"Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?"
By Andrew Murray
"Jesus saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool. Jesus saith unto him, Rise and walk. Immediately the man was made whole, and walked" (John 5:6-9).
Feebleness in prayer is the mark of disease. Impotence to walk is, in the Christian as in the natural life, a terrible proof of some evil in the system that needs a physician. The lack of power to walk joyfully in the new and living way that leads to the Father and the throne of grace is especially grievous.
Our weakness in prayer is part of a life smitten with spiritual impotence. Let us listen to our Lord as He offers to restore our spiritual strength, to fit us for walking like healthy, strong men in all the ways of the Lord, and so be fit rightly to fill our place in the great work of intercession.
Jesus Offers Health
Jesus said to the sick man, "Rise and walk," and with that restored him to his place among men in full health and vigor, able to take his part in all the work of life. It is a wonderfully suggestive picture of the restoration of spiritual health. To the healthy, walking is a pleasure; to the sick, a burden if not an impossibility. How many Christians there are to whom, like the maimed and the halt and the lame and the impotent, movement and progress in God’s way is indeed an effort and a weariness. Christ comes to say, and with the word He gives the power, "Rise and walk."
Hear what the New Testament speaks of the walk Christ comes to give: "That like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4). It is the Risen One who says to us, "Rise and walk." He gives the power of the resurrection life. It is a walk in Christ. "As ye have…received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Col. 2:6). It is a walk like Christ. "He that saith he abideth in Him ought so to walk even as He walked" (1 John 2:6). It is a walk in the Spirit and after the Spirit. "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16). "Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1).
It is a walk worthy of God, and well pleasing to Him. "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord, unto all well pleasing, being fruitful in every good work" (Col. 1:10). "We beseech you, that as ye have received of us, how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more" (1 Thess. 4:1). It is a walk in heavenly love. "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us" (Eph. 5:2). It is a "walk in the light, as He is in the light" (1 John 1:7). It is a walk of faith, all its power coming simply from God and Christ and the Holy Spirit, to the soul turned away from the world. "We walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7).
How Jesus Makes Us Whole
When a physician heals a patient, he acts on him from without, and does something which is if possible to ever after render him independent of his aid. He restores him to perfect health, and leaves him. With the work of our Lord Jesus it is in both respects the very opposite. Jesus works not from without but from within, by entering Himself in the power of His Spirit into our very life. And instead of as in the bodily healing rendering if possible independent of a physician for the future, Christ’s one purpose in healing is, as we said, the exact opposite. His one condition of success is to bring us into such dependence upon Himself as that we shall not be able one single moment to do without Him.
Christ Jesus Himself is our life in a sense that many Christians have no conception of. The prevailing feeble and sickly life is entirely owing to the lack of the apprehension of the divine truth, that as long as we expect Christ continually to do something for us from heaven in single acts of grace from time to time and each time trust Him to give us what will last a little while, we cannot be restored to perfect health. But when once we see how there is to be nothing of our own for a single moment and it is to be all Christ moment by moment, and learn to accept it from Him and trust Him for it, the life of Christ becomes the health of our soul.
Health is nothing but life in its normal, undisturbed action. Christ gives us health by giving us Himself as our life; so He becomes our strength for our walk. Isaiah’s words find their New Testament fulfillment: They that wait on the Lord shall walk and not faint, because Christ is now the strength of their life (Isa. 40:31). He that has not seen this must remain a sickly Christian, letting self do part, and Christ part. Christ can give soul-health. He can give a life that can pray and know that it is well-pleasing to the Father.
– Abridged from The Ministry Of Intercession by Andrew Murray.