Summary: Even Jesus did not meet every need that he was presented with. In the same way, neither can today’s church meet every need, BUT, we can meet some.
I. One thing I know, when it comes to doing something good for others, there is no shortfall of opportunities.
A. All around us are people in need of something.
1. People sick in the hospital, can be an opportunity to visit, and share God’s love.
2. People in nursing homes, often basically abandoned by so-called loved ones, who have their own life to live, are an opportunity to share God’s love.
3. Children that are abused and ignored by parents.
4. The alcoholic, the drug addicted, the food addicted, the homeless,
5. In some cases, just the person that has given up on life.
B. If we were to take the time to make a list of people in need, and therefore opportunities to serve, there would probably not be enough time to complete the list.
C. And at least sometimes we or should I say “I” feel guilty because we aren’t doing enough to help;
1. After all, we are supposed to be like Jesus and help everyone, aren’t we.
2. We are supposed to have some positive response for every opportunity that presents itself, aren’t we?
II. BUT, and here is a question to ponder; while Jesus physically walked this earth, did He in fact HELP everyone?
III. And here is another question; This very day, is Jesus helping everyone?
A. I suppose if we want to get philosophical we would answer, “Of course He is.”
B. Or we might say, “Well Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’”
C. But that really doesn’t answer the question, “Does God help everyone?”
IV. Now certainly, through his birth, life, death, and most especially his resurrection, Jesus Christ offers the ultimate help to everyone that will believe.
V. But I believe if we get real honest, we would be forced to admit that while Jesus walked on this earth, He in fact did not “help” everyone that he came into contact with, or everyone that He had the opportunity to help.
A. The gospel’s are full of stories of Jesus dealing with the multitudes, and healing many, even multitudes.
B. But the gospel’s also tell of Jesus, getting away from the crowds for times of prayer and reflection, even while multitudes were still in need of help.
VI. In the story we will look at this morning, Jesus passes over an entire crowd of people, and heals only one person, and the fact is that one person,
A. May not have even wanted to be helped,
B. Certainly didn’t seem to respond in a positive way to his healing,
C. He was in no hurry to offer any defense for the person who had healed him,
D. And in fact, probably did not receive healing based on his faith, nor exercise faith in Christ after the healing, unless we count the fact that he did get up and walk.
VII. And yet, the picture I get is of Christ, stepping over many that could be healed, in order to heal one that only offered excuses for why he wasn’t already healed.
VIII. Go figure.
IX. Let’s look at John chapter 5, beginning with verse 1.
Look Past The Multitude (Vs. 1-6)
5:1 After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. 3 In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [waiting for the moving of the waters; 4 for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.] 5 And a certain man was there, who had been thirty-eight years in his sickness. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He *said to him, “Do you wish to get well?”
I. Best estimates believe that this is probably the second year of Jesus public ministry.
A. The last time John shows Jesus in Jerusalem was in chapter 2.
1. That incident was related as the time of the “Passover” feast.
2. One reason Jesus may have been going to Jerusalem for the feast was that all males within walking distance to Jerusalem were required by law and custom to come to Jerusalem.
B. Some commentators state that Jesus must have enjoyed the feast times, which were a celebration of God’s provision.
C. I believe another reason Jesus may have enjoyed feast, and the Passover feast in particular was due to the fact that larger numbers of people would be present.