What paralyzes you?

The Sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up…”
Today we are faced with a story that seems to be out of place.  For the last three weeks we have focused on events that had taken place right after the Resurrection of Jesus but today we go back in time, to a time during the earthly ministry of Christ.
Jesus comes to Bethsaida, to the pool located near the sheep’s gate.  Sitting around the pool, Scripture tells us, were a multitude of people, who had various illnesses.  At certain times during the day an angel would come and stir the waters.  The first one to enter the water after this stirring would be healed of whatever it was that ailed them.  Out of all those that had gathered at the pool on that day, Jesus singles out one man, one person in the multitude and asks him if he wanted to be healed.
At first glance one would think why is He asking this question of this poor man, he is after all, sitting at the pool that is known for healing.  But not all sick people are looking to be healed.  Some people do not wish to be helped at all they wish to be left alone so they can complain about all that is wrong with them and the world.  They find their fulfillment in their sufferings.
Then, as is usually the case, the conversation takes place between Jesus and the man.  We learn that the man has been paralyzed for 38 years.  We do not know what it is that has caused this.  St. John Chrysostom in his commentary on these passages suggests it is the sin of the man that has led him to this point in his life.  We know that there is no direct relationship between sin and illness and by that I mean sin does not directly cause illness.  The choices we make, because of our sin, is what can lead to our illness.  We know that such and such is not good for us but we do it anyway and that is what leads to our illness.
Notice that Jesus asks the man if he wished to be healed.  And also notice that he is the only one that Jesus heals!  Jesus does not force Himself or His will on anyone.  All through Scripture Jesus makes an invitation to people to change their way of life and stop following the wide road, the road that the world wants us to follow, the easy road, and to follow the narrow road, the road that leads to eternal life.  When Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen, Jesus did not take the hand of Thomas and place it on His side, he told Thomas to reach out and touch Him.  Jesus never forced Himself on anyone, and it is still that way today, we have to decide.
It is also interesting to note that the man really does not answer Jesus; he tells Him that he has no man to put him in the pool.  This is Jesus big moment.  He tells the man to take up his mat and go.  He does not tell Him you are healed no rise up and take your mat, no He just simply says rise up and take your mat.  The paralytic found his man, he found someone to heal him, not in the pool but with a word, not in the water but by His crucifixion, death, and resurrection.  The man was healed with a word and after 38 years was made whole again, his sins had been forgiven.
What did this man do after this miracle had taken place?  He went right to Church to thank God for all that He had done for him.  He did not run and tell his family or his friends, he did not contact the local newspaper; he went to church to thank God.  How many times after a miracle happens in our life to we forget to thank the one who caused it to happen, or how many times do we miss the little miracles that happen in our lives!
The paralytic was waiting for a man to come and help him into the pool so he could find healing.  He had waited for 38 years, patiently waiting all those years, enduring his illness, waiting for someone to come and lift him up and carry him to the pool of healing.
What paralyzes you?  Maybe it is fear, fear of the unknown or fear of the future.  Maybe you are so buried in your sin that you cannot see any way that could possibly be forgiven by God, maybe you have no one to show you the way and you are waiting for someone to come and show you.
Well, Jesus is the Way.  Jesus is the Truth.  And Jesus is the Life.  As He did with the man in the story today Jesus will pick you up and lower you in the pool, the pool of healing, the pool for forgiveness.  No longer do we have to sit on the shore and watch as other go in before us, we have the power, the power within ourselves, to just ask Jesus to help us to take that first step.  To free our legs and to walk upright in the light, the light of the Resurrection, the Pascha Light!
What paralyzes you?  Have you asked Jesus to help you?  If not why?  If not now, then when?
error: Content is protected !!