Summary: This sermon is about the man being healed at the Sheep Gate. It is a miracle that steps away from being stuck, stumbling and staring into the waters and allowing Jesus to bring us to a life of victory!
Scripture: John 5:1-9
Bubbles or Living Water?
John 5:1-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
A Man Healed at the Pool of Bethesda
5 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
Grace and peace this morning from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
I want to talk to you today about experiencing a life in the LORD JESUS CHRIST to its fullest. I want to talk to you today about how Jesus wants us to experience more than tradition – more than what can happen in the natural but what can happen both in the natural and in the supernatural. If we allow Jesus, He will bring about a transformation in our lives – emotionally, physically, socially, financially and most importantly spiritually that will be like an ever-flowing pool of living water.
That is what we see happening in our Bible story this morning.
The Apostle John is sharing with us an event that took place while Jesus was at one of the Jewish festivals or holidays in Jerusalem. Three times a year the Jewish people were invited to gather in Jerusalem to celebrate either Passover, Pentecost or the Festival of the Tabernacles. Three times they were invited to gather together to celebrate the times that the LORD brought them Freedom (physical as well as spiritual), gave them His Holy World and provided Divine Protection for them.
We are not sure which of the three festivals that John is referring to in this passage. Most Bible scholars point to it being the Feast of the Tabernacles which takes place in the fall of the year while others point towards the Feast of Pentecost which of course is just around the corner.
We also see what John calls the third sign or third major miracle of Jesus. In writing his Gospel the Apostle John shares with us seven great miracles that Jesus did all designed to help us realize that Jesus Christ is more than an ancient carpenter turned rabbi from the city of Nazareth. All seven miracles are to remind us and to reveal to us that Jesus Christ is the very Son of God, Our Messiah, Savior and KING.
The story itself takes place in an urban setting. It is an inner-city miracle. It takes place where a mass of people are gathered together who have comparable mindsets, comparable circumstances and comparable lifestyles.
The scene that John paints for us looks very similar to what we would see today near a homeless shelter or a tent city. We would see a large group of people who were living rough and perhaps handicapped, suffering from various mental illnesses, emotional issues or some type of debilitating medical condition.
Some of those gathered there would come daily to the Sheep Gate area where others lived there permanently. For some reason their family had decided that they could no longer provide adequate care for them and would have left them to be taken care of in this place the Bible calls “Bethesda” or “The House of Mercy/Grace”. It was supposed to be a place where people could find comfort and help in their time of need.
Bethesda was located close to the Temple, but not connected to the Temple. We know today that the Sheep gate area had five covered areas with a couple of cleansing pools nearby. It was these cleansing pools that were most important. Historically, one of the pools had been used to ritually clean the sheep before they were taken to be sacrificed while the other pool had been used for ritually cleansing people before they went into the Temple.
It was all a very busy area. Somewhere along the way a legend began that spoke of a certain angel who would come down from heaven and stir the waters, opening the door for a time of healing. People would come there and stare at the waters until they saw it moving and as quickly as they could they would jump in or fall into the water hoping to be the first one in the water and be healed.