One day Jesus came up to a man who was an invalid for 38 years. He could not walk for 38 years at a time there were no modern assistive devices like wheelchairs, powerchairs, etc. He would have had a wooden mat that people would have used to carry him around.
At that time people would go to a pool, The Sheep Gate Pool, and wait for an angel to stir the waters or at least that is what they believed. When the water was stirred up, people would get in hoping to be healed. The paralyzed man had no one to help him get in and he could not do it on his own. Imagine how many times he went there in futility.
Then Jesus came along. Jesus asked him a simple question:
“Do you want to get well?”
The man did not know who Jesus was. He replied:
Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Jesus spoke the command:
“Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
The man immediately got up and walked. He left still without knowing who Jesus is.
The religious leaders got all upset that the man was defying their manmade rules, rules not from God, about how to follow the Sabbath. They confronted the man for simply carrying the mat Jesus had just told him to pick up.
“It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
The man did not know who Jesus is because Jesus slipped away as soon as the man was healed.
Jesus came back to the man with instructions.
“See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
We do not know what the sin was. Perhaps drinking and then an accident caused his condition. Perhaps a fight led to it. We have no idea. But because Jesus spoke to him again, the man knew who Jesus is and told the religious leaders. That sets up what we will look at next week.
Nothing can stop Jesus from doing what he wills to do. Our ignorance of who he is. The false rules of others. No situation is too hopeless for Jesus.
The man had no faith. He had no clue, Yet Jesus healed him.
If our faith is weakened by despair, if we feel hopeless, we do not need to pump ourselves up into a frenzy of false bravado “faith”. We only need to look to Jesus and ask for help.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.