†††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††JESUS HEALS AN INVALID MAN
Good morning?† Iím glad to see you got up off of your mat.† How are you enjoying the conference? Ö Very Good!† In Shepherd Patrickís message, he confessed the truth of his wifeís rebuke that he had not accomplished anything in ten years, due to spiritual laziness.† But through Romans Bible study, he was inspired to get well.† He picked up his mat and began to walk by faith!† Then he could become a powerful messenger!† In todayís passage, we will learn about a powerless man, whom Jesus challenged to Get up out of his self-pity and walk.† The tilte is:
Letís read key verse John 5:6. Go head. : When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time., he asked him, ďDo you want to ge well?Ē Letís pray.
Jesus healed an invalid man who had been sick for 38 years .† Who can bring any ray of hope to this man?† But Jesus visited him and planted hope to be healed. Jesus enabled him to live a new life. I pray that we may listen to Jesus' divine voice and live a victorious life.
I. "Do you want to get well?† (1-6)
Look at verse 1.† Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a Jewish feast.† At this feast, people gave thanks to God and enjoyed a† great festival.† Colorful baloons scattered everywhere. Along the main street, a giant public parade was marching on and beautiful, fancy fireworks were held at night.†
But while all of these joyful and exciting events were happening, there was one place in Jerusalem that had no party spirit.† These people were gloomy and in despair.† Look at verse 2.† There was a pool named Bethesda, located near the Sheep Gate.† "BethesdaĒ means "house of mercy" in Aramaic.† The people believed that when the waters of this pool were stirred, the first one to get in would be healed.† So a great number of disabled people- blind, lame, and paralyzed were lying around the pool. All of them had suffered with incurable diseases and finally gathered here waiting for Godís mercy.
This Bethesta scene, in some ways is like a microcosm of the entire human situation ever since men lost paradise and began to struggle with each other in order to get ahead. The people were lying here waiting for the waters to ripple, each hoping to jump into the pool first and get to be the one healed.† Each person was nervous and restless to get into the pool first and be healed.† No one wanted to be pushed aside. Nevertheless, they may have had mixed feelings of sympathy for each other by saying that, ďWe are on the same boat.Ē.† Perhaps the blind man, out of his good will, carried the lame piggyback to the edge of the pool.† So far so good, but once they got to the edge, they had to decided who would go in first.† How they must have despaired,† because neither of them could concede!† Only one person won and got to triumphantly leave this dark place.† This is the dilemma of the popular humanism, or human kindness inspite of all good intentions.
Jesus visited this† troubling place which was generally ignored.† His visit brought amazing grace to all the people in Bethesda. Jesus approached one representative of Bethesda. Who was it?† There was one who had been an invalid for 38 years.† It was not 3 years and 8 months.† It was 30 years plus eight years- 4 decades!† How long is 38 years?† During the last four decades, history has changed a lot. For example,† the hippie generation arouse and faded away.† After that the yuppie generation arose and it is vanishing away and hedonistic materialism is rampaging in the western countries.†† These days, generation X has arisen among young people.† Many have a dark anger without anythinTg to be angry at! They† donít have much spiritual desires in material abundance. During the last 38 years the world has changed several times.† Even mountains and rivers were changed, too.† But this invalid man remained the same; he did not change.
What was the condition of this man?† Being paralyzed the man could not take baths often, so his smell might be offensive.† Inevitablely, his skin clung to his bones and he looked haggard.† No one wanted talk to him, even to look at him.† His paralysis was incurable. He was useless, helpless and hopeless. His existence itself was burdensome, people didnít want to see him.
Look at verse 6a.† "When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been on this condition for a long time."† Here the verbs "saw" and "learned" describe Jesus actions.† Jesus saw him lying there.† Jesus saw his unspeakable suffering due to his incurable disease.† After Jesus saw, he "learned"† about him.† This means that he asked those who were there about the fotgotten one in the corner who was crying.† Jesus lowed himself to share this man's pain and agony with him. Jesusí eyes were filled with tears out of his compassion and mercy.
How did Jesus help this invalid man?† Jesus asked him, "Do you want to get well?" This question does not seem to be necessary.† Donít all who are paralyzed want to get well?† But with this question, Jesus poured out holy desire and hope to the man, first† before he healed his physical sickness.† Why? Of course, when this man first came to Bethesda he had great zeal to be healed!† Whenever water was stirred, he did his best to get into the pool.† He tried to roll off of his mat into the water, but a man with a migrain headache problem ran up, and leaped over him in mid-roll. This man jumped in the pool, SPLASH! A man with a migrain headache problem won and the paralyized was lost. He failed again and again and again. He was just soaking wet.† One day, he just gave up.† He was destined to lie down by this pool forever.†
People gave up on this hopeless man.† Even this man gave up on himself. But Jesus presents him with amazing hope by saying, ďDo you want to get well?Ē.† If this man can have a desire to be healed, Jesus is ready to heal him.
Today some people, due to their-long time illnesses become fatalistic like this invalid.† But many more, although they are outwardly healthy, with two strong legs, become spiritually paralyzed.† When we try to resolve our cronic life problems† and situations, yet they are never changed,† we will often lie down in our own Bethesda with fatalistic thinking.† For example, some people are troubled with failures in their school or career.† Some people's entire lives become paralyzed when their parents divorce.† They cannot move on.† They are stuck like a paralized man, always dwelling on the past, unable to get up.† Once, one young UMCP student loved one pretty girl," Oh my daring, Oh my sweat heart!"† Although he loved her with all his heart, she dumped him.† She moved away.† Now, many years later, she is on the west coast, married to someone else.† YET he still cannot move on in his life.† He never got married, because he was paralysed by broken human love.†
Even we are no exception.† From time to time, we become powerless and helpless when our sinful habits or behaviors keep repeating, with no progress.† We seem to remain the same, like the invalid.† Among Bible teachers,† we are troubled when we give our whole heart to campus mission, yet seemingly fail to raise up even one disciple after many years. I heard that even one of the most faithful servants of God said, "I lost desire to feed any more sheep after my Bible students ran away one by one."† Can you find your invalid nature?† Do you want to get well?
