Summary: The man Jesus heals in John 5 teaches us that what we think we need for our life to be right may not be the full answer.
"IT IS NOT WHAT WE THINK"
TEXT: JOHN 5:1-15
Today as we continue our study of John’s Gospel we will look at another "Jesus Encounter", this encounter comes from chapter 5 and is entitled IT IS NOT WHAT WE THINK.
[READ - 5:1-15]
Several years ago while I was in Bible College my Washing Machine stopped working. And looking for a reason to leave my books, I was ready for the challenge and I grabbed by multimeter and began tearing into it.
After a period of time I determined that the timer was not operating correctly. I was confident that I had found the reason why my washer did not run. Since the timer on my washer was an enclosed unit, I called around to find the cheapest price I could for a new timer. I found a place and before too long I had the new timer in. Once I had the new timer in the washer, I plugged that puppy in, waiting to here that washer purr like a kitten, But guess what? It still didn’t work. It wasn’t what I thought. Well, besides being heart broken, I was confused and thought that maybe I had a dual problem.
So I began to look around at the wiring again, making a visual inspection and as I did I found a lead that had burnt completely off the float switch. Once I fixed this my washer ran perfectly.
It wasn’t what I thought. I was sure I knew why my machine wouldn’t run but I was wrong, I had missed the obvious.
The invalid at the pool thought he knew what the main problem in his life was, but as we will see as we study our text, he was wrong.
Many people today think they know why their life doesn’t work, they are confident that they have pinpointed the exact problem. And if that problem could be fixed their life would run great, purr like a kitten. IF ONLY::
I had a BETTER: job, house, car,, health, marriage education...If I could just TAKE CARE OF THIS PROBLEM MY LIFE WOULD RUN GREAT.
BUT they like the invalid have missed the obvious and they have overlooked the more severe.
As we study this encounter with Jesus we will see that for many of us, IT IS NOT WHAT WE THOUGHT.
I. THE INVALID WAS CRIPPLED BY HIS PROBLEM
A. THE INVALID
For 38 years this mans hope has slowly withered away until there was but a faint glimmer. For 38 years he had been an invalid, for 38 years he had been paralyzed, unable to stand, UNABLE TO WALK, UNABLE TO RUN, UNABLE TO REALLY LIVE AND TAKE CARE OF HIMSELF....
And as he sat under one of the colonnades that day he looked down at THOSE legs and in his mind’s eye he could still see back to the time when they still work, when they used to move him around and get him to where he wanted to go. And then his thoughts returned to the present.
It was spring, the time of year of the great Passover feast, when the Jews flooded the city celebrating their deliverance from the bitter bondage of Egyptian slavery. Perhaps, the Invalid thought to himself that day, "If only God would deliver me from this bondage, if only God would set me free from my slavery, from these useless legs.
But Even though his hope was nearly gone, even though he had no one to help him he still made his way to the pool of Bethesda. This pool is usually identified with the siphon spring and pool just southeast of the temple area, the pool periodically bubbles over from the spring stirring the waters. The people apparently felt that there was some therapeutic value in the bubbling water, much like whirlpool baths and mineral springs today.
(THE PARTS OF VERSES 3 AND 4 ABOUT AN ANGEL STIRRING THE WATERS THAT IS IN THE KJV IS LISTED IN THE MARGIN OF LATER VERSIONS BECAUSE OF THE RECENT MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE INDICATES THAT IT WAS ADDED BY A SCRIBE)
This man had a problem he was crippled, literally. And if you were to ask him how his life was he would probably say "not to good, look at my legs I can’t walk I can’t do anything", and then if you were to ask him what would it take to get his life going again he would probably say, "if I could only walk again, my life would be perfect."
The Invalid was crippled by his problem and not just physically. To be cured, to walked again, dominated his every thought. The text records him saying, "while I am trying to get to the pool someone else beats me to it". The verb "trying", is in the present tense and indicates continuous action. The day he met Jesus was not the first time that he had been there. He had been there before perhaps everyday for 38 years. And since he had no friends to help him get into the pool, than more than likely he had no friends to help him get to the pool area. So how did he get there?, possibly by dragging himself, pulling with his arms by digging his calloused and bleeding knuckles up and down the streets of Jerusalem. This man was driven by his desire to get rid of his problem, It’s what drove him to the pool.