Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus heals the man at the Pool of Bethesda

Jesus performed His first miracle in CANA turning water into wine. Then He took a trip to Jerusalem where He ran the moneychangers out of the Temple. Then back north where He met a Samaritan woman by a well. Jesus then heal a nobleman’s son via long distance while up north in Galilee. Jesus now makes a trip south again. Arrives during a FEAST(not know which)

1 After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

• FEASTS were big deals in ISRAEL. Made good BAPTISTS. We have one good one as a nation which is THANKSGIVING. Their lives revolved around their celebrations and they helped them to remember who there had been in the past and were supposed to be in the future.

a. Not watered down in meaning or made politically correct. Passover Bunny? Hanikah Santa in his chariot pulled by 8 camels?

b. Constant remembrance of their special relationship with God as a people. Shame Christians have allowed the world around to still so much of their distinction as a the people of God by hijacking our celebrations.

• At this celebration Jesus encounters an odd scene where many who are sick of various issues are gathered around a pool which is called the Pool of Bethesda.

Old story of a rich guy who threw a party at his mansion. One of his pride and joys was his new saltwater pool in which he had the ability to let swim in various specious of ocean fish. He had the party assemble along the edge of the pool as he proudly released into the pool his new collection of Great White Sharks. As the sharks swam back and forth in the pool the rich man offered 1 Million to anyone brave enough to swim across. Suddenly there was a splash and someone started swimming across at a speed never seen even in the Olympics. A man bounded out of the pool on the opposite side completely out of breath. The rich man ran to him and began to congratulate him on his courage. The tired swimmer said, ‘I only have one question… WHO PUSHED ME?’

Here is a story not of one man who had to be pushed into a pool but of many who all tried to push their way to the pool in order that they might be the first one in.

• Jesus speaks to one particular man who had been sick for 38 years(where were you 38 years ago? 1973? Watergate? AMERICAN GRAFFITI EXORCIST This man could have sung one of the top songs of that year: WHY ME LORD? HE had been sick since then when Jesus met him next to the pool.

2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. 3 In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [waiting for the moving of the waters; 4 for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water ; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.] 5 A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get 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, "Get up, pick up your pallet and walk." 9 Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.

Bob Shannon was the head football coach at East Saint Louis High School which has been called “one of the great high school programs in the nation.” Reader’s Digest had an article called “The Stuff of Champions” which was all about Bob Shannon and his amazing record at East Saint Louis High School. In twelve years his teams won five Illinois state championships and were once named the No. 1 high-school football team in the nation. Once they had a winning streak of 26 games YOU EVER BEEN TO EAST SAINT LOUIS? I have…Don’t stop for gas or even a stoplight. East Saint Louis is a sinkhole of crime and violence. One morning they found the body of an executed drug dealer on their practice field. Students often ran through a gauntlet of gang gun battles in order to get to class. Most of the players came from single-parent families and nearly all of them received public aid. It is as close to hopeless as any situation you would find in America. But Bob Shannon turns out winners. "My quarterbacks don't wear earrings. A quarterback must be a leader, must be held to a little higher standard. An earring shows that he is a follower." Over and over again reporters ask him how he does it. “We battle tough odds. But we don’t look for excuses to explain failure. We look for ways to succeed.”

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