The pool of healing
Scripture- John 5:1-5:9
This morning I want you to pay close attention to the details of this passage of scripture. It is a familiar verse and as we hear it, we sometimes miss the new that the Lord wants because we think of the familiar.
A crippled man was placed at the pool of healing alongside a lot of others in the same condition as he is.
He had been there for 38 years. EVERYDAY HE WENT THERE.
Someone else put him there. He himself could not get there without help.
They were there because they believed that if they were the first one in the pool as the waters were stirred by an angel of God , the beggar would receive a healing from the waters.
Jesus showed up, but this man did not know or recognize Jesus for who He was.
Jesus went to him- no one told Jesus about him and asked him to come to the man.
Jesus asked a bizarre question to the man that needed a miracle- Do you want to be well?
Does that about cover it? Of course not! One important detail left out is the fact that this man was healed by Jesus and sent back into society.
Happens in Jerusalem- could be Middletown Pa.
Piers or porches around the water where men and women laid loved ones to receive a healing or at least gave them a good spot to beg from the passerby.
Question I ask you this morning is…you begging or do you want to get well?
You doing the same old thing everyday or is today going to be different because Jesus showed up?
Today different because you recognize who Jesus is and what Jesus can do for you?
I. Do you want to get well?
That is a simple question with a complicated answer. By all appearance, you would think this man wanted to be healed. Been there 38 years trying to get into the water to receive his healing.
I think he started out with good intentions- at first, I believe he went with the idea of healing, get me to the water and I will get myself in the pool of healing and I got this!
I believe as time went on and he was not the first to get in the pool, he became more discourage and time got away and now 38 years later, he is going through the motion, but never really believing he will be healed.
What could he do different?
Put yourself in a position to receive healing from the Lord.
I don’t know about you, but I would have built or had someone build me a way to drop in the water at the right time. I would have watched others get in and figured out a way that I was in before them.
I would have found those guys that dropped their friend through the roof. Whatever it took- I would have found a way! That is my story and I’m sticking to it! That is the way that we want ours written. But truth is, we each have something in our lives that we need to, should, or have been too scared to present to God that we need from Him. For some it might be an addiction, some it is relational, financial, some we have fought with God for obedience issues and that has not gone well. We keep thinking we can out last Him or He will change His mind.
It takes determination to receive from the Lord. He gives instructions and I would have made sure I understood them and was on the cutting edge of receiving. If one got the healing a day as the water were stirred, I would make sure that I was the one to receive it.
I talked a while ago with someone that needed a job. In conversation, they said they were praying that God would bring them a job. I asked them a few questions-
Are you out looking for jobs-No.
Have you written a resume’ to give to the employer- No.
Have you let others know that you desire a job- No.
Do you know what jobs you are capable of doing or what experience that you have to offer? No-
This person is literally asking God to bring a job for them and drop it in their lap in between watching their favorite TV shows. Is it possible? Yes- but if you put yourself in a position to receive his healing or his blessing. It would probably come faster.
If you were needing advice because things are not going well in your life. Where do you think that you will receive the answer from God? Sitting in front of the television, sitting at a sports event, or coming into the house of God? You can receive from all these places- but where do you think that God will start- in a placed and ordered anointed service or doing your own thing.
Another time recently, met with a gal that I had not seen for awhile and she said that in her head she heard me telling her that until she stopped running from God, that she would be convicted and not have the peace that she was looking for.
She wanted to blame me for being in her head. I was not in her head.
She had received Godly advice for what was going on in her life and she chose not to do what was needed and God was reminding her that it will not change until she does what she knows to be right.
Until we put ourselves in a position to receive, we miss the blessing.
We want to say it is all about faith, and at our weakest point we do not have much faith and we blame God that we cannot muster up enough faith like we are doing it ourselves. This was not about faith-
This beggar did not know Jesus.
Jesus shows up, asks him a simple but direct quest- do you want to get well?
The beggar goes into a pity party mode and tells all of the times that he could not get into the water at the right time. Jesus listens and then tells him to get up and walk.
Let’s skip the stirring waters, because Jesus has showed up!
Let’s recognize that the healer has just showed up? And you can get up! You may not know my name! you may not have a lot of faith. But you have to recognize that something is about to change- the healer is here and has brought more than empty hope.
There are times faith moves mountains and there are times that you just have to be in a position to receive because Jesus showed up.
The women that just needed to touch the hem of Jesus- faith, pure active and working faith.
The Centurion Commander that believed that all Jesus had to do was say the word and his man would be healed- faith.
But this time it was just recognizing that the healer showed up and things would be different if your just smart enough to get in when he says get in and get up when he says to get up! Have faith when he says have faith.
II. Recognize that God wants your change
“Get up, Pick up your mat and walk.”
Receive your healing! Receive your blessing!
The man did not see Jesus as a potential healer- but obeyed his command to get up and walk!
Jesus told that man to receive what he had asked for.
The man did not ask Jesus for help, but Jesus was there to help and he had to be smart enough to recognize it and receive it.
Usually Jesus heals by faith, but here shows us that He is not limited to healing by faith but also acts on kindness and mercy and seeing our needs.
What would have happened if He did not respond? Good chance he would not have received his blessing.
Get up! You no longer need that kneeling mat because I have healed you! You are a part of the work force now, you do not have to beg from others but God has touched you and made you whole again. The prayer that He never prayed was being answered.
There comes a time that we have to stop going through the motions and trust God to be and do what God does! You have to actually want to come into His presence and realize that He wants to heal you and that He wants to answer prayer. That He actually wants to be God in your life!
How long are you going to be at the water’s edge and not get in? I would never wait 38 years! No? Some of you have been waiting a long time.
Why not make this church be the church that it is suppose to be? Wait a minute- several of our leaders are away at a laymen retreat this weekend- should of maybe kept this message for a week…or maybe God is rising up some new leaders that will help us get to where we need to be.
Alright- so ask yourself first question- Do you want to get well? If the answer is yes- make sure you put yourself in a position to receive from the Lord. If the answer truly is no- you will keep doing the same old things and keep wondering why nothing is changing.
2- Recognize that God wants change as much or more than you do- change is a good thing! It is a needed thing!
III. Change comes at a price
People will not be as excited as you about what God is doing in your life once you let Him do it.
“The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, it is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” But he replied, the man who made me well said to me, pick up your mat and walk.”
You would think that a religious leader would be excited that a long time beggar would have been healed and received from the miracle pool the healing that he needed- nope! We have laws against that- you cannot carry your mat because it is the Sabbath and we don’t work on the Sabbath.
Who is this man that would dare do this on the wrong day!
Just like laws today, there are some that are looking for some loopholes. If your sheep fell in a hole, you would not left him there to die- you just need the right loophole and get someone to give you a get out of jail free card.
There are some people who are happy that you are where you are at- if you begin to move in a positive direction, they will be jealous and they will not take kindly that you are moving on out to the Eastside!
Instead of helping, they become an anchor and try to pull you down. You want healing, Jesus wants to heal. He does it in many different ways and it does not always involve physical healing or money to be thrown at the problem. He does promise however, to see what you are going through and want to intervene.
Are you sensitive enough and know His voice to hear the instructions that He gives you as you sit by the pool of healing and are you ready to pick up your mat when He tells you to get up and are you prepared not to listen to the voices of those that are wanting to keep you down and suppressed and miss what God has for you this morning?
Are you a beggar this morning or are you the receiver of what God has for you this morning? A beggar will be happy with the scrapes and leftovers from others who have compassion. One who wants God’s healing will be the one that will be willing to get up and walk in victory when God Himself tells you to move out of that situation and into healing!