Message: Jesus visits an area known to be
where a bunch of sick people lay on mats. He asks one man who has been sick for
38 years of he wants to be well. The man tells him that “he can’t” and gives an
excuse. Jesus tells him to pick up his mat and he does. He is healed and
walking around. A few days later Jesus finds him in the temple and tells him to
stop sinning so nothing worse will happen to him.
Command: Stop sinning against myself to cause physical,
mental and spiritual illness.
Promise: God is a healing God.
Warning: If I don’t really want to be healed I
could potentially stay in an unwell condition for life.
Application: As I read this I wonder how many of
us consider ourselves “sick”. I love that this passage doesn’t tell us what his
specific sickness was or we might dwell on that. All that we know is that he
had it for 38 years, and he blamed others for not helping him, or because
others had a better opportunity than he did. He seemed to have accepted that
this was his life. I noticed a difference between the others that Jesus healed
because the others yelled for Jesus and begged for him to heal them, but this guy
had Jesus approach him and ask him if he wanted to be healed. Why did he say
that he couldn’t? Did he know who Jesus was? Then after he was healed Jesus
found him in the temple and told him to stop sinning so something worse wouldn’t
happen to him. This is also interesting because he doesn’t tell us what sin
(again we would probably dwell on that). It seems he wanted us to understand
that his sin contributed to or caused his illness. He didn’t want to choose
healing, but Jesus gave it to him anyway, and once he had received it Jesus had
to warn him that his continued sin was going to cause something worse. We don’t
hear about whether or not he listened to Jesus. My challenge to myself is to
take notice of things in my life that I suffer from, but don’t pursue wellness,
and what am I doing to contribute to this condition. This could be physical,
mental or spiritual health, or maybe even all of them combined.