John 5: 8 – 14: A Man Healed at the Pool of Bethsaida
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ”
12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
Mark 2:2-5 Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic
2 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
How is it that a paralyzed man who can’t walk is a sinner? His ability to travel is comrpomised, and his body must be cared for.
How is that a man afflicted for thirty-eight years, who can’t walk down to a healing pool, is capable of sin?
Whom could they have caused harm that wouldn’t take revenge, given their physical limitations to defend themselves?
Jesus tells us that it is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean: (Mark 7:17-21)
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
We are also told that Jesus did not succumb to the praises of men because He knew what was in them: John 2:24-25
24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
We have no way of knowing what sins these men may have committed. Perhaps it was enviable thoughts toward those who weren’t physically limited. Maybe quarrels and cursings with family. Maybe abandonment to drunkeness or anger.
What we can be sure of is this: if the Lord Jesus called them sinners, He knew they were. Should we not take Him at His word that we who wander freely, in full faculties of body and mind, are no less sinners than those abed, on crutches, in wheelchairs, or in some other way disabled?
We can also be assured of this: He is the Redeemer and Healer of all, and while some may be sick in body, all are sick in spirit and prone to the lusts and emotions of the flesh.
Let us be mindful then, to keep our hearts connected to our thoughts as we are reminded by King David: (Psalm 141:3-4)
3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.
4 Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,
To practice wicked works
With men who work iniquity;
And do not let me eat of their delicacies.
Therefore I pray:
We thank You again today for redeeming us to the Father at the cost of Your earthly life, feeling all that we feel, being tempted as we are, and proving worthy of being our salvation.
We are growing sick and tired, weary of doing good, fearful of spreading the Gospel, and falling away to the teachings of false prophets and pastors who corrupt the Father’s Word for political power and wealth, or dismiss it as fable so they can continue sinning, believing themselves worthy of Heaven, or satisfied with the oblivion and darkness of their graves.
Some have even embraced the conquered enemy You will purge for all eternity.
Gird us up to endure to the end, Lord, that we not be deceived when the false christs come, when the false prophets do great works and miraculous signs. At the cost of our mortal lives in persecution let us not renounce Your Name, or the Father’s love for us in sending You to replace us and take His wrath, that we might receive His mercy and enter His rest.
Today, we meditate on His goodness, and take stock of ourselves, repenting of our sins, lest something worse happens to us in addition to hearing the words we’ll never be able to bear: “Depart from me.”
We are made well in You, by You, and for You, to the Father’s glory. Let us receive it, and keep walking the narrow path.
Let the Holy Spirit seal us for the granting of eternal life, that we are spared the mark of the Beast to come.
In Your Name we ask, believing we’ve already received.