“Jesus said … ‘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)
A lame man at Bethesda met Jesus. When Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” the man had an opportunity to say, “Yes!” and to be healed by Jesus. But instead the man put his faith in the so-called healing waters of the pool there, and he complained that other people always cut in front of him when the waters stirred.
We may smirk at this man’s response, but there may be times when we don’t receive the offer of healing from Jesus very well either. Do we take up the opportunities that are presented to us, or do we tend to complain and blame other people for our problems?
Thankfully, the story of the lame man in John 5 shows us that healing is not about us; it’s about Jesus! Even though the man didn’t respond to Jesus in faith, Jesus still healed him. Even though the man complained, Jesus still gave him the ability to walk.
And even when we do not approach Jesus in complete faith or obedience, Jesus still offers us salvation. The source of our salvation is never based on our own actions or works; it is always by the grace of God in Jesus. This reminds me of what Jesus says later to his disciples in John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” Thanks be to God!
God of grace, you love us more than we deserve. Thank you for choosing us even when we are not wise enough to choose you. Thank you for your grace to us in Jesus. Amen.