"Jesus said to him, Get up, take up your bed, and walk.' And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, 'It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.' But he answered them, 'The man who healed me, that man said to me, "Take up your bed, and walk." ' They asked him, 'Who is the man who said to you, "Take up your bed and walk?" ' Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place." - John 5:8-13 ESV
Jesus told this man to do something. He did not want the man to rest in the same place he had been resting for the last thirty eight years. Is it work to move your bed? The religious people of the day thought so.
Discipleship involves moving our place of rest but Jesus disappears and the man is just left with words. It's interesting really because Jesus didn't do this with many people. He told Peter and John to follow him. They had a clear idea of who he was but this man had an identity in his sickness. He spent his days with sick frustrated people like himself who just couldn't get up fast enough. Jesus gave him words and gave him a commission like he gave Abram long before. He told him to leave what was familiar and enter into a new kind of rest.
"Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, 'See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.' The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him." - John 5:14-15 ESV
Jesus found the man in the temple. The man was in God's house.
We pray a prayer with people but their identity will linger near to the place they find rest. Alcohol. Sentimental attachments. Illness. Sports. Fiction. Politics. Salvation is real but unless it moves to discipleship there is a real danger that it will lapse back and the person won't 'find Jesus' again except in times of great strife. The temple is where we find Him.
"[Others] Where has your beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned, that we may seek him with you?
[She] My beloved has gone down to his garden to the beds of spices, to graze in the gardens and to gather lilies. I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine; he grazes among the lilies." - Song of Songs 6:1-3 ESV
The girl had lost her beloved in the chapter before. He had gone to feed his flock among the lilies. The once sick man lost Jesus temporarily but found him in the temple.
We find Him at Church where people gather together and ponder His word. We find Him where Pastors feed their flock lilies (grace words). That is where we live in our new identity and find a new place to put our bed.
Moving the bed seems like work but really it isn't. It is establishing a new place to rest far away from a victim mentality.