Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. John 5:8-9
Jesus says, “Take up your bed and walk,” and the man “took up his bed and walked.” No physical therapy! Joints were instantly strengthened. Muscles were instantly formed. And a man who had been lying on a bed for 38 years gets up and walks! Only the Son of God could do this!
Remember that these miracles are presented to us as signs. What we see in this sign is that when Jesus speaks a command, he gives what is lacking so that what he wills comes to pass.
Augustine said to God, “Command what you will; only give what you command.”
- “You can say to me that I must love you with all my heart, but I don’t have that in me.”
- “You can tell me to love my neighbor as myself, but I love myself more.”
Jesus gives a command that is absolutely impossible for this man: “Take up your bed and walk.” And with the command, he gave the man an ability that he did not have before. So, to his own great surprise, the man who was without strength, without hope, and without faith finds that he now has the capacity to respond to the word of Jesus.
The point of this story is not that faith makes what Jesus does possible. The point is that what Jesus does makes faith possible. The good news for the person who is without strength, without hope, or without faith today is that Jesus Christ can give these to you! And when he calls you to believe, he gives the capacity to do so with the command.
Has God given you a command that seems impossible for you?