Monday, March 31, 2014

A Man Healed at Bethesda

Get up, take up your bed, and walk
John 5: 8 (ESV)

John 5:1-18 (ESV)

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades.

In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.  

for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred the water: whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had.

One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 

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 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Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.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.”  

The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.  

And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus,because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.  

But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
John 5:1-18 (ESV)

From The Sayings of The Fathers

The perseverance of this thirty-eight-year paralytic serves as an example to those who give in too easily when their prayers are not immediately answered. Jesus’ question to the man shows Jesus is not like a faith healer who seeks to draw attention to Himself; he wants to heal the man as well as expose the cruelty of those around him. 

His question conveys the fact that He possesses the power at hand to heal him. Despite the immense suffering this person must have gone through, there is no complaint from him; instead there is hope. Jesus heals him with three distinct commands: “Rise,” which confers the cure, “take up your bed,” and “walk,” which shows the completeness of the cure.

He also calls on you to take up your beds, that is, to govern your body, which formerly carried you, and walk in every good work. Or it is as if He is saying: when you were sick, your neighbor carried you; now that you have been healed, carry your neighbor.
St John Chrysostom


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