Sunday of the Paralytic John 5:1-15
St. John Chrysostom said of this Gospel Lesson:
Afterwards Jesus found him and said to him: ‘See, you are cured. Sin no more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.’ Did you see the physician’s wisdom? Did you see his concern? Not only did he free the man from his ailment at the time he was cured but he also made him sage against disease for the future. And this was a very opportune time to do so. When the man was lying on his couch, Jesus said nothing like this to him; he did not then remind him of his sins. For the souls of those who are sick are distressed and somewhat morose. So first he drove out the disease, first he restored the man to health. Then, after he proved by his deed his power and his concern for him, he gave his timely exhortation and advice. Why? Because Christ had already shown by the very things he did that he now deserved to be believed.
The Paralytic was asked “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your mat and walk?” St. Athanasius provides an answer by describing Jesus this way:
Therefore, since God he is and man he became, as God he raised the dead and, healing all by a word, also changed the water into wine. Such deeds were not those of a man. But as wearing a body he thirsted and was wearied and suffered; these experiences are not characteristic of the deity. And as God he said, “I am in the Father and the Father in me;” but as wearing a body he rebuked the Jews, “Why do you seek to kill me, a man that told you the truth which I heard from the Father?” But these facts did not occur in dissociation, on lines governed by the particular quality of the several acts, so as to ascribe one set of experiences to the body apart from the deity and the other to the deity apart from the body. They all occurred interconnectedly, and it was the one Lord who did them all wondrously by his own grace. For he spat in a human fashion, yet his spittle was charged with deity, for therewith he caused the eyes of the man born blind to recover their sight; and when he willed to declare himself God it was with a human tongue that he signified this saying, “I and the Father are one.” And he used to perform cures by a mere act of will. But he stretched forth a human hand to raise Peter’s wife’s mother when she was sick of a fever, and to raise up from the dead the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue when she had already expired.