READ : John 5:1-9
While most of Jesus’ miracles were genuine physical healings, I suspect that this one was more on the order of a healing of the cripple’s attitude.
Really, now a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years who had not once been able to make it into the pool that reportedly had healing powers couldn’t he sit on the edge of the pool and just roll in?
I suspect the man’s real problem was a paralysis of the will. I have a hunch that he actually liked being sick, that he enjoyed being pitied as a poor cripple.
It’s significant, I think, that Jesus asked him point-blank, “Do you want to be made well?” (v. 6). The man gave an evasive answer, blaming others on two counts: (1) no one will help me, and (2) others step in ahead of me (v. 7).
To which Jesus replied, “Stand up, take your mat and walk!” (v. 8).
Maybe what Jesus was really saying was, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Get off your mat and join the human race as a productive member of society.”
And the man actually did it!
Which, when you think about it, is probably the greatest miracle of all.
Lord Jesus, I ask you to heal my attitude as well as my body. Deliver me from self-pity. Help me to overcome those excuses that limit me. Amen.