Jesus said to him, 'Get up, take up your bed, and walk.'
Like many others, this impotent man had been waiting for a wonder to be performed and a sign to be given. He grew tired watching the pool, but no angel came, or at least not for him; still considering it to be his only chance, he kept waiting, not knowing that there was One near him whose word could heal him in a moment. Many are in the same condition. They are waiting for some singular emotion, remarkable impression, or celestial vision; but they wait and watch in vain. Even supposing that, in a few cases, remarkable signs are seen, yet these are rare, and no man has a right to look for them in his own case—especially not the man who feels his inability to take advantage of the moving of the water even if it came.
It is sad to think of how many tens of thousands are waiting on the use of means and ordinances and vows and resolutions and have been waiting for so long and completely in vain. Meanwhile these poor souls forget that Jesus is near, and He bids them look to Him and be saved. He could heal them at once, but they prefer to wait for an angel and a wonder. To trust Him is the sure way to every blessing, and He is worthy of the most implicit confidence; but unbelief makes them prefer to wait for the water to stir than to embrace the warm welcome of His love.
May the Lord turn His eye upon the multitudes who are in that position tonight; may He forgive their lack of faith in His divine power and call them by His sweet constraining voice to rise from the bed of despair and in the energy of faith take up their bed and walk. O Lord, hear our prayer for such as these in the sunset hour, and before a new dawn may they look and live.
Thankful reader, is there anything in this portion for you?
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.