Summary: This sermon deals with discipleship. It focuses on how walking with Jesus us a choice that we make, "Do you want to be well?" and the requirement of obedience to the commands of God.
When my first girl Clarissa was born, I was about the proudest daddy you had ever seen. Still am. And I must say she was a daddy’s girl. When she said her first word, it was “dada!” I was proud, and I didn’t spend much time teaching her that either. But with walking, that was another story. I would force her to roll over until she could do it on her own, then when she began to crawl, I would pick up her hands and try to get her to walk. My reasoning…well if she’s going to play for the Kentucky Wildcat basketball team one day she better get started on her jump shot early!
But I worked with her and worked with her and then one day it happened. While we were visiting her Nanny and Papa, she grabbed on to the table and then she took one step, then another and then she literally ran…but not to me, but to her Papa! To her Papa! What did he do?
Now even though she didn’t walk to me, I was still very proud of her because learning to walk is a pivotal moment in her maturation process. Now just as once a child is physically born and that child must grow and eventually learn to walk; the Christian who has been born again spiritually must also learn to walk. Micah 6:8 tells us what God requires of man, and the third requirement is simply to, “Walk humbly with Your Lord.”
Now just the mention of the words walk with the Lord emphasizes to us that the Christian faith is one of a relationship with the Lord. Our religion is not a list of do’s and don’ts but rather it’s about a loving relationship between the Creator and His creation, a Father and His child. And the term walking implies also that this is to be a relationship that is constantly moving. As we continue down the path, we should be walking closer and closer to God and maturing spiritually as a result. You wouldn’t call a two-year-old immature when he plays with his food--that’s what toddlers do! However, by the time that youngster turns 21 or 22, his behavior should have changed as dramatically as his body. He should have made continual progress toward maturity.
And God wants to transform your life. Let him live long enough in a heart, and that heart will begin to change. Portraits of hurt will be replaced by landscapes of grace. Walls of anger will be demolished and shaky foundations restored. God can no more leave a life unchanged than a mother can leave her child’s tear untouched. It’s not enough for him to own you; he wants to change you. He wants you to walk and grow with Him.
As we continue in our series entitled, “I’ve been Born Again! Now What?” I want us to take a look at one of the first steps we make as a Christian and that is the choice to walk with our Lord. Will you walk with the Lord down the path of the straight and narrow or will you chose to walk the broad and wide road?
In our text that we want to look at this morning, I want us to take a look at what it means as a disciple of Jesus Christ, to walk daily with Him by looking at a man who himself couldn’t walk at all until He met Jesus. So let’s look at what it means to walk with the Lord by looking at the healing of the lame man found in John 5 starting with verse one.
“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 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. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.” Now in verse 4 of the text, which many bibles have as a footnote instead of a verse tells us that there was a superstition that an angel would come and stir the pool, and if you were the first person in after the angel stirred the pool you would be healed.
Now this man had been lame for thirty-eight years. We’re not told if he had been at the pool this long, just that he had been unable to walk for almost 2 score. So imagine for that long you were unable to walk, and you were dependent upon others for almost everything. Not a pleasant thought. So that is why the next verse is so peculiar. Verse 6 says, 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?"