Receiving a Miracle from Jesus
“1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “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.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.” John 5:1-15 NIV (emphasis mine)
There are a number of unusual routes through which God brings healing to His people.
- The purified pot of stew found in 2 Kings 4:38-41
- The healing of Namaan when he had to wash in theJordan Riverseven times in 2 Kings 5:10-14.
- The healing of the man who touched the bones of Elisha in 2 Kings 13:20-1-.
- The healing of those who had the shadow of Peter fall upon them in Acts 5:14-16, and…
- The healing of those who had Paul’s handkerchief upon them in Acts 19:11-12.
This healing that Jesus performs in John 5 is no exception. Here, a story is recorded about a time when Jesus has gone up from Cana of Galilee to Jerusalemto celebrate one of the great religious feasts. Once inside the city, Jesus comes to the pool of Bethesda. Lying all around the pool are sick and paralyzed people. They are there because a legend said that an angel would on occasion come and stir the waters of the pool, and the first one to enter the pool after the angel stirred the water would be healed. Of course this was merely a superstition, but it was the last hope for many of these people. When Jesus comes across one of the paralytics there by the pool, He begins by asking a question that seems somewhat patronizing when you first look at it. “Do you want to get well?”
While that seems like an odd question to ask someone who has been paralyzed for 38 years, I wonder if Jesus is actually testing the man to see if he still had the hope of healing within him. After all, many people put away the idea of ever being healed. Many give up and lose hope entirely. Jesus could easily have been dealing with a man whose heart was withered just as much as his legs.
For thirty-eight years this man has been a beggar who lived by the pity of others. If he is healed he would lose all of this.
I have read that in theMiddle Eastin Bible times (and some places even today) – a person who was healed from a debilitating illness would lose a good living (people are more likely to give to the disabled than to able bodied people who are unable to obtain work). Apparently in some places in the third world today, parents are sometimes guilty of crippling their own children so that they can earn a living by begging.
The point is that if he were healed, the man in John 5 would be venturing out into the unknown. He would lose all his securities, and be responsible for himself if he were healed. He would have to find work (after 38 years of no employment) and figure out a way to care for himself if he were healed. It would be the equivalent of asking a person today who has lived on welfare for their entire life, if they would be willing to give up being dependant on others in order to be well. To be healed meant to live a completely new life. Although there would be great possibilities, there would also be a great amount of risk
The man on the mat told Jesus that he wanted to be made well. He made his decision and chose his path. As a result, Jesus responds. When Jesus responds to the man in John 5, it looks a lot like how He responds when we want to make changes today as well.
Here are some observations about what Jesus says to a man who needed a miracle. told the man who needed healing.
I need to act in faith to receive a miracle. “Get up…” It is interesting that Jesus didn’t heal the man first then tell him to get up. Jesus just told him to get up. It would surely be easier to rise after he was healed, but Jesus was looking for the man to exercise his faith in order to receive his healing.
Jesus does the same today. He doesn’t just do everything for me. Instead He requires that I trust His Word more than we trust my circumstances. In order to receive the blessings of Jesus, the paralytic needed to take Jesus at His word. He could have said, “Jesus You’re crazy! I can’t walk!” He could have doubted. He could have said, “”Don’t make fun of me. You know I can’t walk!” Jesus was calling this man in need of a miracle to trust God’s Word more than he trusted his circumstances. That is the same thing that Jesus calls me to do as well.
I need to leave behind my old lifestyle to receive a miracle. “pick up your mat…” Jesus didn’t want the man to leave his bed where he might be tempted to return to it. He had to remove it completely.
Jesus didn’t want the bed to remain where someone else would lie down on it either. He told the paralytic that he needed to take up his bed and get rid of it immediately. In other words, Jesus was telling him to “Get rid of your old life altogether.”
Those whom Jesus has saved should show evidence of a life that is changed! I heard someone put it this way, “A saved man is not an old man in a new coat; He’s a new man in an old coat.”
I need to know and share my testimony to receive a miracle. “and walk” Jesus doesn’t just bring healing ONLY for me to enjoy. This is an important key to the Gospels. God blesses me not only to good to me, but also to bless others. I need to “walk” in the miracles that He provides. I need to share of God’s goodness and power displayed in my life. Jesus calls me to “walk” in His anointing, share it, show it, and bless others. I need to exercise my blessings by demonstrating it to others.
Lord Jesus I am waiting for my miracle. Healing for Laura and protection for my family. Lord that I would get up, pick up my mat, and walk. Amen.