I want to begin to show you some of who Jesus is and the best way I can do that is to remind you, what he did and what he said
John only recorded 7 miracles in his Gospel. Of all that Jesus did he only recorded 7. We need to take time to understand why he chose each one…it is an interesting study that you should do some time but today we are going to look at this one
John 5: 1-9a
Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” 7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!
The tradition in Jerusalem was that at a certain time an angel would come and stir the waters and at that time the first one in gets healed…..this was merely a legend or folktale…this is not the way that God works
People are always trying to control their destiny by their own power and fate
Astrology is a great example, psychics are another, power of positive thinking is another….we create our own lucky charms, doing things a certain way, not mentioning certain phrases….story of the woman with 666
God responds to faith to move mountains for us…the works we do are things which bless him and show our faith in Him but it is faith that moves our mountains, that faith is based on a healthy understanding of God’s love for us.
Parents how would you feel if you kept telling your children you loved them and they kept working hard and telling you it was so they could earn your love….wouldn’t that break your heart?
Jesus is always looking for people of faith to bless, people who understand God’s love for them and they know they are his, not because of their work, but because they understand God’s great love, however as James alludes to the works that we do we don’t do to try to get God to love us more we simply do them because we love Him.
There were crowds of people at the pool that day but Jesus chose this one man to heal. What Jesus does, always, is see us the way we can be, he sees beyond our present condition to the way we are meant to be…when we are hurting or wounded it is hard for US to see but he always does…because he always loves and stands between us and the darkness in this world!
For 38 years he had sat at the pool you would think in that length of time with people dying out and giving up, that he would have gotten closer to getting in to the pool
He knew what it felt like to be abandoned, to feel, rejected, to feel hopeless…
“I have no one to help me”
We can all feel like that at times…it seems darkest and we feel we have been abandoned by God or the enemy says to us that we have sinned or done something wrong to deserve God turning His back on us but listen to Jesus’ question again
John 5:6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
What was Jesus asking him? The same question he asked us when we are feeling this way…Would you like to get well?
This question is needful to be put, in the first place, because it is a question not always understood. It is not the same as this question, “Will you be saved from going to hell?” Everyone answers “Yes,” to that. “Will you be saved so as to go to heaven?” At once, without deliberation, everyone says, “Yes.” For the overflowing love, joy, celebration, for the eternity of immortality, we have all a heart and a strong desire, but that, you see is not the question. Heaven and its joys come out of what is proposed in our question, as a result, as a consequence, but that is not the matter in hand just now. We are not now saying to the thief, “Will you have your prison sentence pardoned?” we are putting it to him in another shape: “Are you willing to be made an honest man?” We are not now saying to the murderer, “Are you anxious to escape a death sentence yourself?” we know his reply; the question we are putting to him is, “Will you be made righteous, upright, kind, forgiving, so as to give up all of your evil ways and brokenness?” It is not, “Are you willing to simply be healed so you can feel “normal” as you think all of those around you feel?” but, “Are you willing to come to the Lord completely surrendering completely to the Lord so you can know what real healing is peace of mind, spirit, soul, and body?” That is what real healing or really being made well is all about!
Jesus was asking him not just about his legs or even his whole body but was he willing to have his attitude transformed, his sins forgiven, his mind transformed to think like Jesus thinks, was he willing to begin seeing people things and circumstances the way Jesus does? Was he willing to believe that God really does have his life in the palm of His hands?
Look at his response
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
We can’t blame him, he really didn’t know about Jesus…but we do
Our challenge is we know who Jesus is, we know he loves us and died for us….we know God the Father is the one who knows us the best, believes in us the greatest, and loves us the most.
Unlike the lame man, we know that God’s plans for us are always for our good and is always working out things for our good…
So when we are feeling lame, disjointed, broken, abandoned, hopeless…we know we have someone we can depend upon to take us to the “pool” of his love, grace, kindness, forgiveness, strengthening and mercy….we know we are never ever alone…he is with us always…
But like the lame man we have to do something…
John 5: 8,9
8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” 9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!
We have to make a decision, what are we going to believe and who are we going to believe?
Jesus telling him to pick up his mat had all kinds of implication against tradition which you can read about on your own….but he had become comfortable in his brokenness, comfortable with the sign of his brokenness (his mat), he had to make the decision to trust the Lord despite what he had known to be true for 38 years.
The lame man had been placed into a box, told he had limitations, convinced he would never achieve or be any better than he was…
Jesus breaks us out of our boxes…what mind set, what limitations have you placed on yourself or others have placed on you?
Begin to ask the Lord where you have given up on your true purpose or your dream and ask him how you need to be healed to begin moving in it
What wounds are in your heart, mind, or spirit?
What thought patterns have limited you from becoming who the Lord would have you to be?
How big are the circumstances in your life, like the crowds the lame man saw, that overwhelm you and make you feel hopeless?
What is your mat?
Is it words that you have said to yourself that keep you stuck or the words of others?
Is it an obligation or responsibility that you really should be tied to but feel stuck there?
Is it a tradition or limitation based on your race, heritage, culture, or family history?
Is it a thought pattern about money, about classes of people, about the way you see yourself?
I know there are other things but today Jesus is saying to you….take up your mat and walk…you are no longer limited if you want to do what God has called you to do, what he has designed you to do!
I want the worship team to simply play for a moment and I want you to ask yourself….am I lame? Have I been called to greater things? Have I allowed my mindset or the treatment from others to stop me from becoming who I am supposed to be….has God called me to walk?
After a few minutes of them praying, I’m going to ask you to come and receive prayer…the biggest thing is do you have a relationship with Jesus…not do you love God, people can love him and not have a living relationship with him…let’s get that straightened out today
Secondly, have you allowed something, a fear, a mindset, a lie, a failure, the thought of the impossible stop you from becoming who God wants you to be? Today you can choose to be lame no more just come and receive prayer….I am going to ask the ministry team to come and I am going to stay and pray for some as well
Jesus sees you without limitations…He sees you free…He sees you perfect and perfectly loved….He sees you happy because you are doing what you were designed to do!