On the Sabbath, there is a Jew who is walking around carrying something. That is considered work. So the authorities confronted him over his flagrant violation of their added laws, (not Torah law). “You can’t do that today.” He was ordered to stop. Yet someone of higher authority had ordered the man to do this. That was his answer. “The one who has the power and authority and healed me this day, told me to do this. That is why I am doing this.” Now the story becomes about who is the authority and who the rulers are judging based on his response. They demand to know who would dare contradict their rules. The cured man may feel the weight and oppression of their indignation, because of his obedience in his actions to the command of Jesus. He cannot tell them what they want to know. He does not know Jesus! He only knows he was healed when he obeyed the command He spoke to him, “Arise, take up your pallet, and walk.”
He was told to do three things. First, he was told to do what had been impossible for him to do for 38 years. Arise. Then he was told to do something else, unthinkable, after doing the impossible he was to do the illegal. Then he was told to take an action that was bound to be confrontational. How much did he want to be healed? Enough that he was willing to obey in all three commands. So, on those 7 simple words he took his stand. He bent over, lifted the symbol of his sickness, the pallet he had lain on for 38 years, and he started walking around. He was a walking advertisement in his time to the life changing authority of Jesus vs. the religious rulers and their rules. He walked out his testimony. He was confronted because of his testimony. He had an incomplete testimony, because he did not know Jesus. Jesus did not leave him in that situation, but Jesus later sought him out.
- What testimony do I have to walk out that might confront authority?
- Am I willing to pick up my burden and be confronted?
- Has there been a time in my life where I have obeyed Jesus, experienced His loving action in my life before even knowing who He was?
- How well do I know Him even now?
When this man met Jesus, it becomes apparent that his sin had affected his health and he was to change his ways so nothing worse would happen.
- Has there been a health issue I have had as a result of sin?
- Have I been healed?
- Have I been commanded to walk carrying a symbol of my illness as a sign of the healing power and authority of Jesus?
The Hebrew word for walk means:
- to live
- to regulate one’s life
- to conduct one’s self
- to pass one’s life
The command is given in the present imperative meaning that he is to go on walking, carrying his evidence with him. The getting up is in the same tense. It is a word of arousal, indicating a choice to be made. Daily we make this choice. Again and again, to arouse ourselves and walk for Him!
Jesus healed the man and gave Him time before he taught him.