John 5:8 – Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
No one wakes up one day and just decides to set a new world record in the marathon. It takes preparation. There is a joke about a man who was about to go into a very serious spinal surgery. He asked his doctor, “Will I be able to play the piano after my surgery?” His doctor responded, “You certainly can.” The patient smiled and said, “That will be great! I could never play the piano before now.” Obviously, the doctor didn’t know the complete story. For that man to play the piano, it would require much preparation.
The point I am making is really simple. There are many things in life, especially the weighty and important issues of life, that require much preparation before one can succeed at doing them. I’ve often heard the expression that we must do first things first. With that in mind, take a moment are consider our Text for Today. Jesus gave the man at the pool three very distinct instructions. He commanded him to (1) rise, (2) take up they bed, and (3) walk. Do you see it. Was it really necessary for Jesus to be so specific in His instruction? Yes. When one wants something as badly as that man wanted to walk, he needs to have things in place before blindly attempting to do something. If Jesus had simply said, “walk,” he may have walked, but would likely have left his bed. That means he would have to come back to that place again. But this was one place that man did not need to be at that point.
In the late ‘70’s, I was speaking in a church in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I ministered to a little boy who had never walked. His legs were bent at the knees and would not straighten. I spoke to his legs to be loosed, and immediately that happened. I lifted him from the table where he sat and stood him on the floor. His legs simply collapsed under him. I heard the Lord say to my heart, “You loosed his legs, but you spoke no strength to them, and did not tell him to walk.” I sat him back on the table, prayed and spoke strength to the legs he had never used for walking. Then I stood him on the floor and told him to walk, and he walked. Our words have power. We have what we say. I needed to do things in a prescribed order; to avoid any possible confusion. That’s what Jesus did. It may seem I’ve over-simplified it, but I have not. Jesus wanted him in a position to walk, so He told him to rise. Jesus wanted him to be free from that place and not have to come back, so he told him to take up his bed. Jesus wanted him to walk, so He told him to walk. And he did.
Manna for Today – John 5:1-9; Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Matthew 19:19; Matthew 22:39