“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’
At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”
John 5:8-9 (NIV)
The TV evangelist fascinated me as I lay sick at home seeking some work of comfort from a televised church service. This man had a magnetic personality, a booming voice, and spoke with great authority and confidence.
I had been deathly ill for several weeks and spent two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit of the local hospital fighting for my life.
Now I was home and looking for a word from the Lord and something to sustain me in my journey back toward health and a normal lifestyle.
Flicking through the channels of the TV, I stumbled across this church service in progress. The preacher seemed to reach out and shake hands with me his style was so captivating. I listened on hoping for what I sought.
“You should expect your own personal miracle today from the Lord.” the man said. It all sounded so wonderful. “After all doesn’t the Lord love you? Is He not still the miracle working Jesus of the Gospels?” boomed the soothing voice.
Momentarily I was hooked by the argument of the man.
Then I caught myself. Nowhere in the Gospels does it record Jesus walking into a cemetery and raising all the dead people. Yes, He raised one man here and a little girl there.
Jesus did perform a variety of cures for various illnesses, and created food for thousands of people to eat. He did cause the blind to see, the lame to walk and the deaf to hear.
But Jesus did not perform mass miracles like those the TV man suggested were our legacy from our Lord’s ministry.
What was I to expect that Sunday morning last August? Should I expect Jesus to give me an instant cure? Our verses today demonstrate Jesus performing instant healing. But as we look closely at the passage from which our text is taken we read, John 5:3 (NIV)
“Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—
the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.”
So a large crowd of ill people lay around the pool where the miracle of healing took place. But the record only speaks of one man being healed.
What do we make of Jesus being selective concerning who He healed? Why did He not heal all of the people? Certainly He could have done so if it was in His plan. But He didn’t.
We only have to look at the experiences of some very holy, wonderfully devout people in the New Testament to see cases where Jesus did not heal all of His peoples’ diseases. Rather the Lord gave Paul, Timothy, and others the grace to endure the medical trials they faced.
We are reminded in this regard of Isaiah 43:2 (NIV) where it says,
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Be confident Christian that your illness will never separate you from the love of Christ. The Lord may not put the fiery trial out but it cannot rob you of your many eternal treasures in Christ.
You are certain of landing safe on the far side of all the adversity this life can bring your way.
Let the chained enemy of our souls roar all he wants. His noise cannot harm us. We shall prevail!