Jesus asks us each of us if we want to get well, because he is ready with his healing power.† Jesus plants in each of us a holy desire to be healed from our personal invalid sicknesses.† He is the Almighty God who can heal all kinds of incurable and invalid sicknesses, both physically and spiritually.†† Indeed, Jesus† is the God of hope. There is no incurable or invalid sickness, which Jesus can not heal. Our real problem is that we give up on our hope.† Jesus wants us is to come to him with a burning desire for healing.†
Once Shannon Smith of† Washington was a man of sorrow because of his parentís and uncleís deaths.†† His life was helpless and hopeless.† But one day he heard Jesus'† voice,† Shannon "Do you want to get well?"† through missionary Sarah's Yunís one to one Bible study invitation. These day, every Sunday worship service he memorizes and presents the passage before the message out of Romans.† He has a burning desire to grow as man of God. He is no longer a dark, gloomy boy. He is now a man of joy and delight. Look at his big smile! We will hear his life testimony tonight!† He is our great comfort and encouragement in Washington ministry.
Once Abraham despaired a lot when his "no son problem" was not resolved after he followed God ten years. He was lying down in his dark tent with a sense of loss as he thought about how he would die as a hopeless old man without an heir.† God took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars- if indeed you can count them.", "So shall your offspring be."† God showed him an awesome vision of hope; descendants as numerous as the Stars!† Then Abraham believed the Lord. At once, all his despair and fatalism melted away from his heart.† When Abraham held onto God's hope, God enabled him to become a source of blessing and a father of many nations. Whoever listen to Jesusí voice, ďDo you want to get well?Ē will be healed and live a joyful and victorious life.† God called each of us to make America as a kingdom of priest and holy nation in our generation.† What a great hope!† May God give us a holy and burning desire to participate in this glorious work of God.
II. Get up! Pick up your mat and walk (7-9)
How did this man respond to Jesus' divine words? "Sir, " the invalid replied,
"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."† To our thinking, the man was supposed to say, "Yes, Sir!".† But his answer was just a complaint about his hopeless condition.† He was indeed an invalid man who was full of a dependent spirit and complaints.† But Jesus did not give up on him, because of his complaining.† Letís read verse 8.† OK, letís go.† Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up you're mat and walk."
Now, Jesus could have done differently.† He could have held his skinny hands and lifted him up by saying, "Oh poor invalid man.† I will help you."† But Jesus did not show sympathy to the manís complaint.† Instead, Jesus commanded, "Get up! Pick up you're† mat and walk!" What Jesus said was not advice:† It was a divine command!† Get Up!
What happened to this man? At Jesusí divine command , the invalid man accepted Jesus' words and obeyed.† By faith, he tried to get up through the command of Jesus,.† Then Godís miracle happened! He got up! Wow! After 38 years, his useless legs began to move.† He stood up!† He shook his right foot!† He shook his left foot!† They were healthy and strong!† He began to jump and skip.† Jesus word had power to heal him.
Jesus healed the man of his life problem and gave him a new life!† Spiritually speaking, paralysis is comparable to fatalism.†† Each of us, if we honestly examine our hearts, can find at least one dark, fatalistic element of life which makes us paralyzed in some area.† When one does not overcome his paralysis, he can be a source of grief to God and to other people. Now Jesus commands each of us, " Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!" If we hear this divine command and do it, Jesus will heals us and give us a new and victorious life!
In my life, a couple of times I have laid down upon my own Bethesda through my repeated failures and my terrible sinful nature.† For example, ten years ago I was fired in my first job, as Deli cashier at a fresh food market after only 6 hours work because of my broken English. I failed 9 times in my driving test.† I failed my computer science study and I was kicked out of UMCP.† I tried to get a job after getting a degree,† but nobody wanted to hire me. I failed 8 job interviews. I tried to feed sheep and raise them up as disciples, but hopeful disciple candidates ran away one by one. I was stunned and became speechless. I was upset and troubled. Eventually† I got serious chest pain out of all my stress.† I dumped all my anxiety and frustration upon Missionary Hannah and my house became a battlefield full of broken chairs. Finally I was lying in my own Bethesda.† But Jesus visited this helpless, useless and hopeless sinner and said ,"David!† Do you want to get well? Get up!† Pick up your mat and walk" Jesus planted in me New Hope and a holy desire to try again by faith. I was deeply moved by Jesusí unconditional and unchanging love.† When I obeyed him, the power of God impacted my life and family and ministry. I pick up the mat of despair and fatalism on which I had been laying.† Then God poured out his† heavenly peace into† my heart and healed my serious chest pain. I learned English through memorizing six entire Middle and High school English textbooks completely.† I finished computer science study at UMUC. Now I am working in TRW as a senior Systems Administrator. There is no more breaking chairs in my home. God made me and missionary Hannah like Romeo and Juliet in Washington chapter and granted us a dreamy new house too, complete with six new chairs. Last Spring semester, God enabled me to feed seven sheep faithfully and gave me a burning desire to feed 12 sheep in the coming fall semester.
Today we learn that Jesus planted a holy desire and hope in the invalid man.† Jesus works with our desires. I pray that we may have a holy desire to be healed from all our fatalistic elements and to live a new victorious life and render glory to God. Letís read key verse John 5:6. Go aheadÖ.. Letís pray.