home speaking schedule bookstore contact

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Healing Paralytic at Pool of Bethesda – New Healer -- John 5 -- Part 2

Do you want to be made whole (well)? John 5:6

This man had been lame and paralyzed probably since birth (38 years), just as humans are spiritually lame and spiritually paralyzed since birth. All of humanity are sinners and must come to Jesus for healing both physically and spiritually. We must be covered by the grace of God in Jesus if we are to be made spiritually whole and well. Jesus said that we could do nothing without Him.

Jesus had mercy and compassion toward this certain man that He picked out of the crowd of the sick, but He must know that this invalid wants to be made whole.  Jesus will not go against this man's will. There are those who don't want to be made whole!  Some use their sickness to get sympathy or attention. Others stay in their addiction and even make excuses for their sickness. We can also stay in an abusive situation or in the darkness of sin. We can stay in unforgiveness, bitterness, anger and hatred and justify it. We have to walk away from these things and walk toward the love of God in Christ. If we continue in these things, the situation will only get worse. There are also those who use their sickness to keep them from having to do anything. This attitude can also happen in our spiritual life. Not every Christian wants to do what it takes to reach the highest and fullest life that Christ wants to give them. Gaining this higher calling and spiritual life takes sacrifice, study of the Word and a willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us to our higher calling through faith in Christ and obedience to His Word. Without these two things—grace and truth -- we will be spiritual invalids.

Notice that Jesus said “be made whole.” This is a process. The Word of God is mighty, living and active and will never cease to do its work. Signs and wonders will cease, but the Word of the Lord lives forever. Why? Jesus is the Eternal Word of God from beginning to end. Jesus will show this paralyzed man that His healing will come from Jesus not an angel. Jesus commands the angels so all healing comes from Him.

You would have thought that this man who had been in this condition for 38 years would have said “Yes” right away to Jesus' question, but instead he started making excuses. He was hopeless and helpless! “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 5:7  Jesus will use the healing of this man to show all of the others around the pool that He is the One who will heal them and bring glory to God.  God said in the Older Testament, “I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:26   Jesus who is God in the flesh will heal this hopeless, helpless man. This man had obviously seen the waters stirred several times but he had no one to help him get into the pool. He needed the help of another human to get him in so he could be healed and restored to wholeness. No human can do for us what only Jesus can do. Followers of Christ are to bring sinners to Christ and His living water ( Holy Spirit and Word) so they too can be made whole but we must always give the glory to Jesus.

Jesus didn't tell this paralyzed man to get into the water, nor did Jesus carry him into the water.   Instead He spoke His Word commanding him to “Rise up, take up your mat, and walk.” In biblical times, men would carry a rolled up straw mat upon their shoulder for rest. It was light and not a heavy burden. This invalid was so weak and crippled that he was lying on his mat, but soon he will be walking and carrying it on his shoulder. Jesus said that His burden is light! He had no sin. When we cast all of our cares upon Jesus, our burden also is light. He carries our burdens for us and will bring us to healing and safety.

This helpless man had to have the desire to get well awakened within him. Jesus' powerful, anointed Word gave hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless. The powerful Word of Jesus gave this man the faith, courage and strength to rise up and walk.

Step of Faith

First this paralyzed man had to hear Jesus' Word, believe it and then walk it out in his life. This is an individual responsibility that all believers in Jesus must understand. We have an individual responsibility to listen to the Word of God, believe it and walk it out in our lives. Others can bring us to the Savior, but it is the responsibility of a believer to hear, see and obey Jesus for themselves. Soon, Jesus will fill this man with the pool of His powerful, healing, life-giving water – His Holy Spirit and Truth. When this lame man acted upon Jesus' word by doing it, he was instantly healed.

Jesus' healing is available to everyone and so is His power – the Holy Spirit. By faith, this man went from extreme weakness to strength in Jesus and His Word. He didn't ask Jesus to heal him. As a matter of fact, he didn't even know Jesus could heal him, nor did he know Jesus or believe in Him. Yet Jesus healed him purely by His love and grace. Jesus not only spoke about grace, He showed it through His actions and miracles. Jesus, who is all-knowing, knew that this man would eventually believe in Him. This was a physical healing, but soon Jesus will reveal Himself to this same man and he will receive spiritual healing and wholeness. The one who once was lame will soon walk uprightly with Jesus. All believers must rise up and walk with Jesus according to His Word if we are to be spiritually strong and whole. The Word of God is mighty and will never cease to do its work! Jesus is always calling us to rise up higher into the spiritual realm with Him.

Jesus did signs, miracles, healings and resurrections to show people that He is indeed the Son of God who is God and came to save and breathe spiritual life and healing into mankind once again. Jesus used His Word to raise this man who was crippled with sin to newness of life in Him. The Word of God gave this man the faith, strength and courage to rise up and walk. Before Jesus, he was in a low place laying on the ground. This is exactly where the devil wants to keep us – earthly and in a low place. But Jesus wants to raise us up and take us into the high places with Him. This earthbound, invalid man will now walk uprightly with courage and strength in the power of Jesus and His Word.

Every believer comes to Jesus in the same spiritual condition as this invalid man. Jesus finds us spiritually weak, helpless, hopeless and in the darkness of sin without Him. We must come to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, hear His Word, believe it and walk it out in our lives as we become new, spiritual creations in Christ. Our spiritual cure is the result of this. Jesus wants to reproduce according to His kind – little Christs in His image and likeness. Sin will weaken our spiritual vitality and life. Jesus is concerned about physical healing, but He is more concerned about our spiritual healing which is eternal. “He sent His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” Psalm 107:20 It is the Anointed Word that raises us up so we walk uprightly with Jesus.

