Summary: We have a choice. We can stay in our sin, or can allow Jesus to make us better!
During the three and a half years in Ministry, Jesus gave thirty parables, and He performed 33 miracles! Understand that Parables are miracles. They are miracles of wisdom. Miracles are parables of teaching! Turn with me in your bibles to John 5:1-14.
This is the Word of God and what He says, “Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals.
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “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.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’
So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 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.”
Now, take a look at the setting for his miracle. It took place just inside the Sheep Gate at the pool called Bethesda. His attention was drawn to a man who had been in need for over 38 years. Christ’s attention was drawn to the man’s obvious frustration in not being healed.
Understand, this man had been asking for help to the water for years and could get no help? I would guess that this man was beyond a normal frustration. 38 years and no one would help him to the water. The water was known to have healed many of the ones who could get into the water when it had been stirred.
He must have seen so many healed, but he could not get to the water. No one would help him. Until……
Jesus approached the man with compassion. How else would the son of od approach the sick, but with compassion, Amen?
Jesus asked the man, “Do want to get well?” Now to some, this would sound like a foolish question to ask a sick man, right? But Jesus was looking to see if the man was committed to being healthy again.
This man did not know Jesus, or who Jesus was. He did however know that all else had failed in his life. Sometimes, that is when we are open to hearing what He has for us in His heart. When all else has failed. When no one else can fill that void in our lives, amen?
Looking at verse 8, Jesus gives this man a very simple command, “Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
The command was so simple. But we need to understand that if this man did not have the faith in what Jesus had spoken to him, he would not have stood. It was in the faith he was healed, and it is in our faith in Christ that we are healed spiritually.
Perhaps it is the reason that I embraced Christianity so easily was that the Christian faith doesn’t demand intelligence. I have an above average intelligence level. Well, actually, although it was above average according to the IQ test I completed at School, it was more tilted towards the average side than the above part. I have imagined having an intelligence level that would ASTOUND people, but unless that miracle happens I will remain who I am, without the ENCUMBRANCE OF GENIUS and I will always have to examine things carefully before I can understand them.
Jesus prayed an unusual prayer in Matthew 11:25-27. After the cities of Korazin and Bethsaida had ignored Him and rejected Him, He prayed "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank You for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased You to do it this way!"