Summary: Jesus didn't always do things the way people expected Him to, including healing. Sometimes Jesus' healing was painful because it required people to face truth about themselves that people just don't like to face. (Powerpoints Available - #267)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #267.)
As we look at our world today, we realize that many people carry incredible burdens. Hearts are broken from disappointments & betrayal. Stress, loneliness, & anxiety are rampant. Addiction to alcohol & drugs is at an all time high.
Something is desperately wrong, & the term that comes to mind when I try to describe it is "dis-ease." Not disease, but "dis-ease," meaning "without ease," without peace - mentally, emotionally, spiritually & even physically.
Even people who are supposed to have their act together are dis-eased. You see, we’re not perfect. In some ways we're all dis-eased. And some are here hoping to hear something to bring about the healing of their dis-ease.
If that describes you – I have good news &, maybe, bad news. The good news is that, on many occasions in His earthly ministry, Jesus sought out broken, messed-up, dis-eased men & women & healed them.
But the bad news - maybe - is that Jesus didn't always do things the way people expected Him to, including healing. Sometimes Jesus' healing was painful because it required people to face truth about themselves that people just don't like to face.
PROP. This morning we're going to look at one of those kinds of healings because I think the lessons we’ll learn from it can be of help to us today.
I. QUESTIONS THAT ARISE
Our scripture text is John 5:2-14, & it tells about Jesus healing a man who had been an invalid for a long time. And as we look at it, I want us to consider some questions that arise.
A. John 5:2-3 tell us, “Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool which in Aramaic is called Bethesda, & which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie - the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.”
Question #1 – “Why are these people here? What are they hoping to find at this pool?”
B. Vs’s 5 & 6 tell us, “One who was there had been an invalid for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there & learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’"
Question #2 – “Why would Jesus ask him that?” It seems like a strange question to ask an invalid.
C. But it gets even stranger because the sick man answered, “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.” (John 5:7)
Did you notice? Jesus asks him if he wants to get well & the man doesn't answer the question! Instead, he complains about having no one to help him get into the water.
Notice Jesus' response. Jesus ignored his complaint. Instead, “Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat & walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat & walked.” (John 5:8-9a)
38 years of helplessness gone just like that – & after only 8 words from Jesus' mouth! But 4 of those words - "Pick up your mat" - are puzzling. I mean, is one extra mat left lying on the porch among so many sick people important? “Why did Jesus tell him to pick up his mat?” That's Question #3.
D. Let's continue. Vs’s 9-10 tell us, “The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, & so the Jewish authorities said to the man who had been healed, ‘It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.’”
That's because, in their opinion, carrying a mat was work & God had commanded "no work" on the Sabbath.
“But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat & walk.’ So they asked him, ‘Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up & walk?’
"The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.” (John 5:11-13)
Now, isn't that kind of odd, too? The man who was healed had no idea who had done it. He didn't even know Jesus' name. But Jesus knew him. From the hundreds of men & women in need of healing, Jesus had singled him out.
Question #4 – “Why? What was so special about this man?”
E. Listen to vs. 14, “Later Jesus found him at the temple & said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’”
Oh! Jesus did know him well enough to seek him out a second time & give him a very stern warning. It's almost like there's some unfinished business that Jesus needs to take care of in this miracle of healing.