A. When you look around at the people who attend church with you on Sunday, what do you see? Do you see impressive people, dressed in fine clothes who have it all together? Or do you see hurting people in need of comfort; troubled people in need of peace; sick people who need healing?

ILL. Marshall Hayden wrote an article a few years ago entitled, "Would Every Non-Hurter Please Stand Up?" He pointed out that people come to church wearing their best clothes & their best smiles. Everybody looks happy, so we assume everything is okay. But he suggests that we need to look beyond the facade & realize that the pews are full of hurting people.

He wrote, "Over here is a family with an income of $550 a week and an outgo of $1,000. Over there is a family with two children who, according to their dad, are "failures." "Youíre stupid. You never do anything right," he is constantly telling them. The lady over there just found a tumor that tested positive. The Smithís little girl has a hole in her heart.

"Sam & Louise just had a nasty fight. Each is thinking of divorce. Last Monday Jim learned that he was being laid off. Sarah has tried her best to cover the bruises her drunken husband inflicted when he came home Friday night. That teen over there feels like he is on the rack, pulled in both directions. Parents & church pull one way, peers & glands pull the other.

"Then there are those of us with lesser hurts, but they donít seem so small to us: an unresponsive spouse, a boring job, a poor grade, a friend or parent who is unresponsive ...on & on the stories go. The lonely, the dying, the discouraged, the exhausted, theyíre all here."

B. In the face of that, the Word of God has good news! Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary & burdened, & I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you & learn from me, for I am gentle & humble in heart, & you will find rest for your souls" [Matthew 11:28-30].

This is not to say that He will heal every problem immediately if we just have enough faith. Jesus said clearly that we will have trouble in this world. But He can resolve lifeís serious problems if we trust in Him.

In some cases, He may resolve the problem immediately, even miraculously. In others, He grants the power to endure the difficulty & triumph over it.

ILL. The healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, recorded in John 5:1-15, is a dramatic example of Jesusí wondrous power. Here was a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years. He had been a burden to people. He probably had little sense of self-worth.

But Jesus had pity on him & healed him. And itís one of the few times the Scripture records Jesus healing someone when He was not asked to do so.

PROP. Letís see how Jesus motivated this man to become a candidate for healing, because the same prerequisites are necessary for us today.

Nelson Vitug
November 26, 2008
it is excellent and inspiring
Roberto Flores of Spanish Church Of God
August 23, 2008
excellet and inspiring, hit rigth in the matter of christianity
As one who was healed out of a wheelchair after nine years, I find this message to be right on. I can parallel this with my experience. Jesus spoke to me in about the same way. By cueing off the sayings in this passage, I can set my story right into this one ... I will be doing that this weekend at a rescue mission here in town. Thank you for your help ... may God continue to hold you in His Righteous Right Hand...