Summary: Looks at the compassion in Christ’s life and encourages believers to follow His example.
THE COMPASSIONATE CHRIST
INTRODUCTION… Looking at pictures of Christ before Christmas
READ JOHN 5:1-9
CENTRAL QUESTION: WHAT WAS IT THAT PROMPTED JESUS TO HEAL THIS MAN?
BIBLICAL NARRATIVE SEGMENT
I would like you to see the place that Jesus found as He entered Jerusalem. This was a place near one of the gates to get into the city. There was near the gate called the "Sheep Gate" a pool that was renowned for its healing powers. The local belief of those around the pool was that an angel from Heaven would descend at a certain time of day, stir the waters, and bless the water to cure the ailments. If you had arthritis in your back, you could go and sit in these waters and you would be cured. Perhaps a farm accident left your leg paralyzed, one session in this pool and you were cured.
So around this pool lay those who had a great hope of being cured. Verse 3 describes this disabled assembly laying underneath the roofs of these porches; hoping for a chance at the waters. They were the blind. They were the lame. They were the paralyzed. If I told you about a pool in Lock Haven that had magical healing powers, you had better believe that people would be lined up for miles to cure what ailed them! These people were in physical pain day after day… some of you know what that is like and know what lengths you might go to in order to be cured.
ILLUSTRATION: Kelly’s accident and back injury [expand]
I think in today’s culture there would be even more people waiting beside the pool than were there in Jesus’ day. That’s just my opinion. Today our world is more disabled and sick than ever. I am sure all of us know of someone who suffers from a disease or addiction that would be waiting in line for the healing waters.
ILLUSTRATION… National Center for Health Statistics (www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats)
Only 39% of elderly Americans report that they are in good health
Over 33 million Americans have arthritis to the point it alters their daily lives
Nearly 150 million Americans suffer with some sort of disability dealing with the eyes, extremities, or other disability which alters there life to the point of acquiring the label "impaired."
BIBLICAL NARRATIVE SEGMENT
The story in John 5 focuses upon one man in particular among all those who were waiting beside this pool. This man, we are not given his name, had been an invalid for 38 years. He was unable to work and I assume that he begged for any food or money that came his way. He now spent his time waiting to get into the pool. All he had was a mat to lie upon. He explains to Jesus that he did not have anyone to aid him in his efforts to reach the pool. He is helpless. What a horrible feeling: to be disabled and helpless at the same time. He was friendless at the time he met Jesus. Little did he know that once he met Jesus, that Jesus would be the greatest friend he would ever have.
Jesus looks at this man who was obviously a pitiful sight. Jesus looks at this man and says three very important things to him. These are words that this man never forgot all the days of his life.