John 5:5 (ESV)
One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
Picture the scene: a pool of water surrounded by covered porches. Bethesda was known as a place of healing. It was often crowded with destitute people who were blind, lame, and paralyzed. Among them lay a man who had been lame for thirty-eight years.
Jesus asked the man, "Do you want to get well?"
On the surface, the answer would seem obvious. Of course, the man wanted to be well! But Jesus was asking a deeper question. He was probing the man's heart. Did he really want to be made whole--transformed inside and out, healed in body, mind, and soul?
Jesus spoke to him a second time: "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."
From a human standpoint, it was impossible for the man to get up. To others who were listening, this may even have sounded a bit cruel. But at that moment the healing power of Jesus touched the man, filling his body, mind, and spirit with wholeness. As Jesus healed the man, he was saying, in effect, "Pick up your mat and be out of here. You never have to think of coming back to this kind of life again."
The steps Jesus took in healing this man give us an example of how our Lord meets us today. He probes our hearts, commands the impossible, provides the power, and tells us to leave our old life behind. What a Savior!
Dear Lord, we surrender everything to You. Lift us up, make us stand, and never let us slip back into ways of sin. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.