Today we are in John chapter 5.
Jesus was in Jerusalem and went to a pool called Bethesda that had 5 porches. People who were sick, blind, lame, and withered were waiting to be the first one in the water to be healed when an angel came and stirred the water.
Now this is very unusual sounding, but know that there are other instances of unusual healings in the Bible. For a few examples of unusual healings we can look at Naaman who was healed by washing in the River Jordan, a man who was raised from the dead when he touched the bones of Elisha, and the people were healed when handkerchiefs that Paul had touched were placed on them.
Now back to John chapter 5...Jesus went to the pool and found a man who had been ill for 38 years and asked him, “do you want to be healed?” Why did he ask? Maybe because if we are content with the way we are -then we won’t be changed. The man answered, I’m here but no one will put me in the water so others get there before me.
So, he was basically saying, I’m doing all I can but it’s not working. Jesus didn’t preach him a sermon or lecture him, he simply said, "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." Immediately the man did as he asked and began to walk. The Bible said it was the Sabbath.
UH OH! Here we go again with the controversy between Jesus, God’s son, and the Jewish religious leaders.
Carrying a bed roll was a violation of the religious leaders interpretation of the commandment against doing work or business on the Sabbath. The actual commandment was to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. The rabbis had made their own laws to go with God’s laws. They even argued that a man was sinning if he carried a needle in his pocket on the Sabbath. The rabbis told the man who had just been healed and who was walking and carrying his bed that he was breaking the law by carrying a bed on the Sabbath. (Keep in mind that the punishment for breaking the Sabbath could be stoning to death).
God’s purpose of the 10 commandments was to remember to respect Him on the Sabbath-make it a day to glorify Him-not just a regular business day. Jesus' defense of doing miracles on the Sabbath was that even on the Sabbath, God’s love, mercy, and compassion act and so did His. Jesus was the Messiah and yet the rabbis didn’t believe it. Jesus begins to confirm his identity as the Son of God, the Messiah, in the latter part of the chapter.
He says that if we see Him and what He does, we see God. That just as God raises the dead and makes them alive, so Jesus makes us alive. We choose. We make the choice. Do we honor the Son, Jesus? If we don’t, He is saying we don’t honor God. In John chapter 5 verse 24 the Word says, “this is the truth I tell you—he who listens to My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and is not on the way to judgement, but he has crossed from death to life.”
We are changed. Our life here is different. We have new life in Christ with poise, guidance and the strength of the Holy Spirit. In verse 34, Jesus says the purpose of His words was so that you may be saved. I’m not looking for any glory from man. Jesus didn’t speak what He did to win an argument with the rabbis or look smart. He said what He said because He loves us and wants to save us.
He didn’t dress to be seen or pray to be seen. He wasn’t measuring himself against other men, but against what God desired.
When we measure ourselves against others—our intelligence, our possessions, or our abilities, we can always find a way to come out on top, looking smart. When we measure ourselves with Jesus Christ, we are humbled and our faith is increased, because ultimately we have to trust and depend wholly on Him. Our actions should always be motivated by Christ’s love for us and our love for him.