Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Bethesda's Gate on the Sabbath, by John.

At Bethesda’s Gate on the Sabbath.
John 5:1-16

1. Here Jesus was at Bethesda’s Gate on the Sabbath. Actually we are talking about a pool called "Bethesda" in Aramaic next to the Sheep Gate.
2. The usual crowd was there. The sick and the halt and the lame, and probably everyone who passed by looked the other way, or paid no attention at all.
3. A man who had been an invalid for 38 years lay there, and Jesus beheld him.
4. It did not seem like a place where something great would happen. It was just a run-of-the-mill kind of relief from the heat of the town.
5. Every person there was had his mind set on getting well. We don’t know whether it was true that an angel rippled the water, and that signaled healing for somebody, or not, but they thought it did.
6. A vagrant breeze might have stirred the water, and perhaps someone was healed in one way or another.
7. There had to be a reason for people to keep coming, and there had to be a good reason for a man to be right there for 38 years!
(1) People lose hope easily, don’t you think?
(2) I know that sometimes it is very hard for me to believe God is going to answer my prayers.
(3) Don’t you have that same trouble? Or don’t you know someone who does?
8. People must have been healed during those 38 years!

I. Jesus know us, and He knows our needs.

1. I believe He knew that man was there. I believe He went there to find that man. I believe God was glorified by this miracle, or semeon.
2. Jesus looked at the man, and that caught his attention.
(1) Jesus asked, “Do you want to get well?”
(2) That seems to be an unnecessary obvious question, doesn’t it?
(3) I think Jesus asked it to get the man’s mind fixed on the problem!
3. The man already was focused on getting well, but apparently he could see only one way for that to happen. He didn’t intend to, but he was limiting God in his mind! There’s nothing wrong with “one way” as long as it is God’s way!
4. v8, Jesus gave him 3 commands: Get up, take up your mat, and walk.
5. This man had not walked in 38 years! But he did as Jesus told him.
6. Was belief involved in this? I think so, but the account does not say so.
(1) Believe me, people, Jesus can do anything!
(2) That means He can heal whether we believe or not!
(3) He requires us to believe in Him to receive eternal life, but the fact that He is our Creator says to me that He could save us whether we believed or not!
(4) As I said, I believe the man looked at Jesus, and he believed instantly!
7. He was immediately and completely healed!
8. That makes it necessary to say, God heals the way He wants to. It may be immediate, or it may take a while. (ill. The ten lepers, Luke 17:11. The blind man that had to wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam, John 9:7).

II. This happened on the Sabbath, v.9.

1. It seems like the Jews were always nitpickers, and they watched this man carrying his mat.
2. Their immediate reaction was, “It’s unlawful for you to carry your mat on the Sabbath!”
(1) They probably did not know who he was.
(2) They probably didn’t know he had been at the pool day and night for years!
(3) I think it is a foregone conclusion that they considered him like a piece of furniture in the house. You don’t notice it until it is moved!
3. v.11, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
(1) v.12, They wanted to know who that guy was!
(2) v13, The man did not know who it was.
4. v14, Later, Jesus found him! Oh! That is so important for us to notice! The man wanted to know who Jesus was, but it was Jesus who hunted him up!
(1) Jesus always finished the work He started!
(2) You can count it, Jesus will finish the work He has started in you!
5. v14, Jesus told him another important thing: “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
(1) If God saves us, and our lives don’t change, worse things may happen to us than we have ever experienced! That doesn’t mean that we will be lost. It does mean that we can experience hell on earth when we are out of God’s will! It also shows God is working (Romans 8:28) for our good!
(2) That’s why Jesus gave him the warning.
6. v15, The man did what it is natural for a Christian to do.
(1) He told everybody that it was Jesus who made him well!”
(2) That’s what God wants every new and old Christian to do!
7. We’ve told the story, now let’s be sure we get the important things.

III. The important things are:

1. It was no accident Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath.
(1) The Jews misunderstood God’s intention for their Sabbath.
(2) They put a holy day above the need of their needy brethren!
(3) In Mt. 12:12, Jesus said, “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day.”
2.. This man needed help for 38 years! And no one attempted to help him!
3. Jesus always saw what others refused to even look at, or consider!
4. The man was trying to be healed.
(1) If you see someone trying to do good things to be saved, do you help him find the right way?
(2) If you see someone who thinks he is right, and you know he is wrong do you seek a way to reveal the truth to him?
4. Jesus healed the man even though he was trying to be healed the wrong way.
(1) This man did not love Jesus!
(2) He was going the wrong way!
(3) Jesus turned him around in a moment!
(4) Does that sound strange? Jesus did the same thing with the Apostle Paul!
5. Jesus told us that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. He told us that anyone in need is our neighbor! Jesus carried out right here what He told us to be true!
6. What’s important?
(1) People are more important than worship services!
(2) People are more important than Sabbath days.
(3) The love of Jesus crossed every boundary line humans set up. Race, Creed, Language, everything!

Conclusion:

1. We must open our eyes and look for the people who have real need!
2. When we find them, we need to call on our God to heal, save, or whatever that person needs regardless of skin color, position in society, religion, or the kind of language they use.
3. We need to visit them to show them we love them in Jesus!
4. We must put things in proper perspective.
(1) Your own relationship to God is most important.
(2) That means the relationship of others to God is also vitally important.
(3) All people are more important than any holy day observance, or any program.
5. Did you notice what this man did after he was healed? He told them Jesus did it! And that is what each of us needs to do.
6. If you haven’t gotten your own relationship with the Lord straightened out, then while we pray, you can simply say to your heavenly Father: Father, I’m a sinner. Save me! I’m giving myself to Jesus!

ECC 5/29/2005

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