Summary: Jesus healed then and he is still healing today.
Three guys were fishing in a lake one day, when Jesus walked across the water and joined them
in the boat.
When the three astonished men had settled down enough to speak, the first guy asked humbly,
"Jesus, I’ve suffered from back pain ever since I took shrapnel in the Vietnam War ... Could you
"Of course, my son," Jesus said, and when he touched the man’s back he felt relief for the first
time in years.
The second guy, who wore very thick glasses and had a hard time reading and driving , asked if
Jesus could do anything about his poor eyesight. Jesus smiled, removed the man’s glasses and
tossed them into the lake. When they hit the water, the man’s eyes cleared and he could see
When Jesus turned to the third man, the guy put his hands out defensively -- "Don’t touch me!"
he cried, "I’m on a disability pension."
I remember as kids we used to watch these preachers on TV who would “heal” people. Ernest
Angely is the one that sticks in my mind. We used to think that was amazing, but then we got
older and more cynical. Then we would criticize and mock what he did on his show, because we
“knew” that he wasn’t healing anybody. We “knew” it was fake. If he could heal people then
surely he should be able to grow his own hair instead of wearing that terrible toupee. We had
seen the movie on how all of these “faith-healers” were frauds and fakes. Really! They made a
TV movie about it. You may remember it.
The movie showed how perfectly healthy people were “planted” in the audience to provide
someone for the healer to heal. Guys in wheelchairs would jump up and start dancing. The deaf
would hear the music and start singing. Women would throw away the crutches and begin
jumping up and down in a frenzy of joy. The blind would weep at seeing the faces of loved ones.
All because they were “healed” by the preacher.
And we “knew” it was fake. You know, when you’re a teenager you know it all. So we mocked
Ernest and all the others. But with age comes wisdom (at least, hopefully). In our wisdom that
we have gained, we now know that Ernest and all the others really were not healing anyone. Oh,
people were being healed. People were walking, blind eyes could see, cancer vanished. But in
our wisdom we now know that the people legitimately being healed were being healed by the
Great Physician and the people we saw on TV were just the tools God used to perform these
Jesus, as we read in our scripture for today, performed a miracle of healing and who are we to
say that he is not still performing these miracles today through others.
This scene in John 5 is very similar to what we see on TV today. People of all different
afflictions congregating together in one place hoping to be healed. It was into this group that
Jesus walks. Now, why did Jesus choose to heal this man, the one who had laid there for 38
years? Why him? It’s interesting. Maybe this man had been there the longest. We don’t know.
38 years! Imagine the length of time. Let’s put that into perspective for today. 38 years ago was
1963. Look at what has gone on in our world since: President Kennedy was assassinated, Kenya
gained independence, Jack Nicklaus won his first tournament, and General Hospital premiered.
The top movies of 1963 were Cleopatra and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Some popular
songs were Puff, the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul, and Mary and Surfin’ U.S.A. by the Beach
Boys. It was in 1963 that the first successful liver transplant took place. It was in 1963 that the
U.S., Soviet Union, & Britain signed the nuclear test ban treaty. The man of the year was MLK.
38 years! Some of you weren’t even born yet! And this man has laid there 38 years on one of
these porticoes (or porches) trying to be the first into the water when it was stirred, trying to be
Then Jesus comes along and asks him what seems to be a strange question. He said, “Do you
want to get well?” It might seems odd to ask someone who has been paralyzed for 38 years if he
wants to get well but, of course, Jesus never asks a question without good reason. Listen to the
man’s response to Jesus: “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred.
While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Notice that he did not answer