Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The heart of Jesus is revealed through His healing of the man with an infirmity

It Took a Miracle:


John 5:1-16 7/27/97a BBC

Jesus Christ desires to be in personal and intimate relationship with each of us. He knows us better than we know ourselves, but do we really know Him? Most relationships are only casual based on surface knowledge. But to really know someone intimately we must know their heart.

1) Jesus Places Himself in the Midst of Hurting People (5:1-4) After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.

One way that you can understand the heart of another is asking the question, "What is their agenda?" What drives that person? What are they trying to accomplish in life? What do they do the things that they do? A quick way to determine a person’s agenda is by examining the where do they hang out and with whom?

A young man trying to climb the corporate ladder makes sure that he wears the right clothes, carries the right brief case, and hangs out with the right people in the business world.

Young people who aspire who make it big in acting leave their homes and travel to Hollywood to be in the right place, just as Nashville draws young singers, and New York draws apiring models.

I have even witnessed in the ministry that young preachers who want to be "somebody" in the SBC make sure they place themselves in the company of the right people at conventions and meetings. To really determine what makes a person tick is just examine where they spend their time.

Jesus was no different. As we examine the life of Jesus, the Son of God, the Master Teacher, we will discover that most of His time was not spent at the Temple where most religious leaders focused their activities. Also, He did not spend most of His time with the Social elite crowd who could have certainly helped His ministry both financially and politicly. Instead, so often as in this case we find Jesus placing Himself in the midst of hurting people.

The pool of Bethesda was located in the northwest side of Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate. Apparently this pool was spring fed and at certain times air bubbles trapped in the sub-terrain water system would come up through the pool causing the water to stir. thatthe stirring of the water was caused by an angel and the first person in the pool after the stirring would be healed of any infirmity. (***It must be noted that verse 4 is not found in any of the earliest and best manuscripts and must have been added later by a scribe who was trying to explain the moving of the water.) With this belief brought multitudes of hurting and desparated people who hoped for anything to bring them help. This had to be one of the most depressing parts of town. Can you imagine multitudes of lame, blind, and grossly disfigured people in one place. Certainly, most of the religious leaders stayed away from this place in fear of touching a person with an infirmity and not to speak of avoiding such a dreadful place. Can you imagine a place where there are multitudes of lame, blind, and badly disfigured people gathered together? This is exactly where Jesus found Himself as He had a heart for hurting people.

2) Jesus Desires to Help Those Who Cannot Help Themselves (5:5-9)

5Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" 7The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." 8Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." 9And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.

There is an old saying that has floated around in our churches for years that goes something like this, "God helps those who helps themselves." Have any of you ever heard that saying? Have any of you ever used it? I am sure I have. This saying is so prominent that many probably think it is right out of Scripture. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Sure, our Lord has called us all to lives of responsibility and in areas that He has equipped us to help ourselves we are to do just that. But each of us will at times in our lives find ourselves in situations that are beyond our own help. This is where Jesus plays such an important role in humanity. He has come to help those who cannot help themselves. This is the very reason that He stepped out of heaven. If we could help ourselves in every matter then we would have no need of Jesus.

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