The pool at Bethesda John 5:2-16
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The pool at Bethesda

John 5:2-16

July 17 2016

Lorna Laister

This story is another miracle. It tells us about yet another reason that Jesus heals. This time to show that faith in legends or superstitions is misplaced.

There are 3 parts to the story

  1. The healing. 2. the Pharisees questions. 3. Jesus reveals himself. The part about healing shows us how people are ever making excuses. Then the Pharisees questions show us how others can be so very negative – we call them nay-sayers, and how there will always be those who refuse to believe. 3. And then the part where Jesus reveals himself shows us that there is always hope.

WE CHOOSE  LIFE and TO BE A DISCIPLE

John 5:2-9 the healing

Legend had it that an angel would come down into the pool and “stir up the water.” The first person into the pool after the stirring of the water “was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted”. The Bible does not teach that this actually happened—John 5:4 is not included in most modern translations because it is unlikely to be original to the text—rather, the superstitious belief probably arose because of the pool’s association with the nearby temple.

So here is the man. Lame. Cannot walk. And Jesus finds him. What do you think Jesus would do? (This is a great example of why we don’t say WWJD). Put him in the water? That’s what WE would do. No. Jesus asked a question “Do you want to be healed?” because “The life to which we’re accustomed holds us more than the life we long for”.

But the man has excuses and doesn’t answer the question. The lame man thought his fate rested on having someone to help him into the pool. HIS EYES WERE ON THE POOL.  He could not imagine another scenario, another way to be well.  He had spent the past 38?-years coming to the Pool of Bethesda because that was the only answer he could see to his problem.

So, while the lame man had been praying that God would let him get in the water, he had no idea that God would actually show up in person and make him well.

Which is exactly what happens.  Jesus says to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” [BUT HE DOESN’T KNOW IT IS JESUS] we can be like the lame man. Our focus can be in the wrong place. We limit God and believe there is only one solution to our problems. We want Jesus to fix our problems our way.

John 5:10-12 The Pharisees were angry and asked questions. They weren’t interested in the miracle. They were negative – naysayers. Naysayers will keep you imprisoned, because they make you doubt.  And they will keep you from hope, and……AND we can all be like that

Ephesians 2:11-13 The people by the pool were wretched. BUT so were we. They were waiting. But they didn’t see THE ONE passing by them – the One who had all the answers and could free them and heal them – our great physician. Their eyes were on the pool. Man looks for every way under the sun to fill the voids in their lives and all the while Jesus passes by unnoticed. Unheard. Unheeded. So. Jesus is here today. He is passing through right here! Has Jesus been speaking into your heart? Like the cripple do you need the touch of Jesus? Take the step! The cripple believed with childlike faith. He got up and he walked. Step out and walk towards Jesus. Is it going to ne “business as usual”? Or a new life in Christ? What excuses are you making? Jesus is calling. “Do you want to be healed?” Do you want for your life to be all that I intend for you?

John 5:13-16 There’s always hope. Yet this sign, this miracle, is a reminder to us that no person or situation is too far gone that they are beyond His reach.  And just because we’ve tried it before on our own, doesn’t mean we can’t do it when Christ is with us, and in us. Say ”yes”

In Christ, we find that

We can do what we have always failed to do, We can be what we could never be, We can master what has constantly baffled us, We can love like we could never love, and we can forgive those we’ve never been able to forgive, including ourselves. None of you are too far away that Christ can’t reach you, None of you are a hopeless case.  Maybe it’s been 38 years for you.  Maybe it seems like 100. None of you have done so much wrong that Christ can’t redeem you and save you.

Read this list and pray about it!



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