When Jesus asked a paralytic if he wanted to get well, you would think his response would be enthusiastic, but the man made excuses as to why he remained in such a sad condition. His will had become as paralyzed as his body. How often has Jesus reached out to you, only to hear an excuse as to why you never change?
The man had a good excuse. He said, "Sir, 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." All the man could see for 38 years was the impossibility of his condition. He had resigned himself to remain just as he was – unchanged. Have you also given up on the possibility of changing? Ignoring his excuses, Jesus said, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!"
He told the man to do the very thing he had been unable to do; but, in His command was the power to do it! Hebrews 4:12 tells us, "For whatever God says to us is full of living power…" It was the power of Jesus’ word that enabled this man to change. He was instantly healed. The Bible says, "He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!"
The word of God has the power to change lives today. But there was a much deeper change needed in this man, though, as there is in your life and mine. The man did not realize until later who it was that had spoken to him and healed him. Jesus had disappeared in the crowd. A while later, Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, "Stop sinning or something even worse may happen to you."
This suggests to me that this man’s plight may have been the result of some bad decisions or sin on his part, but there is no record that the man sought forgiveness as had others that Jesus healed. How tragic to be that close to Christ, even experience a miracle, and yet remain unsaved. Miracles don’t produce faith. The greatest change in our lives happens in our hearts. It’s there where we need our greatest healing.
The miracle you need most leads you to what you really need most – a deeper relationship with God. Have you stopped short of experiencing the greatest miracle of all?