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.
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not...
17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.
18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.
Sin ravages, destroys, withers and weakens. This paralyzed man is a picture of how sin robs us of power.
The following poem was written about a person getting caught up in immorality:
The Sick Rose By William Blake
O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
How many times is a beautiful rose of innocence destroyed by sin.
Numbers says, "Be sure your sin will find you out."
Sin takes you farther than you want to go.
Sin keeps you longer than you want to stay.
Sin costs you far more than you planned to pay.
ill.--John Schlitt was born in Lincoln, Illinois. Shortly after, his family moved to Mt. Pulaski where he grew up. Schlitt began singing and showing interest in music from a very young age. He went to Mt. Pulaski High School, graduating in 1968.
In 1972, he joined the rock band Head East as lead. They produced several hits during the 70s. Their label told Schlitt that he didn’t have the rocker image and needed to party in public and he would be more successful. He did. However, during the time, Schlitt also developed a dependency on cocaine and alcohol. His dependency reached a peak when he retired from the band in March 1980.