I just finished reading John 5, and am reminded of God’s gracious healing. But if I had to wait 38 years to be healed I would be somewhat pissed, that is until I heard “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
After trying to heal myself for 38 years, to know that all it took was for Jesus to pass by, I would feel like an idiot, since healing is not based on what I do, or what I do do well. Instead, healing is based solely on the presence of God.
Reassurance comes in the fact that, unlike the invalid who had to wait for Jesus to be born (–interesting point: Convential wisdom guesses that Jesus was about 33 at this time, and if this guy has been waiting by the pool for 38 years, he really did have to wait for that precise moment for Jesus)-we do not have to wait long for Jesus to pass by.
Jesus has passed by, in fact he passes by us daily because he is alive. Therefore, unlike the paralytic, we do not have to wait for Jesus to pass before us to be healed. He is here, healing in our midst.
Also, I do not glorify the invalid by thinking that he was patiently waiting for God all those years. Rather I see him as a real headcase (I mean he is without friends and an invalid, and for some reason he is mad that people are getting into the pool ahead of him). But I do see him as someone who had hope.
Healing occurs when we recognize that our Hope is alive.