Five Callings of Jesus That Can Change Your Life (P2) – Rise Up and Walk!


Five “Callings” of Jesus that Can Change Your Life#2 Rise Up and Walk!

#1 Come out and live – Review

How do these “callings” apply to us?

Jesus called Lazarus from physical death back to life. He did that to show, as God Incarnate, He had power over death.  The point Jesus made to Mary is that we must be more concerned about spiritual life and death not physical. Here are three “life callings” Jesus makes to us.

His call to Eternal Life

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36

His call to Abundant Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they (His sheep – us) may have life, and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10

His call to a Selfless Life of Serving

“So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example, so that you also would do just as I did for you.” John 13:14-15

#2 Rise Up and walk

(Jesus had again been in Cana of Galilee and performed a miracle.)

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, [waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.] Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”  Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”  And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.  John 5:1-9

“Do you want to be made well?” Why would Jesus ask such a question with an obvious answer?

The man had been seriously infirmed and afflicted for thirty-eight years! He desperately attempted to do anything he could to be healed including laying with many others hoping to get to the pool first to receive healing.  Of course, he wanted to be made well.  Yet we notice the man did not directly answer yes to Jesus, but told Him why he had not yet been healed. We observe several things from this brief interchange:

  • Jesus saw the man’s condition and plight and chose him out of a group seeking healing from the waters of the pool. We don’t know why He chose this man. This speaks to a fact that is hard for us to grasp and understand—why God thinks and chooses as He does?
  • Jesus got the man’s attention and, some commentators suggest, raised hope in him. At a minimum, he took the man’s attention away from his suffering.
  • Rather than pleading for help and healing, the man told Jesus why he could not be healed. He chose to dwell on what had not happened and why instead of focusing on Jesus.
  • Rather than respond to the man’s excuses or reasons he had not been healed, Jesus, in His grace, spoke a command that implied the man had been healed. Jesus spoke healing.
  • Jesus’ command forced the man to make a decision – one of belief or unbelief.
  • For the man to receive his (gift of) healing, he had to believe Jesus could heal him. We call that faith.
  • Upon acting on his faith, the man obeyed Jesus’ command and got up, realizing after those many years, he had finally been healed.
  • Who was this man that spoke to him in this way? What man could speak healing? We are told in vs 10-13 the man did not know Who had healed him when the Pharisees challenged him on it. We also know it was the Sabbath which made them angrier. Later after Jesus found him in the temple and told him not to sin anymore, the man told the Pharisees it was Jesus Who had healed him (on the Sabbath).

This man suffered a severe form of physical paralysis. Most of us are blessed in that we do not suffer in that way. Yet there are forms of spiritual paralysis that afflict Christians. We are or become stuck in our “beds”— doing nothing, going nowhere, some even refusing to “rise up and walk”. Spiritual paralysis takes several forms. Following are a few examples.

  • Paralysis of analysis. Think too much—trying to figure out all the answers so you can answer all the questions doubters or haters may throw at us. Jesus told us to stop get caught up in our circumstances and listening to the world.

Instead, listen to Him and obey His commands. Throw off or carry away to discard that which we have been clinging to and start walking.

  • Paralyzed by fear. There are many fears that paralyze Christians though we all know they should not. But as we are being saved (sanctified), we still have moments of weakness like Peter and Thomas. We fear what others may think, getting out of our comfort zones,  looking foolish, and, perhaps the greatest, fear of failing.

One example of going from faith to paralyzing fear was the Apostle Peter (Matthew 14). Jesus told him to get out of the boat and come to Him.  That meant jumping from the safety of the boat in a violent storm and walking on water. Peter did that until he took his eyes off Jesus. Only then did he fail—looked around at dire circumstances and sink beneath the waves. He would have drowned if Jesus had not been there to rescue him—pull him out.  Jesus still rescues us from drowning, even when we fail, if we cry out to Him in faith.

  • Paralysis of the Sluggard. The sluggard was the lazy person Solomon talked about in nine sets of Proverbs. The application to our message today is for Christians who are “spiritually lazy”. For reasons known only to yourself and God, you are lazy (sluggish) when it comes to living the Christian life as Jesus commanded – not suggested.  Consider these three areas and decide how you will rise up and walk out of your sluggishness!
  • Prayer time – Your time talking with and listening to God
  • Bible study – the only way to get to know God intimately and grow in faith
  • Sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus

My dear brothers and sisters, listen even now as the Holy Spirit speaks to your spirit the words Jesus spoke to this crippled, paralytic: Rise Up and Walk!

For Christ’s sake,