Summary: We see the lame man waiting on & trying to sense the supernatural. He desires to yield to God and is expecting the miraculous. God answered his faith & healed him. Do we have that kind of open attitude toward the supernatural?
THE STIRRING AT BETHESDA
A. HUMOR: MALE’S KEEN OBSERVATION
1. Jason was out shopping at the Woodlands Mall with his wife Latisha, but he wasn’t enjoying it. For over 45 minutes, he'd been 'stuck' with Latisha in the ladies department of the Forever 21 store. And he couldn't leave until she found a fashionable new outfit. So he was getting very tired and irritable.
2. Then, for the seventh time, Latisha came out of the changing room wearing yet another outfit. He looked Latisha up and down and said, "That's it, Babe! Not only does the outfit fit you perfectly, but it's your favorite color. Buy it and let's go get something to eat!"
3. She blew up. "You’re worthless, Jason!" said Latisha, "This is the same outfit I came in here with!"
5 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed—and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. [NIV with footnote included]
C. THESIS & TITLE
1. Tonight we’re looking at the phenomenon the Bible describes in John 5:4 & 7, the stirring of the waters of Bethesda.
2. We’re going to look at the Pool, the miracle that happened there, and the Angel who troubled the waters that final time.
3. The title of this message is “The Stirring at Bethesda.”
I. THE EXISTENCE OF THIS POOL
A. REALITY OF THIS POOL
1. The Pool of Bethesda was located on the eastern side of the city near the Fortress of Antonia.
2. Until the 19th century, there was no evidence outside of John’s Gospel for the existence of this pool; therefore, scholars argued that the gospel of John was wrong, that it was written later, probably by someone without first-hand knowledge of the city of Jerusalem. [Wikipedia, “Pool of Bethesda”]
3. What a turn around happened in the 19th century, when Conrad Schick discovered a large tank situated about 100 feet (30 m) north-west of St. Anne's Church. It turned out to have 5 porticoes just like John said! Someone then remembered that Josephus had written about the “Pool of the Sheep-market.”
4. This was the only Fountain/ Pool associated with healing. It’s very name, Bethesda, means "house of mercy," because there still appeared, in this sad & difficult world, a place where the mercy of God was manifested. Thank God for the Bethesdas!
B. WHO WENT TO THIS POOL
1. It was the gathering place of the sick and cripples (v. 3). John specified three sorts of diseased people that lay there: the blind, lame, and withered/paralyzed.
2. People came to this Pool from far distances and waited long for their cures. Don’t we wish people today showed as much concern for their spiritual healings as they do for their physical?
3. ONE SPECIFIC PERSON IS POINTED OUT
a. LONG DURATION. 38 years -- half of a long lifetime. This is the second longest recorded affliction healed by Christ. The longest was the man born blind, who was over 40 years old!
b. FALSE HOPE. There was constantly the possibility of healing. It might happen at any moment. He must not sleep or leave; he must be constantly alert, ready to jump. Can you imagine anything so frustrating or draining?
c. NO MAN TO HELP ME. Abandoned, friendless. They’d given up on him having a chance. HUMOR: Similar Feeling
1). Like the 2 guys walking in the field who see a charging bull and run for the nearest fence.