I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Him come towards me on that fateful day in Jerusalem! People would come from time to time to pray but no one ever came to me.

So imagine my surprise when he asked me, “do you want to be made well?” What a stupid question! Do I WANT to be made well? It wasn’t a matter of wanting, I couldn’t get there.

I stuttered, “Sir, I have no one to carry me to the water’s edge, when the angel comes down to stir the waters, another man gets there before me, while I am trying to get there”

His response surprised me, he didn’t rebuke the able men for not coming to my aid, neither did he seem to worry that I had been there for 38 years, he just simply said, “get up, pick up your mat and walk!” And as he said it, all of the excuses fell away from my lips because now I could feel strength returning to my joints. I leaped up and grabbed my bed and started leaping like a young lamb!

When the law men saw me carrying my bed they said, “why are you carrying your bed on the Sabbath?” I had forgotten what day it was, but hadn’t given it a moment’s thought because that day my life had changed!

I told them that the man who had healed me had commanded me to carry it, (who was I to argue with someone who had such authority?!)

They seemed far more worried about the fact that I was breaking the Sabbath than they were about the fact that I HAD BEEN HEALED!!!

Before today I had not taken responsibility for my healing, believing it to be someone else’s job, but the Master had said to me, “Do you want to be made well?” I made a good living from begging and having a disability had meant people took pity on me, but no more. From now on, my disability no longer restricted or defined me. I guess it’s easy to get used to it, I was known as Simon the Cripple. It was part of my name, my identity. After I was healed, people had to get to know me all over again. They got to see that there was more to me than just my disability and so did I!

I learned to stop blaming other people too, although my first reaction when the law people stopped me, was to blame Jesus! I learned to take responsibility for my own actions and to not cast blame on others all the time. 

It’s still hard, but after being crippled for 38 years, after making excuses for 38 years, I was ready to be made well.

Based on John Chapter 5, by Phil Deakin 2015 ©

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