Read John 5:1-15. After healing a young boy from afar, we read how Jesus travels around the region sharing who He is. We see that there was a healing pool in Jerusalem where many sick people waited and waited for the stirring up of the water. When it bubbled up, you had to be the first one to step in it to receive healing. The commentary in my Bible says that an angel of God came at different times and stirred the water up. For many who were lame or paralyzed, this was difficult to get up and be first. One such man had been waiting for his chance for 38 years.
INSIGHT: Sin causes such distress. Because of it, we are all lame and paralyzed in one way or another. Physical, mental and emotional bondages keep us enslaved and we need to be set free.
QUESTION: How does your bondages cause distress? Distress physically? Distress mentally? Distress emotionally? How does your hang-ups wreak havoc relationally? Do you suffer from shallow or broken relationships?
We see how Jesus notices one particular man. He is always observant with us, isn’t He? We are going to learn much from this interaction between them. Jesus knows every story, every circumstance with every human being. He is ever-present and ready to mend a heart that seeks healing. The first step in healing is the invitation, “Would you like to get well?” What loving words from Jesus. He is not only observant but compassionate too. We need to acknowledge that our sins are a sickness and they need healing; a healing from the bondages of this world’s darkness.
The ailing man’s reply was an honest assessment of his condition, “I can’t sir. I have no one to put me into the pool.” He was responding by seeing his physical condition only. Jesus was going to teach him and everyone else, including us, something greater, much greater! His condition is the same condition that every human has. Man cannot heal himself spiritually and others can’t do it for you.
INSIGHT: We need to be thankful for researchers and doctors who work diligently in providing medicines and treatments to help us with illnesses. I am thankful because I have high blood pressure. I have wonderful doctors helping me to stay healthy. Yet, we all have an incurable disease caused by sin. The only cure is Jesus Christ. No one is born immune to it. We all possess it and its diagnosis is death.
This leads to the second step in our healing, salvation. Salvation is found in Jesus Christ. Look up Acts 4:12. “Stand up, pick up your mat and walk!” Jesus told him. Such powerful words! “Instantly, the man was healed!”
QUESTION: What do you think about when you realize that Jesus can heal you simply by His love and words? How he healed this one man, He wants to heal you! Instantly, sins are removed! This is a wow moment my friends!
We are going to take a short detour from learning about healing. Reread verses 9b-12. Before Jesus came, Jewish religion dictated people’s lifestyles. One of their many rules was no carrying your sleeping mat on the Sabbath. That was considered work. Yet Jesus told the man to pick up his mat and walk. The Jewish leaders questioned him on who would say that. The Jewish leaders, Pharisees and priests (those who were supposed to lead people in their walks with God), gave out God’s laws for everyone to follow but they did it with rigidity. People were looked down upon or chastised if they messed up.
INSIGHT: Jesus was the new kid on the block that was living rebelliously against the culture. No one could cast blame with Him for He was healing people! He was setting people free and He was doing it with love and grace. This didn’t sit well with the religious gurus.
INSIGHT: Jesus came to change everyone’s Old Testament lifestyle to His style of living which brought about the New Testament. It wasn’t about a lists of do’s and don’ts from religion or tradition anymore. Jesus stops religious ways in its tracks! He is about a relationship. Man has full access to God through a friendship with His Son.
The third and final step of receiving everlasting healing is in verses 13-15. Jesus sought out the healed man in the temple and gave him direction, “Now you are well; stop sinning or something worse will happen to you.” After you receive God’s healing, your life now takes on a whole new look. You will live differently. You will think differently. You will speak differently.
Jesus is waiting for each of us to come to Him. Unfortunately, this can be a hardship for many. Learning to live God’s way is a daily, moment-by-moment choice, one of obedience, humility and surrendering control. Our flesh loves to do what it wants, aka sin, and it will lead us back into the arms of the world.
QUESTION: What do you think Jesus means when He said, “or something worse will happen to you?”
QUESTION: What goes through your mind when you know you have to relinquish control over to Jesus? This is where rubber meets the road with faith. Jesus went all the way for us. He can’t accept anything less from us.
INSIGHT: We are to believe AND follow. Every person in the Bible followed Jesus in obedience. Jesus didn’t call out to His disciples, “Believe”, then moved on. His words are, “Follow Me”.
Jesus does not mince words. He means what He says and He will follow through. The great thing about Jesus is that He will heal you and keep His eye on you and lead you forward into a life of fullness, purpose and love. The question is, will you first see that He is with you right now and He is waiting for you to look up and see Him? He is inviting you into a love relationship. The next step is receiving. Will you allow Jesus to enter your life, your whole life. He is your salvation. He will lead you home to heaven for eternity. His leading is the third step. You will live your life for Him. It won’t be about you anymore.
Many people follow through with the first two steps but the third one, not a chance! I can believe. I like the idea of going to heaven after I die but surrendering control for the rest of my life? We allow the Holy Spirit to come to a screeching halt and God cannot move any farther. Remember free will? God will never make you believe and follow. He gives you the choice to become His child or not. It’s all or nothing.
INSIGHT: Read Matthew 7: 13-14 for added insight into what Jesus is expecting from us. Also read Revelation 3:15-16, 1 John 2:15-17 and Matthew 7:21-23.
Are you needing some healing? Whether physically, mentally or emotionally, Jesus is waiting, eagerly, for you. He wants to lavish His love upon you and teach you His ways. He will do it tenderly and lovingly and you don’t have to wait nor be the first one or else you will miss out. His love is big enough for all of us! It’s time to be healed. It’s time to pick up our mats and walk in newness!