Points Covered: Jesus can deliver us. The purpose of God delivering us. God is powerful to deliver us from all our troubles.
We all come to God seeking deliverance for our situations in life. Our God is powerful and capable of giving us timely deliverance. Day after day, month after month, and year after year we are the recipients of God’s blessings. If God has done a miracle for you shout a Hallelujah! Do you know that your deliverance comes at a price – The very life of Jesus Christ? So we must understand that we have a responsibility for the deliverance we receive from God?
John 5:1-2 1Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals.2Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
Jesus is at Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Jews. Jesus entered through the Sheep Gate. In walls around Jerusalem, there was a gate on the north of the city, by which animals were brought in from the countryside for sacrifice. It was called the Sheep Gate. Once inside the city and within the temple courts, there was only one door where the sheep went in, and no lamb ever came back out after entering the temple. They were sacrificed for the sins of men and women. Jesus later said in John 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
Once inside Jesus comes to the pool of Bethesda. John 5:3-5 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 4For an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted. 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
Lying around the pool are the poor, sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed people. Everyone has a deformity. Everyone needs a change. It is said that on occasions an angel of the Lord stirred the water and whoever gets in the pool first would be healed. Everyone lying there is waiting for their turn. There was a man who was waiting for 38 years. He was paralyzed, waiting for his turn. Every time he tries to jump, someone overtakes him and he is waiting for almost 4 decades.
Jesus knew this man’s situation without having to be told. Thirty-eight years he had been paralyzed and unable to walk. He is waiting by the pool hoping for some kind of miracle. Jesus knew his situation without speaking to him.
John 5:5-6 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
1. Jesus knows your condition.
Jesus knows you perfectly. He knows everything about you, inside out, and all you have ever felt or thought or done. He knows your condition, he knows your pain, he knows your desires in life. Psalm 139:1-4 1You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
2. Jesus is near the brokenhearted.
Jesus chooses to go to this pool. He didn’t stumble there by accidently. He knew what he was doing. He was going to this pool the same way he went to Samaria to find the woman at the well, and the same way he went to sign-seeking, prophet-dishonoring Galilee to find a noble official who had a sick son. Jesus moves toward need, not comfort, toward brokenhearted people, not the self-righteous.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. You may have a pressing need now. You may not recognize it but our Lord is near you. You have tried for years and everyone is getting well and setting in life but you are in the same stuck up condition. Today, my Jesus has come near you. Today is the day of your deliverance.
John 5:6-7 6When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (Instead, he explains his tragic situation.) 7“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.”
Today, you may feel lonely. You may think there is no one to help me. I am all alone. What will I do Lord? Remember, God is there to help you.
Jesus asks no more questions. In response to that description of his sorrows, Jesus acts. John 5:8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”
3. Jesus is moved with compassion at your need.
This man did not know who was speaking to him. He did not ask Jesus for a healing. It looks like Jesus healed him simply because his situation was so miserable for so long. In other words, it looks like it came from Jesus’ compassion, not the man’s faith or righteousness.
At least nine times in the Gospels we read Jesus was moved with compassion. So not only does Jesus know your condition and near the brokenhearted but he is moved by the misery you feel. Every person has an appointed time of breakthrough and at that point even if you don’t ask, Jesus is there to pronounce his deliverance upon you. He is compassionate to us in our misery. He is a sympathetic High Priest for those who will trust him.
Jesus did not discuss to the man about the pool. Jesus did not pay attention to the man’s complaints. Jesus told the man: John 6:8-9 8Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
4. Jesus has the power to deliver us.
This man had a choice. He could start walking or just lie down in the same condition. There were many reasons for him not to walk. It was a Sabbath day. They were not supposed to lift anything that day. Lifting the mat was against the law. He never knew who was talking to him. Yes, faith sometimes acts against every human law. Today we have a choice – To act against our circumstances, act against our negative thoughts or to continue in the same situation. When he listened to the voice of God his condition changed. For 38 long years the mat carried him, now he is carrying the mat. Child of God whatever circumstances you face in life, if you act in faith you can overcome them by God. You are going to overcome your situations in Jesus’ name.
John 6:9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The words “at once” signify the immediacy of Jesus’ power. When he speaks, diseased muscles and bones obey. And they obey “at once.” This is John exulting again in the sovereign power of Jesus the same way he did in John 4 where the official’s son was healed at exactly the seventh hour 15 miles away when Jesus said the words.
Jesus will not abandon you half way. No, he comes to us voluntarily, he knows our need, he has compassion on us, and he has the power to deliver us from all our troubles provided we act in faith.
John 5:11-13 11But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” 12So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
Now notice what is most remarkable here. Jesus healed and disappeared before the man could find out who he was. He didn’t even know who healed him. See how God works in our lives. Without our knowledge in our day to day lives we have encounter with him. This man never knew it was Jesus who was speaking to him. I do not know how many divine encounters we have had and have missed recognizing the hand of God. Now Jesus is a little away but still keeping watch over him.
John 5:14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again.” Jesus had no intention of walking away from this man. Jesus never abandons anyone. Jesus came after this man and revealed himself to this man.
Jesus walked away from the man because there was a crowd there. The place was filled with sick people. Had he stayed there after healing one man there would have been a rush for miracle-seeking. This is not the main thing Jesus is after. That day Jesus’ purpose was to heal just this man, this was his day. Then Jesus seeks out the man in the temple and tells him the real issue in his healing. John 5:14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you”
5. Purpose of Deliverance – Separation.
What’s the issue? The issue is holiness mainly, not health. “I have healed you to make you holy. “Turn from Sin to Me. My aim in healing your body is the healing of your soul. I have healed you. Now, live in this power. Let the gift of healing, the gift of my free grace, be a means to your holiness or separation.”
John 5:14b Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. With every miracle and deliverance in our lives we need to be holy and separated from the world. Jesus is warning him of two kinds of consequences for getting back into sin.
a. Condition may relapse.
You pray to God and he will deliver you from your financial trouble. If you are not careful, you may end up in debt again. God may deliver you from sickness but if you are not careful with your health, something worse may happen to you. The sustenance of your deliverance is determined by the permanence of your commitment to God.
John 5:14b Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. This also has another implication:
b. Loss of eternity.
He warns him that, if he turns away, and mocks this gift, or makes an idol out of his health, and embraces sin as his way of life, he will perish, taking about the final judgment. People who perish in the final judgment is going to be far worse than to be suffering here. If you perish in the final judgment Jesus said it will be far worse than your 38 years of suffering here.
John 5:28-29 28“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.
In other words: “I have healed you that you may be holy, that you may stop doing evil, and that you may not rise to the resurrection of judgment, but to the resurrection of life. I have pointed you to myself as a life-giver. I heal in more ways than one. Don’t turn from me to a life of sin.”
John 5:16-17 16So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”
8. God watches us 24×7
Psalm 121:3-4 3He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; 4indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
What we see here is that God works on the Sabbath. He takes no days off, and the reason is so that we might be whole and have rest. And when Jesus says that he works on the Sabbath because his Father works on the Sabbath. He has watched us this 11 months of this year and he will continue to keep us in his presence. Amen. Let’s pray.