It was a feast day for the Jews and Jesus had come to Jerusalem to continue His saving work. The city was glad and happy with good Jews rejoicing over their blessings. But where is Jesus during the feast? As usual, He is among the poor and unfortunate.
To the north of the Temple, near the Sheep Gate, was a pool called Bethesda. Surrounding the pool was a multitude of lame, blind, and sick people hoping for a cure. Tradition taught that an angel would periodically stir the water and that the first person into the water would then be made well. Jesus approached an individual that had been awaiting his chance to be healed for 38 years! From the brief description offered it is likely that this fellow was terribly disfigured and had little integrity.
In all the years of his ailment he had failed to make even one friend to help him. He might have reached an agreement with another of the infirm had he been a better fellow. In fact, it seems that the fellow had either lost hope or was plain lazy – either way, he was willing to go on living in his present state. It is here on a Sabbath day that his life took a dramatic turn.
I. “Will You Be Made Whole?”
- Do you really want to be well?
A. Again, his attitude did not indicate this to be true
1. He had used no ingenuity and made no friends
2. He seems to have been there from force of habit
3. It is too easy to fall into the trap of despair
B. Jesus cuts to the heart
1. He knows the truth about us
2. He is never fooled by our acting
II. “Take Up Your Bed And Walk”
A. Where is the excitement? The appreciation?
1. He didn’t even ask Jesus’ name
2. He took without thanks – How like us all
B. The Jews were offended that the man should carry a pallet on the Sabbath
1. Established religion cares more for its rules than for people’s needs
2. The world does not understand us and therefore persecutes us
III. We Are A People Under Orders
A. Our only excuse for service is that Christ has commanded
1. We can only please one Master
2. We must stand opposed to the sins that condemn men’s souls – abortion, drug use, pornography, etc.
3. And we must stand for righteousness
B. He saved me how can I not obey?
C. I am bought with a price
Jesus sought and found the man in the Temple. He warned him to change his attitude and his manner of living or risk an even worse fate than that he had endured for 38 years – Hell!
As the Church, our responsibility to Christ requires that we act as His representatives on the earth. We are to provide help and healing as possible and to always tell the truth about our motivation. People are as much in danger now as ever.