Jesus goes to a place of sickness and picks the worst case. Compare this to our world today. There is sickness everywhere: addictions to drugs, alcohol, and sex; Idolatry of money and fame. The list could go on and on. The thing to see is that none of this is too hard for Jesus. Jesus could have picked a simple case and healed them. What we are seeing is Jesus can heal anyone no matter how bad their condition is.
Notice in verse 6 that Jesus asks the man, “Do you want to get well?” This seems like a stupid question at first, but let’s think about it. Let’s turn the mirror on ourselves. Do you want to give up your addictions, idolatries, greed, and selfishness? Whatever your pet sin is, do you want to get well? How hard are you trying? Have you picked up your mat? When Jesus asked you, “do you want to get well?” Did you scream, “Yes, Heal me!” Or did you do like this man and give excuses on why you can’t get well.
That’s what is happening here. The man is giving excuses on why he can’t get well. He is use to his problem and the attention it gets him. He doesn’t have to try harder because everyone knows he has to have their assistance. He does not want to give up his sickness, because it is a part of him. Just as our sickness is a part of us. “Yes Lord, I want to give up my lusts. Yes Lord, I want to give up my greed. Yes, Lord, I want to give up my selfishness, but no Lord I don’t want to give up my sin. It’s who I am!” Ask yourself, do I want to get well.
Jesus doesn’t force the man to choose healing. Jesus does not reach down and pick the man up. Jesus simply says, “Pick up your mat and walk.” Jesus simply tells us if you will give up on your sickness. If you will give up your crutch and come to me, I’ll help you. This man then picked up his mat and walked. Jesus healed him and showed him that there was a savior.
I’m going to skip down to verse 14. We see that Jesus sees the man again and says to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” Jesus will give us healing, but we must repent. We are only saved when we believe and repent. If we want to get well Jesus will give us the power, but we must choose healing. We must choose to actually follow Him