INTRO: This would be a foolish question had anyone but Jesus asked it. Some enjoy poor health.
Ill: The man who jumped into bed to look sick when I called. The question wouldn’t have been obvious and foolish.
THIRD SIGN OF JESUS IN JOHN; Sign — an attesting miracle pointing to the supernatural power of Jesus as Saviour of men…meant to demonstrate His glory to encourage belief ..Always a spiritual application.
Picture of many of us: IMPOTENT; “No dynamic”. He had legs but they wouldn’t support him, no power: THE BLIND HAD EYES BUT COULDN’T SEE…
You have life but not HEALTH.
JESUS MOVES INTO THE SITUATION TO MAKE MEN WHOLE.. .This incident demonstrates the Master’s method of making men whole.
He speaks to the man three times: vs. 6, 8, 14
A Question, A Command, A Warning (Exhortation)
I. MUST BEGIN WITH DESIRE.
The emphasis in question is on DESIRE. Do you WANT to be whole? This must be the starting place. Let’s get this settled. Do you REALLY want to be whole?
1. A Pertinent Question. He was sick, helpless and hopeless.
2. A Personal Question: Note the marked contrast in vs. 3 & 5– a great multitude and “a certain man”. Jesus deals with you on a personal, individual level. HE WILL SINGLE YOU OUT AS THOUGH YOU WERE THE ONLY NEEDY PERSON THERE.
3. A Probing Question. The answer is not so obvious.
(1) Consider the Responsibility Wholeness Involves.
INACTIVITY CAN BECOME ATTRACTIVE…
BEGGAR WILL LOSE A GOOD LIVING IF HEALED…
AS LONG AS YOU CAN’T, OTHERS WILL… THEY’LL DO THE WORK.
WE CAN ALWAYS BLAME OTHERS FOR FAILURE.
(2) The Realization of what Wholeness Is.
Do you want to be WHOLE? Not simply “walk”. Jesus doesn’t deal in partial cures, not a specialist.
Leonard Griffith in “Encounters With Christ”–A wise old general practioneer asked when a young doctor announced he intended to specialize on the nose, “WHICH NOSTRIL?”
“Lord, fix my leg, BUT NOT MY LIFE– every area, every relationship, my HOME, FINANCES, CHURCH, ETC.
Many Christians live in search of an emotional high. Faith to them is God’s gift to the nervous system. They go to church seeking feeling. Usually there has been little or no spiritual discipline in their lives. Frustration and despair have set in. They are going to worship with their emotional antennae exposed to receive the group ecstasy…
The title of one of the folk musicals may be an indictment against us — Natural High The implication is that Jesus is the “trip” of a lifetime.” And that the emotional plateau one can reach with Jesus is greater than he might make with LSD.
Many Christians are only “Christaholics” and not disciples at all. The disciple is a cross-bearer; he seeks Christ primarily. The “Christaholic” seeks happiness above all. The disciples dares to discipline himself.. the “Christaholic” is an escapist. Like the drug addict, he is trying to “bomb out” of his depressing world…Christ is not a happiness capsule; He is the way to the Father. The way to the father is not a carnival ride in which we sit and do nothing while we are whisked through various spiritual sensations.
PERHAPS THIS IS WHY THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT IS SO SUCCESSFUL… IT PROMISES A PERMANENT HIGH.
II. THERE IS A COMMAND TO BE OBEYED
There is a TWOFOLD RESPONSE to Christ’s life-giving word:
1. There is something to ABANDON… that which is incapable of helping….
The man’s excuse for continued failure was, “I can’t get to the pool. No one to help me. If I could just get to the pool” He limited Jesus to his own condition and circumstances. Jesus didn’t help him get to the pool, He made the pool unnecessary.
Also, that which he had leaned on, depended upon for years–his bed was to be folded up and packed away. Are you willing to fold up and pack away the inadequate methods, etc.
2. There is something to ATTEMPT.
(1) The command is impossible. After the man confesses his inability to walk, Jesus tells him to walk. HE COMMANDS HIM
TO DO THE VERY THING HE CANNOT DO!! But he did…
EVERY COMMAND IS A PROMISE. With the command comes the power to obey if we’re willing. The WORD OF JESUS
CONVEYS THE POWER.
This means there is no excuse for not being all god intends you to be.
This Week: Jesus is going to say something to you–a word of command, something to abandon, something to attempt, to do…
WILL YOU RIGHT NOW COMMIT YOURSELF TO OBEY?
(2) The response is immediate. Don’t wait for a feeling, to think about it, for a more convenient time, more favorable
III. AN OBLIGATION TO FULFILL.
1. “Don’t continue in sin…”. The command to walk enabled the man to walk.. .this command to stop sinning (specific sins) will also carry with it power to obey.
2. “Lest a worse thing come upon thee?” Something worse than 38 years of being a cripple? YES…
Sinning after being made whole is worse. You never miss what you never had, but once you’ve experienced it you are never satisfied without it. SAMSON WAS ALL THE MORE PITIFUL BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAD BEEN.
It is better to have not known the life of FULLNESS than to have known it and
lost it.. .better to not have been at the top at all than to be there and fall.
©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2003