John 5:8 – “Rise, take up thy bed and walk”
Many of you are familiar with the retail store called Bed, Bath and Beyond, great name, right? Great truth too…from John’s gospel, a bed, bath and beyond experience like no other!
In John, chapter 5, there was a pool called Bethesda, meaning house of mercy. It was a public infirmary for the blind, weak, paralyzed and sickly. It was told that when the waters started to move in the pool, the sick person who could make it in the water first would be healed. One day, when Jesus was visiting this pool, He spoke to one of the sick folk and asked him a very important question “Do you want to be made whole?” This is a key factor in receiving a change in your situation, because we can get so used to our “condition” that we can’t even imagine what it would be like without it.
Notice that Jesus didn’t ask, “Do you want to be healed?”, He asked, “Do you want to be made whole?” Why? Because He knew that sickness, poverty, depression and any other prolonged negative circumstance affects every area in a person’s life. It’s all they think about from morning until night. They’re not thinking about others, or a bright future or all the amazing opportunities available to them. It’s about survival. Jesus is saying, “I’m offering wholeness, not only physical health, but restoration in every area of your life that has been stolen”.
In John 5:8, Jesus said three things. First, He said “rise”, meaning change your position, change the way you are thinking to the way He thinks, start to believe that this is not how it’s going to be forever, make the first move toward change by deciding in your mind to simply get up! He wants us to come to where He is, and not just ask Him to come to where you are. In John 17:24, Jesus prays for us to “be with Me where I am”.
Next, He says, “take up thy bed”, meaning, you are NOT going back to that bed! Everyone that sees that bed in your hands will know that you’ve been delivered. Taking up your “bed” of affliction says that you are NOT the same, you are the victor and not the victim, and you are NOT going back.
Lastly, He says “walk”, or live as the delivered, go “beyond” where you were, break through the barriers and limitations that have held you back, put one foot in front of the other! Open up that savings account and deposit 25 cents a week if you have to, enroll in one college course at a time until you get that degree. There is certainly nothing wrong with a gradual progression in a positive direction, there’s power in consistency. In Exodus 23, they took the land little by little.
So, next time you see a Bed, Bath and Beyond store, think of these three commands, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk!”…transformation God’s way!!!