RISE UP AND WALK
INTRO: One night a drunkard sat at a table in a bar, drinking with his companions. Soon his wife came in and set a covered dish before him, saying, “Jack, you seem too busy to come home for supper, so I brought your supper to you.” As she left the saloon the man’s companions roared with laughter. Jack then invited them to have supper with him.
He removed the cover and found the dish to be empty, but in it was a note which read, “Jack, I hope you enjoy your supper. This is just what the children and I have at home.”
Yes, Satan’s dishes are always empty. But Christ fills the Christian’s dishes with the best things for time and eternity.
In this Bible story we learn how He blessed a man who had been sick and needy for thirty-eight years. Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed. He replied that no man ever came to put him in the healing waters. So Jesus said, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” And the poor man, after thirty-eight years of suffering, rose up and walked. In this story we find three meaningful facts.
I. THE CONDITION OF THE MAN.
1. He Was Helpless. Probably someone brought him to the pool every morning and came after him every night, but all the day long he lay there in a helpless condition. Now this is a picture of a lost sinner. He is helpless, he can’t do anything to save himself.
And isn’t that the condition of all of us? Without Christ we can do nothing. Yet Paul said… (Phil 4:13). All of our talent, all of our wisdom, all of our personality is as nothing unless Christ is in it. What we could do if we were fully surrendered to Him!
2. He Was Hopeless. Surely when he first came to the pool of Bethesda, he must have had great hopes of getting well. At the end of the first year he may have said, “Surely I’ll be all right by this time next year.” But the years came and went and he soon gave up hope.
No life is so bleak as the one which has no hope. The man without Christ has no hope. There is no future for him.
But thank God, the Christian has hope. He has hope that God will take care of him and his loved ones. He has hope that God will comfort him in sorrow. He has hope that God will take him home at the end of life.
3. He Was Friendless. A friend is one who know all about you and still loves you. A friend is one who comes in when all the world goes out. But the best friend is Jesus. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. He is a friend who will never forsake us in spite of our sins.
So here is the man, hopeless, helpless, and friendless. Jesus is the only one who can help him. When we come to the end of our resources, when we feel the whole world is against us, Jesus is very near.
II. THE COMING OF THE SAVIOR.
We read that Jesus saw him and knew he had been there a long time. Yes, He sees and knows all about us. But here is a comforting thought. When we are in trouble or sorrow He sees us also. You may think that you don’t count with God, that you are simply one small person among the millions on earth, but you are someone in His sight.