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Pickup Your Mat
Rev. Brian Mathis
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5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
John 5:5-8 (NLT)
I have been studying this section of scripture and have begun to understand it in a different light and I wanted to share it with you all. This is the testimony of Jesus’ third miracle it is only recorded in the Gospel of John. One of the first things you need to understand is the man who had been sick for 38 years had no idea who he was speaking to. It is not even explained why out of all those who were lying at the pool why Jesus chose this man. It can be argued that Jesus new his situation through revelation. We don’t really know anything else about the man. We do know he had been afflicted before Jesus was ever born to Mary. The man could be anyone of us He was just outside the temple seeking healing but did not recognize the one who could provide it was standing right before him. Instead he had been trusting on a place not the person.
Jesus asks the question, “Would you like to get well?” in some translations it is phrased, “Would you be made whole?” I actually like that one better. You see individuals can get better for a time and live a life that looks and feels good but they may still be living in their sin and thereby still just as sick as the always were. When the man is asked he responds positively but explains that because he has no one to help him others always get there before him. He might be thinking that Jesus is going to help him into the pool. You see this man understood one thing that many of us fail to recognize he could not do it on his own. He was going to have to depend on someone. It is funny when you realize he was placing his hope on Jesus to help him to the water when Jesus was able to heal him just by saying the word.
There is a time and place where we must stop and recognize who we are talking too. Often when we are praying and communing with God we come with a list of our desires in the process we miss out on all the plans He has for us. Has Jesus told you to move? Is there some instruction He has given you that you failed to heed? He commanded the man to, “Standup, pick up your mat and walk!” Has Jesus told you that; are you being obedient? I read this on a church sign yesterday; Saints have a past, sinners have a future, I like it. The man had to carry his mat; that was where he came from. If he had left it behind he no one would have recognized him; that is us we have a past we carry with us because that is how some people know us. But when he was confronted all they knew was he had been made whole. They only saw the miracle because he walked in obedience to the word of God. I challenge you today; are you walking in the light of God’s word? I pray that you are when we shine the light others will see it and be made whole. Have a blessed day.
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