Summary: #4 in the Questions Jesus asked series, this sermon look at Jesus’ visit to the Pool of Siloam, and asks us to consider our answer to his question "Do you want to get well?"
Questions Jesus asked #4
“Do you want to get well?…” – John 5:1-15
By James Galbraith
Bethel First Baptist Church – February 1, 2004
We have been looking at the questions Jesus asked us
by the way… (approx. figures)
people asked Jesus 135 questions –
#1 – Why are you looking for me? (boy Jesus in temple courts)
- why are people looking for Jesus?
– because they need him, whether they articulate it this way or not
- where will they find him?
– in those who love him and follow him, as they (we) reveal him in word and deed
#2 – Why do you involve me? (water to wine at wedding)
- seems to be dragged into helping, but he helps anyway
- modelling for us our own reaction to getting involved
- even when we do not have a legal obligation to help, we should
#3 – Why do you worry? (portion in sermon on mount)
- many times we worry out of a lack of faith
- we gain faith by asking, believing, trusting and using!
- the question that Jesus asks today addresses a very current discussion,
for to a man invalid for 38 years he asks the question,
“Do you want to be well?
- more and more, a contrast in our society between physical health and overall “wellness”
- creeping into our consciousness for a while, now big-time focal point
- even our little town has “wellness centre”
- physical health = body working right
- wellness = “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”
- spiritual element as well
- where people go to seek “wellness” may be objectionable to our faith
- astrology, spiritism, séances, etc.
- concept of seeking overall wellness still sound – we do it whether we know it or not!
- we want to be physically healthy, emotionally stable, socially accepted,
mentally alert, spiritually “at peace”
- Jesus himself came so that we know and have wellness, and we will see today how he brings wellness to someone who has not been well for most of his earthbound life
Narrative (1-9, 10-15(18))
- Jesus and disciples in Jerusalem for one of the three holy feasts, or festivals
- no evidence as to which one
- travels to a part of the city rumoured to have a angel at work
“Sheep gate” to the north of the temple, old wall dating back to King David
Pool of Bethesda – twin pools of water for drinking and bathing,
fed by underground stream
- 5 colonnades - roofs with support columns but no walls
- large version of those canopies we use for picnic tables
- the sick, lame and disabled would gather in these areas
to beg for a living,
to be near the water they needed
to get a break from the repressive heat
and in this pools case, because of a belief that these pools had an angel at work amongst them.
- KJV vs. 3,4
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
- Jesus picks out of the crowd a man who had been unable to walk for thirty-eight years
- this man believed that he could be healed by entering the pool at the right time, but he had been unable to do so
- you can imagine the mad rush that would follow the stirring of the water!
(kids after the piñata bursts open)
He asks him a question that seems all too obvious…
“Do you want to get well?”
The man’s response reveals his desire and frustration,
- “I’ve tried, but I can’t do it by myself. I need help”
Doesn’t he speak for all the rest of us, in dealing with our weaknesses or disabilities?
- we may walk perfectly fine, but we all have some area in which we come up short
- we all wrestle with something that we know is not quite right about ourselves
- if we don’t, we’re deluded!
Jesus cuts through the man’s frustration and gives him a very simple directive – get up!
The man now had a choice – listen and ignore, listen and hope, or listen and act
Don’t we all do that too?
listen and ignore – hear the word, push it aside
listen and hope – hear the word, hope it’s true, but stay inactive