Faith of A Mustard Seed

Barbara Woods Washington

Barbara Woods-Washington, M. Div.

 “…he said to the paralytic ‘Rise, take up your pallet and go home’.” (Matt 9:6) (Mark 2:10-11) Luke 5:24).  Jesus’ final word in ‘The Healing Of The Paralytic’ faith event returns his attention to the Paralytic to speak directly to him: “Rise…!”    When not less than eight different New Testament words all translate into the one English word, ‘rise’; it’s no small thing that God would break into history to send His Son into a Greek speaking world.  Language alone is a persuasive.

The word for rise here is ‘egeiro’ and takes me again to ‘my life’s word’ (John 5) as stated earlier.  Jesus says the exact same thing to the triple tradition paralytic that he says to the man sitting 38 years at Bethzatha, “Rise, take up your pallet….”  I have preached the John 5 text on numerous occasions across the years using the subject ‘Rise In The Imperative‘.

Rise, then for this purpose, must be looked at in reference to just the usage of, ‘egeiro’.  Where the English verb is very limited in ‘mood’, the Greek verb accommodates the mood of the speaker.  In all four Gospels’ reference here, ‘egeiro/rise’ is in the Greek imperative— ‘mood of command’.  This imperative mood is so misunderstood in the English language that it is defined as being used to tell someone to do something without argument; used most often within the scope of parental authority.  But, in both Classical and New Testament Greek, the imperative mood is reserved for use only by persons of authority with most all references to use by gods, kings and commanders of armies.  Commands that are given in the imperative mood must be carried out as though life depended upon it.

The tense of this verb usage has also given problems to the English grammarians in that here, ‘egeiro/rise’ is in the ‘aorist tense’, (not found in English).  For the Greek, the aorist tense is not a simple past, present or future action but one that is ‘perfect‘ and used only by god(s)!  In the ‘Healing of the Paralytic’ faith event, ‘rise’ is in the aorist imperative!

In weekly Bible Life Dialogue,  Facebook Live -Thursdays 6:pm @Divided We Fall-Dialogue on The Great Divides, we have come into the ‘Guide Direction’ of the late 3rd generation Physician, Francis Cress Welsing who commands a consciousness of ‘The War Going On’ against Black American Nation; to speak an imperative ‘From Mass Death to Mass Resurrection’.  “I see as our critical responsibility,” she says, “analysis of what exactly is this ‘dynamic’ that is causing black male persons to be dying in unacceptable numbers, and failing in unacceptable numbers, and standing on corners in unacceptable numbers.”

What am I saying?  That Jesus’ use of the word ‘egeiro/rise’ in the ‘Healing of The Paralytic’ faith event is a perfect command that can only be given by God.  The hearer must carry out the command as though his life depends upon it.  When used by God it has the meaning of ‘to awaken from sleep’; ‘to rise from the dead’.  Where it appears that there was ‘no life’, ‘no health’, ‘no consciousness’, we receive a word from Jesus that says— you must get up, you have to get up; you have life, you have health, you have consciousness.  I have made all provisions for you to GET UP!  It is IMPERATIVE that you RISE!

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