Rise, take up thy bed, and walkJohn 5:1-15
They never should have invented concordances. I have an online concordance and a thing in print called “The Strongest Strong’s.” I use these tools as I study hoping for some deeper insight into the scripture. Better to rely on the Spirit I know, but at times, I feel I learn some things this way.
The word for infirmed (impotent KJV) in verse 5 is Astheneo (Strong’s #770) This word is used to describe people who are physically weak or feeble, poor financially, or deficient in character.
Let me restate this story in John 5 as I believe the Spirit would have me apply it to my life. This man is a loser. Sure he has suffered physically most of his life, but he has given up and learned to live with his infirmity.
He knows how he could be healed. He knows what he needs to do, but he believes it is beyond his ability. People are always getting the blessing ahead of him. People who aren’t even as sick as he is. People are getting cured who haven’t suffered for as long as he has. And no one cares enough to help him.
So Jesus comes by and says to him, “Do you want to be well?” Or maybe Jesus says, “Do you want to be well?”
Without thinking, the man goes into his story. No one will help him….etc, etc. Friends and familar don’t care about him. Then Jesus says to him, “Get up, pick up your mat and walk.”
Strange. Didn’t Jesus know how long this man had been ill? Didn’t Jesus know how weak this man was?
But the man must have sensed something about Jesus — an air of authority he had not known in the priests or physicians. He felt that Jesus had looked down into his soul and saw that he had lost all hope of a cure long ago. Maybe Jesus knew that the root of his problem was really the fear of failure. His past experience had shown how futile his best efforts to help himself were. He no longer even tried.
But he sensed in his spirit, the power of the life that was in the words Jesus spoke. There was no perceivable increase in the strength of his legs, but in his spirit he felt a surge of power.
The words of Jesus are Spirit and Life. The power that will raise the dead on the last day is available to give life to the dead in spirit today.
Have you found that your best efforts to help yourself have failed? Have you lost hope? Are you resigned to whatever the infirmity you are suffering from?
Jesus says, “Arise, take up your bed and walk.” It is his strength which can fill you and raise you up.