Summary: A look at the facets of the healing Jesus offers.
Jesus Came To Heal Us
What Jesus Came To Do - Part 4 of 4
When you look around at the people who attend church with you on Sunday, what do you see? Do you see impressive people, dressed in fine clothes who have it all together? Or do you see people in need of comfort; troubled in need of hope and peace; sick people who need healing?
As we finish up the series, What Jesus Came to Do, we will take one last look at what Jesus came to earth to accomplish, and what he can accomplish in our lives. We have already concluded that Jesus came to change people’s lives. This time we catch a glimpse of how Jesus changes people’s lives through his interaction with a man who is lame or paralyzed in John 5, whose sickness reaches down into his soul. Jesus brings an offer of healing.
All of us are familiar with some level of soul sickness. All of us experience things that make the words of Psalm 130 come alive: "Out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord," or Psalm 142:6, "Listen to my cry for I am in desperate need."
Marshall Hayden wrote an article a few years ago entitled, "Would Every Non-Hurter Please Stand Up?" He pointed out that people come to church wearing their best clothes and their best smiles. Everybody looks happy, so we assume everything is okay. But he suggests that we need to look beyond the facade and realize that the pews are full of hurting people.
It is as T. S. Eliot has written:
You neglect and belittle the desert,
The desert is not remote and southern tropics.
The desert is not only around the corner
The desert is squeezed into the pew next to you.
The desert is in the heart of your brother.
Marshall Hayden draws the following picture of a church.
"Over here is a family with an income of $550 a week and an outgo of $1000.
"Over there is a family with two children who, according to their dad, are ’failures.’ ’You’re stupid. You never do anything right,’ he is constantly telling them.
"The lady over there just found a tumor that tested positive.
"The Smith’s girl has a hole in her heart.
"Sam and Louise just had a nasty fight. Each is thinking of divorce.
"Last Monday, Jim learned that he was being laid off.
"Sarah has tried her best to cover the bruises her drunken husband inflicted when he came home Friday night.
"That teen over there feels like he is on the rack, pulled in both directions. Parents and church pull one way; peers and glands pull the other.
"Then there are those of us with lesser hurts, but they don’t seem so small to us: an unresponsive spouse, a boring job, a poor grade, a friend or parent who is unresponsive … on and on the stories go. The lonely, the dying, the discouraged, the exhausted, they’re all here."
"I wonder if Christ could heal my _____________." That is for you to fill in. What is it that produces a sense of soul sickness within you? What part of your life is in the most need of Christ’s healing touch? As you write that down it will help you as we hear about the cure for what ails us.
Jesus brings healing to the man, a healing that has three facets to it. As we read through the story, I will share with you some thoughts on each of the ways Jesus can restore health, the same healing that is offered to us today. The first facet of healing is how we would normally think of health.
1. Jesus Restores Physical Health
1 Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches.
3 Crowds of sick people - blind, lame, or paralyzed - lay on the porches.
The pool of Bethesda was a periodic warm water spring that is still active today. These sick people were at this particular pool because there was a tradition that this pool had miraculous healing qualities.
The story continues …
5 One of the men lying there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, "Would you like to get well?"
The man is described as an invalid. That description may mean that he had lost use of the muscles in his legs for some reason or he had experienced some kind of paralysis. Additionally, we have no real about how much of his life he had been in this state. It is possible that was a birth defect, and equally possible that he became this way because of a debilitating disease or accident.