The Healing of the Paralysed Man

John 5.1-13

(Man enters looking both exhilarated and terrified, carrying a mat!)

The people playing the parts of the Law-keepers can either have a walk-on part or can suddenly stand up in the midst of the congregation and shout out their part. During his last few lines they march up to the man and escort him out.

Man: Has anyone seen him? You know that man who was talking to me just before at the pool by the Sheep Gate? Somebody must know where he is!

I’m talking about the Healer!

You don’t recognise me do you? You think I’m mad!

I’m the invalid, or was or should I say I WAS! I used to sit each day, along here by the Colonnade. I was disabled, paralysed... have been for 38 years.

And all of a sudden this man, the one I’m looking for, came up to me and spoke to me face to face...asked me if I wanted to get well!

Want to get well? I said to him. WANT to get well? What do you think?

Stupid question! I thought.

So as politely as I could, I replied to him, I’m sorry sir, as you can see I have no-one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me. In fact I’m last in the queue, every time! They’re all up and in before me to get healed! The blind, the crippled, the lot!

I really blew my top!

He kept on looking at me all serious like. I began to feel a bit uncomfortable. There was something about him that was strange, but I wouldn’t say frightening.

He kept on looking at me straight in the eyes and simply said, “Get up!”

I thought at first he was having me on, but he was deadly serious. ...“Pick up your mat and walk!” he said.

Who on earth was this man? Was he the angel from the pool? I wondered.

Anyway that’s when time seemed to stand still for me!

My whole body started twitching and tingling. Yeah that’s how I would describe it!

I reached out to him, and before I knew it, I was UP! On my feet!

I was staggering around like a drunken fool! Shouting... screaming,


Who on earth was this man? When I turned round he’d gone!

And now they’re after me. The law keepers! They’re wanting to ask me questions? And I don’t know where he has gone to!

Law-keeper 1:- There you are you scoundrel! What are you doing with that mat in your hand? Drop it at once. The law forbids you to carry it!

Man: Hey don’t blame me, I was only following instructions! The man, who made me well, told me to pick it up and walk. And look isn’t it wonderful? I can walk!

Law-keeper 2: Which man told you to do this?

Man: I can’t find him, he just disappeared!

Nobody here knows where he is! But look, don’t you recognise me? I’m the invalid, well I was! I used to sit each day, along here by the Colonnade. I was disabled, paralysed... have been for 38 years...

Law-keeper 1: Be quiet, come with us!(escorts him out by the scruff of his neck)

Man; But look how I’m walking and running, I’ve been given my life back!

Law-keeper 2: That’s enough! Let’s find this man. You’ll have to identify him of course!