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Just Say Yes, Part 2

Oct 03, 2019

In my last post, we explored the story in John 5 of the man at Bethesda. When Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be well, the man started explaining and blaming instead of just saying yes. In this post, we’ll look at Jesus’s response to the man.

Rather than humoring the man’s fixation on the past, Jesus looks towards his future. Let’s read the story in verses 6-14.

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews[d] said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 

In this passage, we see four major commands from Jesus. Let’s take a look at each one in turn.

  1. Get Up. The man had to change his mindset. He had been lying down for so many years, that taking the first step—literally—in a new direction seemed impossible. To obey Jesus’s command, he had to shift his mindset.
  2. Pick Up. The man’s mat had held him in comfort all those years. Now, he was to hold it. He was to pick it up and move forwards. This required him to leave his comfort zone.
  3. Walk Up. Not only was he to stand; he was to walk. He was to leave the environment he’d lived in all those years. The pool of Bethesda was surrounded by the lame, blind, and otherwise handicapped. It was likely not a positive place. People didn’t help each other into the water, but were only focused on themselves. Jesus knew the man had to find a new, healthier environment in order to move forward.
  4. Keep Up. When Jesus told the man to “Sin no more,” He was requiring more of him than just being healed. Healing had been the first step to a brand new way of living. Now, it was time for the man to follow Jesus—to walk in the ways of God.

To partner with Jesus, the man had to get up, pick up, walk up, and keep up. The same is true for us today. Jesus is in charge of the healing; we are in charge of how we respond. Let us always say “Yes” to the Spirit of God, and walk in a way worthy of our calling.

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