Summary: The Pharisees revile the Lord after his healing of the lame man at the pool. This sermon is based on his response to the Pharisees. The Father is still working !!
My Father Is Always Working !
1. After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7. The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
10. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
11. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
12. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
13. And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
14. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
15. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
16. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
17. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
18. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Our sermon this morning is going to be from V. 17. But before we deal with our subject I want us to look at the context surrounding this statement by our Lord.
In this great account from the life of our Lord we see.....
1. Pool of Miracles.
For many years the site of this pool was lost, covered with the debris of the centuries, but about 20 years ago it was discovered and excavated. The pool is located to the north part of the Temple Mount, near what is now called St. Stephen’s Gate, which is, in fact, the site of the Sheep Gate mentioned here. In these porches, set at various levels around the pool, during our Lord’s time it was the habit of many to gather during feast days, hoping for a healing miracle. (Ray Stedman)
Notice also if you would........
2. The People In Misery.
Those that gathered at this pool were a pitiful sight. They assembled on the five porches surrounding the pool with both hope, and hopelessness. They were....
Why were they gathered at this pool ? Because to them it was there only hope. You see....they believed that from time to time a angel would stir the waters of this spring fed pool....and if one were able to be the first one into the pool after the angelic stirring that they would be healed ! Oh what a blessing it would have been to be able to get into the pool after the stirring of the waters.....but think of the disappointment of those still left in their dreaded condition.
However....let us not overlook.......
3. The Power of the Master
Jesus focuses his attention on one specific man who has been unable to walk for 38 years. As to how long he had been coming to the pool we have no idea, but it seems to have been quite some time because he tells Jesus that he has no one to help him into the pool and that before he can get there someone else always beats him to it ! Jesus responds to the man’s dilemma by telling him to "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk."
4. The Pharisees In This Matter.
a. Notice their religiousness.
These were the people in the know or thought themselves to be. What kind of response would you expect from people who supposedly knew the Lord ? Wouldn’t we expect rejoicing from them over the miraculous healing of this man ? Shouldn’t these religious leaders be down at the pool seeking to minister to the diseased, the disabled, and the disappointed ?