Summary: This is the fourth sermon in a 5 sermon series on spiritual wholeness.
It could always be Worse (John 5:14)
Is there anyone in here who can remember a time in your life where you were caught doing something wrong or your parent or guardian learned of your wrong doing and you knew that you had it coming? But, to your surprise, your parent or guardian did
not kill you as they often would use the phrase but only said, “I’ll let you slide this time, but it better not happen again, because if it does, it will definitely be you and me.”
Or perhaps, you may be able to recall a time or two where you were caught blatantly breaking the law driving a vehicle either too fast or not regarding a sign on the road and was stopped by a law enforcement officer who could have given you a ticket for the traffic violation but somehow you were able to be let off with a warning?
If no one else can identify with these two illustrations, I can. On numerous occasions, I was caught doing wrong as a child and have even gotten a couple of warning tickets for breaking the traffic laws on the highway.
Yes, even I have done some wrong in my life time! If for some reason there is someone in here who can not identify with the two illustrations that I used earlier, you will not be able to get out of identifying with the man who had been healed by Jesus.
All of us have some point of identification with the man as far as sin is concerned. No one is exempt from that. Scripture has pointed out that all
have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But, there is hope for all of us here today.
Despite the fact that we may have fallen short of God’s glory, God is still willing to forgive us of our sins if we go to God with earnest intent on living our lives in a more Christlike manner. Wherever we are in our lives today spiritually, emotionally,
physically or financially, I am here to remind each of us, “It could always be worse.” That’s the message that Jesus got across to the man that he was responsible for healing.
If we were to go back to the beginning of this passage we would discover that a wonderful miracle had taken place. Someone who had been ill for 38 years was now healed as a result of Jesus’ miraculous powers.
Now, after some time has transpired, Jesus and the man have met up again. They have reconnected and are located in the temple. The man is presumably there worshipping God and giving God thanks for the blessing that he had received by way of Jesus’ healing of his physical ailment.
Still not knowing fully who Jesus was by the indication that’s given earlier in this passage, the man could at least remember that it was this man who had done what could have easily been seen as being impossible.
In this biblical verse, there is no dialogue, it is a monologue and only one person is speaking. It is not the man who had been healed but the one who was responsible for the healing.
As Jesus approached the man, he also was aware of what had taken place earlier and recognizes that the man was now whole. He says it outright! Behold, or see thou are made whole. He further says to the man, ‘Sin no more, lest or if you do, something far worse could take place.’
Think about it for a moment. Here was a man who had once been physically incapable of caring for himself for over 38 years. Now, he had regained the physical state that he apparently knew earlier in his life.
This leads me to believe that this man was no
baby. Obviously he had to be older than 38. We do not know exactly how old he was but what we know from scripture is that he had to be older than 38 because he was in a bad physical state for over 38 years.
This man had returned to a normal lifestyle. He had regained his independence and was now able to do whatever it was that he desired. But, here was Jesus on the scene.
First he acknowledges to the man that the state that he was in at the moment was much
better than earlier. Jesus could see that what the man had desired for quite some time had been actualized. What a blessing!
That’s not the end of the story. Yes, he had been healed and Jesus had acknowledged that the healing had taken place. Something else needed to be said to this man.
Jesus in reminding the man of his wholeness says to him just as we have heard from our parents or guardians and maybe even from a police officer or judge, you were wrong but I’m gonna let you slide this time but don’t do it again because if you do something worse could take place.