This weak, paralyzed Jewish man became a strong, courageous believer in Jesus Christ because of Jesus' grace, love and His willingness to heal a man not because of the man's worthiness but because of who Jesus is – grace and truth. The depth of Christ's love and the love of His Heavenly Father toward all of humanity was illustrated through His words, actions and deeds.

The Accusers

Jesus has just performed an act of mercy and showed His unfailing love and acceptance by healing this crippled man who didn't even know Jesus. Along come the accusers! The Jewish religious leaders told the healed man that “the Law forbids you to carry the mat.” v10 The Jewish leaders are referring to Jeremiah 17:21, This is what the Lord says, “Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem.” Instead of rejoicing and praising God that this man is healed, these religious leaders focus on him breaking the Law. This man had just been set free from paralysis! Of course we know that the one who fuels the accuser of the brethren is the devil. These Jewish religious leaders are open to being tools of the devil because they have rejected Jesus. Those who reject Jesus will find that He will be a thorn in their side.

The healed Jewish man responded to these religious leaders, The Man who made me well said to me, “Pick up your mat and walk.” v11 In other words, “It isn't my fault. The man told me to do it!” The healed man referred to Jesus as just a man. He didn't even know who Jesus was because Jesus slipped through the crowd after healing this man and disappeared. This healed man didn't even have a chance to ask Jesus who He was or to thank Him. Jesus' Word was so powerful that the man obeyed it. And Jesus will accept the blame for any sin this man may have committed in the eyes of these religious leaders. Jesus is above the Law. As a matter of fact, He gave the Law and spoke through the Prophets. And, at God's appointed time, Jesus became the Law and fulfilled it fully for all. The Law lives on eternally in Christ making it everlasting in Him just as we are made everlasting in Him. The Law was all about Jesus in hidden truth. If a person is in Christ, they have obeyed the Law perfectly and fully in Him because He obeyed the Law perfectly and fully for all.

Jesus did acts of mercy on the Sabbath. A holy Savior did holy acts on the holy Sabbath! He is the holy Lord of the Sabbath. This healed man couldn't earn Jesus' grace and love by obeying the Law. It was freely given through Christ's love and compassion. Jesus picked out the one who was least worthy and the most needy. After all, He picked you and me! All whom Jesus has sought and found when we were like this weak, invalid at the pool should thank Jesus everyday for His love and saving grace.


Many times in the Gospels, the Sabbath was an object of contention. To Jesus, everyday is a Sabbath day because He is the holy Lord of the Sabbath and about His Father's business. And, His Father never slumbers or sleeps. (Psalm 121:4) In the beginning at creation, the Bible says that God rested on the 7th day. He rested because all of His creation was holy, perfect and complete. There was no evil or sin. He declared all good. It was rest based upon the Godhead's finished, complete and perfect work. Unfortunately, sin entered His holy and perfect creation. Because of this, all who were involved in the original holy and perfect creation – God, Jesus/Word and the Holy Spirit – are now busy working to restore it back to its original condition. They will not rest until the Day of the Lord comes at the end of the age! The Godhead is working even on the Sabbath until the final and complete Sabbath rest for all eternity has come.

At the present time, believers are to rest upon the finished work of Jesus at the cross. Jesus said, “It is finished.” What is finished? The salvation, redemption and restoration of all who come to Jesus and believe He is the Savior and Lord. Jesus' main purpose of His first coming was to proclaim the Truth, call people to His grace and truth, die for the sin of the whole world and be resurrected to eternal life. At His second coming, He will complete and restore all back to its original holy condition. Then all who are with Jesus and the Father will be at peace and rest for all eternity. In the meantime, we can rest in the fact that Jesus is all-powerful, cares about our every need and will help us defeat the enemy of our souls. On the Day of the Lord, the Sabbath rest will indeed be holy. It will be the work of the Godhead alone in the hearts of those who obey and serve God out of love in their hearts, not through demanded rules and regulations. To Jesus, human need takes precedence over the Sabbath Laws. Jesus does the “good” works of His Father in heaven at all times no matter what day. His love, mercy and compassion never stop.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Sabbath. He is holy. He doesn't have to keep the Sabbath holy because HE IS HOLY every day. As the Lord of the Sabbath, He must be holy. Exodus 20:8: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. In Mark 2:27 Jesus says that He is Lord of the Sabbath. He is the holy Lord over the holy day. No one can keep the Sabbath holy unless they are in Christ. Our holiness is the fact that we are the holy Body of Jesus because of Him and His shed blood on the cross. As Lord of the Sabbath, our rest is now in Jesus Christ and His finished work. There will be a final Sabbath Day – the Day of the Lord – when all will be at peace and rest in the finished and completed work of Jesus. On that Day, we will have eternal rest – Sabbath Day – and all will be holy once again as it was in the beginning.

According to the Law given to Moses by God, no labor was to be performed on the Sabbath. But Jesus let His disciples pick grain for food in Matthew 12:1-2. Jesus believed that feeding the hungry was lawful on the Sabbath. He reminded the Pharisees that David went into the house of God and took the showbread that was reserved for the priests only and fed it to his hungry companions. This was not “lawful” for David to do. He was a king not a priest! But David understood the mercy and grace of God. Jesus also reminded these religious leaders that the priests in the Older Testament desecrated the Sabbath and yet were innocent! 12:5 Nehemiah spoke about this in chapter 13. Grace was extended to them. Jesus desires mercy, not animal and grain sacrifices. The Lord of the Sabbath – Jesus – did acts of mercy and good on the Sabbath. The work of Jesus and the work of God are the same. Every day should be a Sabbath Day in Christ just as He made every day a Sabbath Day because He is holy and only did the work and will of His Heavenly Father who is also holy.

                                                                    (to be continued)

No comments:

Post a Comment