Summary: I challenge you today to rise up out of that comfort zone, and not accept that situation any longer, and decide to walk away. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Help for the Hopeless - Hope for the Helpless
[pt. 2 just added, below pt. 1]
Get it all with PowerPoint here: http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/HelpHope.html
Bethesda= “House of Mercy”
The “House of Mercy” was a house of misery for many. This pool was situated where there were intermittent mineral springs. (The moving of the water) A descending angel is disputed by liberals for this reason, however we read in Rev.16:5 about the "angel of the waters." In some way or another when the waters moved, they had a peculiar power. The affect of the bubbling, moving water upon the afflicted bodies of the people indicated to them the presence of God.
There were 5 porches which were covered areas where the sick folk would await their opportunity to get into the healing pool.
Jesus was attracted to one poor sufferer (He never lost sight of the individual)...
1. The Picture of a sinner.
a. He was powerless.
v. 3 ’Impotent’ = without power. [opposite of omnipotent]
Everyone lying around the pool lacked power. [power to see / hear / walk / heal themselves]
The Bible often illustrates sin with disease...because disease to a body is a clear picture of what sin does to a soul. This is not to say that your sickness is because of sin. Some suffer more than others and it is not necessarily because they sin more than others. The devil would like to lay that guilt trip upon us, but we shouldn’t go there.
Truth is, all sickness and even death is because of sin in general, and the curse upon this world. Now, personal sin often does carry direct consequences. For instance, putting harmful agents into our body can make us sick. Our body is God’s temple, so we shouldn’t defile it.
But we are way out of bounds when we get judgmental about an afflicted person. Over in chapter 9 a very silly question is asked,
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Did he kick his mom in the womb?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Jesus says, you can put away this notion that it is because of sin...for this man was born blind for a greater purpose. In this case, God will heal him and receive glory for it. Elsewhere we find that sometimes God chooses one of His children for suffering...and He has a greater purpose in NOT healing them. Perhaps it is so they can glorify Him by enduring it. Perhaps it is so others can see the miracle of God’s grace working in their life, and gain a new perspective of their own life.
With all that said, in THIS particular case in our text in chapter 5, THIS man’s sickness IS tied to personal sin.
v. 14 Thirty-eight years before he brought this upon himself by some sin, unknown to us.
The point is, the Bible uses physical maladies to illustrate what sin does to a person spiritually. For instance, physical blindness is a picture of spiritual blindness.