Summary: No matter what condition your life is in, you can be made whole, because there’s a God big enough to save you from yourself.
I. Dismal Life Of Paralytic
A. found at Pool of Bethesda – “house of grace and mercy”
B. Must have resided near the Pool – probably crawled there daily
C. He would wait for the angel to trouble the waters
D. He had no one to help him to the water, but yet he would go, day after day, hoping that someday a miracle would happen
E. For 38 years he had endured scorn and ridicule
II. His Condition Was Evidently Caused By Sin - verse 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."
A. Not all afflictions are caused by sin
1. Job’s comforters were wrong
2. Christ specifically repudiated this idea in Luke 13:1-5
3. Matthew 5:45 …for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
4. Christ reinforced the idea in John 9:2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
B. The Pulpit Commentary: “The form of the sentence points to something special and persistent in this man’s habits, rather than to the general corruption of human nature.”
C. Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
D. There are certain habits and lifestyles which bring afflictions
1. Smoking – lung cancer
2. Heavy drinking – fries your liver
3. Drunk driving – jail time
4. Promiscuous lifestyle – increased exposure to certain types of disease
5. Drug abuse – shortened life span
E. Whatever this man’s lifestyle had been previously, it evidently produced this condition of paralysis
1. His condition was his own fault – 38 years of Divine discipline
2. This man needed a God big enough to save him from himself
F. Sometimes it’s easier for us to pray about things over which we have no control
G. A lot of times we bring affliction on ourselves by our stupidity
1. We do something stupid and we sin
2. Because of our sin we are faced with consequences
3. Then we feel guilty and embarrassed that we could be so stupid, and that guilt and embarrassment, instead of pushing us toward the throne of grace, pushes us away
4. It becomes a vicious cycle
5. Sin begins to take it’s toll on you
6. Then one day you find yourself bitter and broken, surrounded by the sick , halt, and lame
a. just as this man found himself lonely and friendless – no one to help him into the water
b. sin makes you bitter – no one wants to be around bitterness and complaining
c. Those around him had no mercy or sympathy – his condition was his fault!
H. Often, from this place of hopelessness and despair we can hear the voice of Jesus calling to us, “Stop sinning, you’re only making things harder on yourself”!
1. But I can’t stop sinning, and I can’t get better – I’ve tried on my own and failed so many times
2. Romans 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
3. That’s why Jesus made His way into a place of sickness and disease!
a. Somebody needed him!
b. Somebody was alone and helpless
c. Somebody was in a hopeless situation
d. Somebody had made a mess out of their life and couldn’t put it back together
e. Somebody needed a God big enough to save him from what he had done to himself
4. Yes, he had made a mess out of his life; yes, his sin had put him into his sorry condition, but Jesus met him right where he was, even though it was his own fault!
III. Jesus Did Not Lecture The Man
A. He’d already had 38 years to think it over
B. I’m sure he’d already figured out where he went wrong
C. Jesus simply asked him a question, “Wilt thou be made whole?”