Take Up Your Mat – Good News for March 24

24 03 2009

Do you want to be well?

John 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.'” They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. 

After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.

The Daily Path: “One man had been ill for thirty-eight years.”

Sounds like me. I’d been laying on my mat for many years. I wasn’t even aware that I was sick. Then one day someone said to me “Do you want to be well?” It wasn’t a voice that I could hear with my ears. Instead, Jesus spoke to me in words that could only be heard in my heart. His words were “inspiration” that compelled me to get moving and begin my journey. It was only recently that I was able to understand that the Spirit had stirred the waters for my healing long before the catastrophic events that fully enabled my reconversion. 

I can only imagine what someone who comes across my blog must think. “This guy is nuts. He hears voices that don’t use words. Jesus this. Jesus that.” If only I had the ability to allow them to put their hand on my heart and come to know what Christ has brought to me.

Even if you don’t think you are sick… listen for Him. Don’t spend another day laying on that mat. Do you want to be well? 

Room to Chat: Here’s a new one. Get out your shotgun. (“See? I told you. He crackers. Don’t listen to this serial cuckoo.” Stan Doubtsall) Okay, Stan, I don’t mean a real shotgun. I’m suggesting a scatter shot approach. Today, as you go about your business, ask God to fill the heart of anyone who comes within your sight. I do mean anyone and everyone. Even that opinionated neighbor, the boss you can’t stand, or the person who looks you in the mirror each morning. Quietly ask Jesus to touch everyone you see.