When your Master came upon a man in the Temple who was known as an invalid, He asked a surprising question: “Do you want to get well?” The man had been in that unfortunate condition for thirty-eight years! Why would Jesus ask such a question? Was there really any doubt as to the desire of the man to be made physically whole? With obvious authority Jesus summoned the man to get up, pick up his mat, and walk.
This man heard Jesus’ command and had to make a decision. Pride might have easily swayed him to stay right where he was and dismiss the seemingly absurd summons. If he tried to get up and couldn’t, how foolish he would feel! Something had happened, though. Perhaps the man sensed it in his body. Maybe he could feel something new and different. He was healed at the word of this Nazarene. He was healed “at once”.
Notice, though, that Jesus hadn’t commanded the man to be healed. He commanded him to get up, pick up his mat, and walk. The man was healed, but the command still needed to be obeyed. The man was to use the legs that were healed, not just sit there and appreciate them. The power of God wasn’t unleashed upon that man for the thrill of the story. That man was meant to walk.
Take note, Disciple: God’s power makes people whole so that they might live. You have been healed and set free from so much so that you can live a whole and free life. Your Master has done an amazing work in you and for you, but there is a choice still to be made. Will you obey Him when He calls you to live in the power of the kingdom life? He has healed you and set you free so that you can love God and others. Will you obey His command to love deeply and genuinely – even your enemies? He has healed and freed you so that you can worship, be generous, forgive, bring comfort, encourage, and show compassion. This is real and full life, and He is calling you to live it. These commands are no more burdensome than the command to the invalid to get up and walk, because, just as in his case, the power of God is already present to enable you to do it. You were made to do these things just as that man was made to walk. What held him back was dealt with in the authority of Jesus and the power of God. What holds you back from living the Kingdom way is also being dealt with by Father, Son, and Spirit. You were baptized into their life, remember? They have provided all that’s needed for you to be able to obey. All that remains is for you to demonstrate the courage and trust to get up and walk in extravagant love.
This man may have feared making missteps or losing his balance when he took his first steps. You, too, might fear missteps and imbalance as you begin to live the Kingdom life. Don’t fear, Disciple. The process that He has begun in you is one He will carry on to completion (Philippians 1:6). If you’re misstepping and losing your balance, it is because you’ve gotten up and have begun to walk! The command implies the healing. The command assumes the power. Today is a good day to get up and obey the Master.
Healed for a purpose with you,