The lame man in John 5 could not stand on his own to enter the water when the water was stirred by an angel. His situation was hopeless. Healing was impossible. Then the living water came to him and healed him. We can not heal ourselves of our sin. Jesus comes to us and asks us, "Do you want to be healed?" If we accept his offer of healing we will stand, walk and dance.
The man was crippled and immobile. Yet he carried a great burden. When he stood to walk Jesus took on the burden. Jesus told him to carry the mat that he had lived on. God uses our past to his glory, to remind us from what we were saved from, to declare the glory of God by giving evidence of his life giving power and his miraculous healing.
Living water of God stir in our beings, heal our wounds. We can not walk, our burdens are too heavy. We long to sing and dance, but our crippledness has lain us on a dirty, stinking straw mat.
I propose the straw mat a symbol of healing. That we raise up an army of jubilant mat carriers, spreading the news of God's healing power in our lives.
Satan comes and says you are crippled, you are wounded, there is no hope for you, no one cares about you, why don't you just end your useless life.
Jesus comes and asks, "Do you want to be healed?" Then he pours his living water over us cleansing us, healing our wounds, taking our burdens. The crippled man was as good as dead, then Jesus came and gave him new a life to be lived in holiness, with a future and a hope. He was hopeless, now he had a bright future.
lmv - jan. 28, 2000