Jesus Heals the Lame Man At Bethesada
Sermon shared by John Hamby
Summary: Eighth in a series on the Miracles of Jesus.
Series: The Miracles of Jesus
Audience: Seeker adults
"Do you want to be made well?"
As we noted at the beginning Jesus did not always demand faith; but he did demand agreement. He would not have healed this man against his will.
But there is even more being asked here as well, he had been an invalid for nearly forty years, during that time he had lived by the pity of others collecting alms, if he is healed he will have to be responsible for himself. He will have find work; he will be entering a whole new world. It would be the equivalent today of asking a person who had lived on welfare if they were willing to give up in order to be well.
In fact some people will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid unwelcome changes in their lives.
“Dave Reavor, a disabled Vietnam veteran, tells of a young man in the 1960’s who did not want to be drafted. So he had all of his teeth pulled to make himself unfit for military duty. But when he took his physical, he was declared unfit because of his flat feet.”
The lame man did not answer Jesus’ question directly but rather said, that he had no one to place him in the pool when it was disturbed. In saying this he declared that he had lost not only his ability to walk but all hope as well.
“Rise, take up your bed and walk”
Jesus did not discuss the pool or its alleged abilities to provide a cure, He simply told the man to get up, take up your bed and walk.
Seeing that you have been made well go and Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you (v. 14)
“Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."
A literal translation of the Greek is “don’t keep on sinning.” Why was he told to stop sinning? Was the disability really caused by his sin? What could be worse than suffering from a disability for thirty-eight years?
Whether or not we think that he is implying that this man’s original condition was due to his sins, Jesus warning is that he is not to take his healing for granted. It is also significant to note that when he is told to “stop sinning” it is in effect the same as being told to repent.
The Effect of the Miracle (vv. 10-18)
First, the miracle results in the immediate healing of the lame man.
“And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.”
I want you to notice three things about the Lord’s healing power. If you should encounter someone who claims to have healing power today, measure their claims against these Bible truths.
1. Jesus’ healing was instantaneous.
2. It was complete. He arose and walked although he had not walked in 38 years.
3. Jesus’ miracles were undeniable.
John adds an additional dimension to the miracle when he relates that the incident took place on the Sabbath.
Second, the miracle causes a great “Sabbath Controversy.”
In verse nine we were told, “And that day was the Sabbath” on which the miracle was performed.
The Old Testament taught that a person should do no work on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-10). By Jesus’ time the rabbis had expanded this simple command by going into great detail as to what constituted “work.”
The Gospels record seven Sabbath healings
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