|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-9 We are all by nature impotent folk in spiritual things, blind, halt, and withered; but full provision is made for our cure, if we attend to it. An angel went down, and troubled the water; and what disease soever it was, this water cured it, but only he that first stepped in had benefit. This teaches us to be careful, that we let not a season slip which may never return. The man had lost the use of his limbs thirty-eight years. Shall we, who perhaps for many years have scarcely known what it has been to be a day sick, complain of one wearisome night, when many others, better than we, have scarcely known what it has been to be a day well? Christ singled this one out from the rest. Those long in affliction, may comfort themselves that God keeps account how long. Observe, this man speaks of the unkindness of those about him, without any peevish reflections. As we should be thankful, so we should be patient. Our Lord Jesus cures him, though he neither asked nor thought of it. Arise, and walk. God's command, Turn and live; Make ye a new heart; no more supposes power in us without the grace of God, his distinguishing grace, than this command supposed such power in the impotent man: it was by the power of Christ, and he must have all the glory. What a joyful surprise to the poor cripple, to find himself of a sudden so easy, so strong, so able to help himself! The proof of spiritual cure, is our rising and walking. Has Christ healed our spiritual diseases, let us go wherever he sends us, and take up whatever he lays upon us; and walk before him.
Verse 9a. - And immediately the man became whole (well, sound in health), and took up his bed, and walked. This act of obedience was an act of faith, as in every other miracle upon paralyzed nerves and frames. The imagery of the sign explains the rationale of faith. The impotent man, the paralytic, and the man with withered hand, were severally called by Christ to do that which without Divine aid seemed and was impossible. The spiritual quickening of the mind was communicated to the ordinary physical volition, and the bare act was a method by which the palsied sufferer took hold of God's strength. Faith always lays hold thus of power to do the impossible. The words and the result are similar to those adopted on the cure of the paralytic. This is another instance of the identity of the Christ of John and of the synoptists. The various efforts of Strauss, Baur, and Weiss to identify this miracle with that wrought on the paralytic is, however, in defiance of every condition of time, place, character, and consequences. The energy of faith and love which led the Galilaean sufferer to secure the services of four stalwart friends, not only to carry him, but to make strenuous efforts to bring him into the presence of Jesus, contrasts powerfully with the loneliness and friendlessness of the impotent man; and the method adopted by the Lord to convey his grace, and the discussion that followed on that occasion touching the power of the Son of man to forgive sins, all suggest profoundly different circumstances. Nothing but the claim of the critic to be entirely superior to the document he is interpreting can account for so wild a conjecture.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And immediately the man was made whole,.... As soon as ever the words were spoken by Christ, such power went with them, as restored the man to perfect health; and he finding himself to be quite well, rose up directly:
and took up his bed and walked; which may be expressive of a sinner's rising from the bed of sin, and taking up the cross, or carrying the body of sin and death with him; and walking by faith in Christ, as he has received him:
and on the same day was the sabbath; which is remarked, for the sake of what follows.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. the same day was the sabbath—Beyond all doubt this was intentional, as in so many other healings, in order that when opposition arose on this account men might be compelled to listen to His claims and His teaching.
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