Him. But, she was too afraid of what might happen to her if she became a Christian. So I told her to pray when she was ready. Jesus asked the man if he wanted to get well. He didn't force him or push him. The guy was ready.
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
I can imagine people rushing to the pool elbowing and pushing to get in first. Sometimes we can get a little self-absorbed. But Jesus had another plan for this man.
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
He saw this man's dilemma. He didn't forget after 38 years. What a great day for the man!
And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
Oy! There was a time when legalism was more important than love. We still have this struggle today. But the Scribes and Pharisees used it as the only guideline in life.
11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’”
This is pretty bold, saying these things would put the man in a bad position with the leaders. He didn't care, he could walk! It's interesting none of the leaders helped these guys into the pool.
12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.
I forget to get names too. Ok I forget names really bad.
14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
Jesus wanted the leaders to know it was Him. I'm sure seeking the man out was part of His plan.
15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
What I get from this passage is to remember to watch out for those in need around me, not just focus on what I need. Also, it's good to wait for God's promises. Don't give up. His timing is perfect.
Here's a great song I used to sing a lot in the car on my way to work. I long to see through Jesus' eyes, to help when I can, like He does. Give me Your eyes (link)