I’m going through physical therapy right now because I had a knee surgery back in April. Because of my experience, I’ve been giving the bible story about the lame man who was healed more thought. This is the verse.
John 5: 1-5 After this there was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there’s a pool that the Jews call Bethesda. It has five porches. In them there used to lie a crowd of people who were sick, blind, lame and paralyzed. One man who was there had been sick thirty-eight years. Jesus saw him lying there and found out he had been sick a long time. “Would you like to get well?” He asked him. “Lord,” the sick man answered Him, “I don’t have anybody to put me into the pool when the water is stirred. And while I’m trying to get there, somebody else steps in ahead of me.” “Get up,” Jesus told him, “pick up your bed, and walk.” Immediately the man got well, picked up his bed, and walked.
This man had been sick for 38 years. That’s a long time. He said he didn’t have anyone to put him into the pool, so I’m assuming he might have been lame or paralyzed. (It was believed at that time that if you were the first one in the water when the water was stirred, you would be healed).
Did he even have a home and family to go to at night? We don’t know. Since he couldn’t walk or work, he probably had to beg for food.
Jesus asks him, “Would you like to get well?”
Doesn’t that seem like an obvious question? Many would have given him a sarcastic answer. This man wasn’t even aware of who he was talking to, yet he answers respectfully and calls him Lord.
Next, Jesus tells him to pick up his bed and walk. The bible doesn’t give us the details of what happened, so this is how I imagine it went.
The man looked into Jesus eyes and doesn’t know what to say. He doesn’t know he’s talking to the Messiah who can heal. As he’s looking at Jesus, he begins to feel a sensation in his legs for the first time in 38 years. He looks at his legs. The legs that had atrophied from lack of use and were limp, lifeless and thin, were now solid, strong and had normal muscle tone. In disbelief, he tries to wiggle his toes. They moved!
Can you imagine the excitement he’s feeling now? It’s been so long since he walked that he’s not even sure how to get up.
When I was at therapy last week, I was walking past Dr. Amber who was sitting on the mat and was talking to another woman who was also sitting on the mat. I overheard her explaining to the woman how to get up.
This may not seem like a big deal, but if you have bad knees you know how difficult it is to get down on the ground and get back up. You have to think about how you’re going to do it. You don’t just pop on up. If you’re lame, it’s not just difficult to get up, it’s impossible.
Now, the man is excited. He wants to get up, but how does he do it? He moves his hands and finally finds a position he likes. He pushes with his hands to help him roll over onto his knees. After hesitating for a second, he pushes again and gets up onto his feet! He’s now standing! He’s actually standing!
How does he act? We don’t know. The Bible doesn’t say. Maybe he started laughing hysterically and began to dance around. Maybe he began sobbing uncontrollable tears of joy. Maybe he fell at Jesus’ feet, thanking him. Or, maybe he ran off to tell his family and friends the good news.
What a miraculous gift Jesus gave him! We tend to take our abilities for granted. We don’t realize how precious they are until we don’t have them. Let us always remember to have a thankful spirit and to give thanks for what we have!
They have a saying they like to use at PPP; Motion is Medicine. I agree. Motion is medicine and it brings great freedom and joy.
Psalm 9: 1 I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.