Do you want to be healed?
Today’s sermon is taken from the book of John 5:1-11. This healing took place during a Jewish feast. We were not told the exact feast Jesus went to and can only speculate. It is worth knowing that there are three festival every Jewish male must attend every year. How do we know these feasts? The book of Deuteronomy 16:16 says, “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty”. We can see from the passage that every Jewish male must attend 3 feasts every year.
This miracle occurred in the pool of Bethesda, a lot of people including theologians have given different meaning to the name of the pool. Some say it means “house of mercy”, some say it means “house of grace”, and other say it means “a place of two outpourings”. Whatever the name means, I don’t think the name of the pool is important here. Let’s us not get too carried away with the name. We were told in John 5:3, (GNT Bible) “A large crowd of sick people were lying on the porches—the blind, the lame, and the paralyzed. A man was there who had been sick for thirty-eight years”. There were people waiting to get into the water for healing and this man has been waiting for some time. We don’t know how long he has been there for, but we know that he had been sick for 38 years. John noted this man has been sick for 38 years, perhaps this 38 year might be a picture of the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness for 38 years without no hope waiting for something to happen. This same thing can be said of the man. He had no hope of getting into the water before anyone one does.
From what he told Jesus; we can tell he has been there for a while. I like something about this man. I like his perseverance to keep waiting and hoping that one day he would get in there first. This man is unlike most of us here this morning who easily get tired of waiting on God. We may have been praying for healing or for something from God, but we often get frustrated or tired easily after few days or few months. But this man was determined to get healed that he kept waiting after so many failures of not getting first to the water. As we were told, whoever gets there first, gets their healing. No matter how you look at this miracle, it is an illustration of the grace of God, it was grace that brought Jesus to the pool of Bethesda. The fact that Jesus came to the man, spoke to him and only healed him out of many signifies the grace of God. I pray for someone here today; the grace of God will find you this morning in Jesus name.
Jesus knew about this man as the Bible tells us in verse 6, “when Jesus saw him lie and knew that he had been there for a long time”. I just want us to know that there is nothing about us that Jesus doesn’t know about. Let me read the book of Psalm 139 again to confirm that, I am reading from the message Bible this time. “I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too.
You can see from the Bible passage that no matter what we are going through, our Lord knows about it. Talk to him about it, cast all your burdens upon him for he cares for you (Psalm 55:22).
Let’s move forward from there. Our Lord Jesus asked this man a simple question. Do you want to be made well? You would have thought that the man would have responded with an enthusiastic and a sounding YES, i want to be healed. But instead, he began to give excuses. Ermmm... but.... He turned himself to a storyteller. Sometimes we are like this we beat around the bush instead of going straight to the point. Someone is there to help you but you rather moan about the problem so they can see how you have suffered. Sometimes people just want to help now and not interested in the story, how you have suffered or how long you have been suffering from. The Bible says there is nothing we are going through that is not common to man. We must make sure we don’t make our problem look bigger than the God we serve. All problems are common and there is no new problem. (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Why beat about the bush when you can just say what you want and get it? Sometimes, we are like that in prayer as well, we beat around the bush. Perhaps, when we are waiting for God to do something in our lives and the pastor say a prayer but sometimes, we doubt because we are expecting the healing to come in a particular way. Sometimes we feel if we have not been thrown to the floor, speak in tongues and roll on the floor that we have not been healed. Just like the blind man, we need to get our eyes off the pool and focus on JESUS. This was what Jesus was trying to get the man to do. Our Lord wanted the man to focus on him and not the water. However, he didn’t still get it. This reminds me of what the Bible says in Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”. I think this man has never noticed anyone else who came up there to the pool. He eyes have been so fixated on the pool that he was talking himself out of his healing. Sometimes in life, we are like this man; we limit God’s help. We try to work out how God is going to help us, we work out whom God is going to use in our lives and by doing this, we miss whom God has actually sent to us.
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Don’t give up in life! Jesus has got you.
This man has been there for a while and could have left the pool long ago after failing several times, but his perseverance allowed him to stay until Jesus met him and healed him. No matter what you are going through in life, never give up. Hold on to the faith and Jesus in due time will show up for you just as he showed up to heal the man at the pool of Bethesda.
2. God’s ways are not our ways - Sometimes we like to put God in a box. We think we have worked God out and know exactly how he is going to meet us at the point of our needs. We have to understand that God’s ways are different from ours; “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).
3. There is an appointed time for everything - The Bible reminds us that seasons are important to God, that He has a calendar. It is human nature to make an attempt to control our circumstances. We spend many waking hours planning to make things happen, or to prevent certain things from happening. However, there are seasons in our lives that are appointed by God. According to the Scripture, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). In other words, there are appointed times for specific events to occur in life that are totally out of our control. So please be encouraged saints! All of life’s experiences can be categorized into God’s appointed timing. Whatever the season, I encourage you today to trust in God’s Appointed Time. Understand that adversity is God’s opportunity to usher you into a season of peace and blessings. It will all work out for your good.
What are the challenges you are passing through or how long have you been going through those difficulties? I am sure the lessons from the pool of Bethesda have given you a clear understand that God is always in control. The Lord is still in the business of healing! Cast all your burdens on him because he cares for you. Don’t focus on the problem but on the deliverer, who is able to heal and set you free.