Grace For The Journey
It was the time of the Jews annual Feast of the Passover, one of the three great religious feasts celebrated during the year. Jesus was in Jerusalem to observe the feast. But on this particular day, instead of finding Jesus in the Temple, we find Him instead in the area know as Bethesda. There was a pool of water in this area called the Pool of Bethesda. This was beside the sheep market, or near the sheep gate.
We see here . . .
We are not given his name, and, according to John 5:5 and 7, John calls him “a certain man who had an infirmity thirty-eight years and “the sick man.” His days were spent lying by the Pool of Bethesda, wishing that by some miracle his body could be healed and his life could be changed.
The impotent man had believed
That his miracle would
Take place in the pool.
However . . .
When Jesus came to where he was,
A pool-side miracle occurred,
And the man was healed
Without even getting wet.
This story reminds us that Jesus . . .
Has the ability to meet us
At the point of our need,
And overcome that
Which is overcoming us.
Before the Lord intervened for this man, He asked him an interesting question. In verse six, Jesus said, “Do you want to be made whole?” This is a good question for each of us today? Do you want to be whole? We all have things in our lives that hinder us and keep us from the life God wants us to live.
I want us to follow our Lord in this story, and watch Him as He changes the life of this man. There are three things we observe about Him in this text. Notice first of all . . .
1) WHERE THE LORD WENT.
The opening verse of John chapter five says that, “Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” In the next two verses we are told specifically where the Lord went in the great city. You can learn a lot about Jesus by simply studying the places He went.
- He went to the well in Samaria to witness to a lost woman.
- He went to Zacchaeus’ house to change a crooked man.
- He went into the Temple to run out those that were abusing God’s house.
- He went to the tomb of Lazarus to raise the dead.
In our text, as well, we learn about the character of Christ by observing where He went. Notice first of all, Jesus went . . .
To the Hurting People.
When Jesus came into Jerusalem, He did not first go to the Temple where He could rub elbows with the Jewish leaders. He didn’t go to Herod’s palace so that He could meet the king. Nor did He go to the Roman governor’s house in order to “get in good” with the local politicians and power players. When Jesus came into the city, He went to the place where the hurting people had assembled.
He went to those whose lives were
Difficult and whose hearts were broken.
Contrary to what many believe . . .
The Lord Jesus is not looking for perfect people.
He is seeking for those who are hurting.
The Bible says in Matthew 9:12, “But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, ‘They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.’”
Notice not only that Jesus went to the hurting people, but notice also that He went . . .
To the Helpless People.
Look in the text, and notice again verse three. John describes the crowd gathered around the pool as being “sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed . . .” The word translated “sick” literally means “without strength.” It describes someone who is powerless.
The Lord Jesus came to minister to those who could not help themselves. He came to those who were powerless against their disability and disease.
2) WHAT THE LORD WONDERED.
Among the sick and lame bodies littering the pool side, one man in particular caught the Lord’s eye. Looking at him, Jesus knew the long and painful story that had been this man’s life. Jesus knew everything, and yet He wondered about something regarding this man. He asked him the question, “Do you want to be made whole?” Literally, the question is, “Do you want to be well; complete again?”
At first glance this seems like a stupid question. What sick person doesn’t want to be well? However, as we meditate on this question, we realize this is actually a very good question.
Notice a couple of things Jesus wondered about this man. Notice first of all, Jesus wondered . . .
Was He Ready For A Change.
Though it would seem obvious that this man would be eager to be healed, in reality, not everyone is ready for a change. Some, after years of battling their condition will give up, and will grow accustomed to their handicaps and hindrances. After thirty-eight years, it could be that this man no longer wanted to be made well. It could be that he was not ready for a change.
Unfortunately, Christ cannot help everybody. That is because not everybody is ready for the change Christ will bring. Some people are comfortable with their hang-ups and hardships. They wear them like badges, and lean on them like crutches.
What about you? Do you want to be made whole? Do you want your marriage to be better? Do you want to overcome your doubts and worries? Do you want Christ to break that addiction in your life, or are you comfortable with your condition.
Jesus will not force Himself or His help on anyone. If you are not ready to change, He will not help you. Jesus wondered if this man was ready for a change.
Notice also, Jesus wondered . . .
Would He Respond to a Command.
Verse 8 says, “Jesus saith unto him, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’” Jesus commanded the man to do what he had been unable to do for 38 years. When Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to be made whole,” He was not only questioning the man’s readiness to change, but his willingness to comply as well. Some will never be whole, and never experience a healthy Christian life because they will not obey the commands of Christ.
There is one more thing I want us to observe about our Lord in this text. Notice not only where Jesus went, and what Jesus wondered, but notice also finally:
3) WHY JESUS WORKS.
Verse 9 declares, “And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.” Verses 14-15 say, “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said unto him, ‘Behold, you art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you.’ The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.”
Notice first of all, Jesus works . . .
So That We Will Praise God.
The Lord found this man in the Temple. He who had been for 38 years by the pool, now that he is able we find him in the Temple. Clearly, the man wanted to give God thanks, and glorify Him for the miracle that had occurred in his life. Christ had healed him, and he wanted to give praise to God.
If the Lord Jesus does something in your life, and works a miracle on your behalf, He does so in order that you might give praise to God, and glorify Him with your life. The Lord Jesus works in our lives, not only so that we will praise God, but notice further that He works . . .
So That We Will Practice Godliness.
Verse 14 states, “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said unto him, ‘Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.’”
Jesus healed this man
To change not just his physical life,
But his spiritual life as well.
He worked in Him so that
He might begin to live for God.
Too many Christians today want a Christianity that demands nothing from them, and allows them to live in any manner they please. The Lord Jesus does not work in our lives just so that we will continue in the path we have been traveling. He works in us to change the practice of our lives.
The old, fiery evangelist from western North Carolina, Vance Havner, once said, “God saved us to make us holy, not happy. Some experiences may not contribute to our happiness, but all can be made to contribute to our holiness.”
Jesus met this man at the point of his need. That happened to be beside a pool. If Jesus could make a man whole beside a pool, is it not completely possible that He could do the same for you right where you are right now? What is it you need Him to do for you? If He does it, are you willing to give God praise, and live for Him? If so, you could be made whole today.
This is God’s Word …
This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”