Steps to Getting Well (John 5:1-15)
Scripture: Do you want to get well? (John 5:6 NIV)
5 1-6 Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”
Reflection: (John 5:1)
Three festivals (or “holy days”) required all Jewish males to come to Jerusalem:
- The Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
- The Festival of Pentecost (also called the Festival of Harvest or the Festival of Weeks).
- The Festival of Shelters.
Reflection: (John 5:6)
After 38 years, this man’s problem had become a way of life. No one ever helped him. He had no hope of ever being healed. The man’s situation looked hopeless.
But no matter how trapped you feel in your infirmities, God can minister to your deepest needs.
Don’t let a problem or hardship cause you to lose hope. God may have a special work for you to do in spite of your condition, or even because of it.
Many have ministered effectively to hurting people because they have triumphed over their own hurts.
7 The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.”
8-9 Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.
9-10 That day happened to be the Sabbath. The Jews stopped the healed man and said, “It’s the Sabbath. You can’t carry your bedroll around. It’s against the rules.”
Reflection: (John 5:10)
According to the Pharisees, carrying a mat on the Sabbath was work and was therefore unlawful. It did not break an Old Testament Law, but it broke the Pharisee’s interpretation of God’s command to ‘remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy (Exodus 20:8)
This was just one of hundreds of rules they had added to the Old Testament law.
Reflection: (John 5:10)
A man who hadn’t walked for 38 years had been healed, but the Pharisees were more concerned about their petty rules than the life and health of a human being.
The Jewish leaders saw both a mighty miracle of healing and a broken rule.
They threw the miracle aside and focused on the broken rule, which was more important to them than the miracle.
It is easy to get so caught up in our man-made structures and rules that we forget the people involved.
Are your guidelines for living your life God-made or man-made?
Are they helping people, or do have they become needless stumbling blocks?
How often do you focus only on your self and hold grudges against someone without truly forgiving them the way that God has taught us to do?
Do you get caught up in things that are petty against someone and continue to hold onto them? If so, you are continuing to live in your flesh and not in imitation of Christ.
It’s time to let these things go and forgive the person you are holding these feelings against never to bring them up again.
11 But he told them, “The man who made me well told me to. He said, ‘Take your bedroll and start walking.’”
12-13 They asked, “Who gave you the order to take it up and start walking?” But the healed man didn’t know, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd.
14 A little later Jesus found him in the Temple and said, “You look wonderful! You’re well! Don’t return to a sinning life or something worse might happen.”
Reflection: (John 5:14)
This man had been lame or paralyzed, and suddenly he could walk.
This was a great miracle.
But, he needed an even greater miracle – to have his sins forgiven.
The man was delighted to be physically healed, but he had to turn from his sins and seek God’s forgiveness to be spiritually healed.
God’s forgiveness is the greatest gift you will receive. Don’t neglect His gracious offer…
15-16 The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus—because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath.
Reflection: (John 5:15-16)
What blessings have happened in your life? Have you shared them with anyone? If not, today is the time.
Go out today and share the blessings that God has brought you in your life. People need to hear your story…