The Mat- 4 Lessons Learned from John 5

To paraphrase a story from the Bible, John 5 tells of an invalid man at a healing pool. Many blind, lame, and paralyzed would lie at this pool and wait to be healed by stirring waters.

Imagine being unable to move for years, 38 to be exact. You watch as people leave this pool, able to walk again, regain their sight, tongues loosed and able to speak, while you helplessly lie there. When Jesus asks if he wants to get well, the man responded, “ I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me”

Isn’t this just like life, not only is this man an invalid he was alone and people kept stepping all over him. When you are down, circumstances often keep you down. So, that’s the end, life is hard, we stay waiting for another 38 years living in despair.

No…. thankfully, there is a Jesus in this story who says, “Get Up! Pick up your mat and walk,” and he did!

While this is an extreme comparison, we may also find ourselves invalid to some extent. Stuck and in need of physical, emotional or spiritual healing. Here are some things I learned from this story:

We often lean too much on others
This man’s reasoning was that no one would help him. I believe Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well because, after 38 years, you would think he would fight his way out of it.

People aren’t always willing to help
When I read this story the first time, I found myself angry. It is hard to believe that after all these years, not one person was willing to help the guy out. It wasn’t until reading it many times that I realized, the others were all in need of healing, too.

Learn to encourage oneself
The mat in this story was his comfort. He slept on it, it kept him from scraping his legs as he dragged himself to and from the pool. When he was healed, Jesus told him to pick it up and walk. To move on. Learn to comfort yourself, to take it with you because life will get difficult again.

Stop comparing your relationship with God to others
Whether it is thirty-eight days or thirty-eight years, God will move in your life when He sees fit. His ways are not ours and as a follower, you must trust in that. He has perfect timing and never lets us down.

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