John 5:1,2

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.

After he was in Samaria and Galilee and saw revival there, he returned to Jerusalem probably for the celebration of Pentecost. Every Jewish male had to return to Jerusalem for the feasts of Pentecost, Passover, (both in the spring) and booths, tabernacles (in the fall). 

The pool of Bethesda was about 390 long by 165 wide by 49 feet deep… was huge at the times of feast they estimate that 2000+ people of all kinds of various disability would gather around it. It was used to wash animals prepared for sacrifice.

John 5:3

Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.

There were five porches around the pool because of the use of the number 5 other places (five ingredients in the anointing oil, five pillars, five curtains, wood altar being 5 cubits by five cubits and other uses the number 5 is attributed to grace and the five pillars were symbolic of the grace of God needed to honor the sacrifice and it was significant of Jesus grace to heal this man

John 5:4 is not in some of your Bibles (NKJV)

For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.

This verse was added in the third century to help us understand why the people were sitting by this pool. This was not something God was doing nowhere else in scripture is healing attributed to anyone but God. This was a belief that may have been demonically inspired.

John 5:5,6

Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

This man was one of hundreds of people waiting to be healed. Why did Jesus choose him? Jesus didn’t choose him, the Father did John 5:19 tells us that Jesus did only what he saw the Father doing. (we will get there shortly). However, there may have been something prophetic about this particular healing. Everything in scripture has meaning and we are told this man was lame for 38 years. Deuteronomy 2:14 tells us Israel was limping around in the wilderness for 38 years from the time they turned their back on God’s plan until they all died off and the next generation went into the promised land. Israel is still lame and Jesus is showing them that their time of healing had come with the messiah’s arrival.

Notice, Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed. Doesn’t that sound like a dumb question to ask someone who has been battling something for years with no hope of recovery

Until you realize as humans we get stuck we get stuck in a subtle belief that there is no hope even though we may feign hope, inwardly we believe this is the best life is going to be….Jesus is asking some of you today, do you want free, do you want healed, do you want promoted, are you willing to believe for the impossible in your life to be made possible….in a little bit we are going to believe with you for your miracle…

John 5:7

The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

We can’t look only at the way we think God can perform the miracle, he thought he had to get into the water but Jesus had a better plan…..I believe Jesus has a better plan for some of you today 

John 5:8,9

Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.

Whose faith healed this man? We don’t see anywhere here that it was his faith, all he did was act in obedience to Christ’s command… some of you will need to respond to the Lord’s command to take up your bed and walk, to allow God to move the mountain, make the way for you, you are simply just going to need to trust Him at his word. The man simply responded to a command from Jesus….Jesus does have a better plan but today may be your day to just begin to walk it out

John 5:10-13

The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ”12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.

When John addresses the “Jews” he is not talking about all of the people he is talking about the leadership. This misunderstanding has led to a lot of persecution of the Jewish people by Christians over the years.

According to a random list of rules created by the Jewish leadership, not God, in a book call the Misnah, carrying a bed mat, on the Sabbath was punishable by death by stoning…

This is what religion does, it takes the love and grace of God and turns it into tyranny. This is what happened in the dark ages from 500 to 1500 AD people forgot about grace and soon people were being killed for their “failure to live up to the rules” love and grace went out the window….before we get critical, how many times do we judge people based on our interpretation of the scripture rather than the law of love? Who is responsible to bring conviction us? How about the Holy Spirit? Does that mean we allow people to get away with things? No! But, we bring our concerns, thoughts, and understandings of God’s word to people based on love….we correct, exhort, discipline, guide, encourage, and direct all in love.

John 5:14,15

But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.

The implication Jesus is making is that the lameness of the man was somehow related to his sin. Not all sickness, infirmities, or disease is related to our sin but some is….how often does our choosing to live in fear, anxiety, worry, anger cause our blood pressure, weight, or even cholesterol to increase, how much do these things and others we should be working to place in the Lord control cause sleeplessness, inflammation, and other things that can attack our nervous systems and brain….once again the root of these problems is not always our choosing to rest and trust in the Lord allowing His peace to be the place where we live but it certainly can be….we don’t know why this man ended up lame but he by the tense here we know he was still participating in some things that were doing damage to him (Dr. Don Colbert “Deadly Emotions,” and Seven Pillars of health) who knows maybe he simply had a drinking problem and still does and he fell and became lame.

John 5:16-18

So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. 17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” 18 So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.

You may let your mind wonder to the 7th day of creation remembering that the Lord rested. But the actual translation is not the idea that God needed rest but that creation rested as God ceased from His work. The Father and the son have the right as the authors of creation and life itself to do whatever they want to do. The Rabbi’s understood that God always worked on the Sabbath, as an example people were born and people died on the Sabbath, and God was at work in these things always

If the Holy Spirit thinks we might miss an important fact He always allows the Pharisees to make a point for us. Some believe that Jesus never said that he was God but the Pharisees make the point for us that Jesus was making it clear in this culture, what Jesus said about he and the Father working, meant that Jesus was claiming to be God…but he clarifies a little further..

John 5:19,20

So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished.

Why didn’t Jesus heal everyone by the pool? Because for whatever reason the Father, chose only to heal this one and we see why….if one person being healed could make such a calamity what would have happened in 2 or 3 thousand would have all gotten healed, yes it would have been amazing but chaos would have ensued and the true message of life eternally and hope would have been lost as people were already just seeking him not for relationship with the Father but for the miracles he could perform…he is God of miracles but the message of eternal life and relationship with the one who loves us the most is his bottom line.

Although this is a challenge for us as we grow in Christ to be so Intune with him that we always know what he is doing and the way he wants to do it and we just do it….that happens only through time in prayer, in the word and in fellowship with believers….

We are going to pause chapter 5 until next week but ….

What is God’s promise for you?

What battle are you facing that you think God can only do it this way when God has a different plan?

Is it time for you to just get up and walk

For others this morning it is time for you to put away childish things that have distracted you from God’s plan to choose today to come to a place of committing your life to the Lord to simply seek Him and to grow and mature to be able to hear him more clearly!

He wants you to hear him more clearly to understand and know what he is doing in your life every day so you can be easily led by him and accomplish all of the great things he has for you

Jesus’ actions and words here were all a response to God’s love for people next week will be a part 2 of this idea