TEXT: John 5:1-6
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents and politicians but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey God’s Great Commission and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As the hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 46.
James H. Aughey said, “Christ is the Good Physician. There is no disease He cannot heal; no sin He cannot remove; no trouble He cannot help. He is the Balm of Gilead, the Great Physician who has never yet failed to heal all the spiritual maladies of every soul that has come unto Him in faith and prayer.”
In the beginning of John chapter 5, we find Jesus on the move again. He is on His way to another Jewish religious festival in Jerusalem. When He arrives, there is, of course, an abundance of people from out of town crowding into Jerusalem.
In the city, we are told there is a pool called Bethesda, which means “house of mercy” or “flowing waters.” The pool, the location of which has been excavated in modern Israel, was a roughly five-sided shape, like a pentagon, and we are told that it had “five porches” — five series of steps leading up to the water. And “a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered” people lay on these steps “waiting for the moving of the water.” Archaeologists tell us that this pool was an intermittent spring, several of which still exist around Jerusalem today, and the “moving of the water” was likely the release of water from reservoirs beneath the earth’s surface. The people believed that the sudden rise in the water level was due to an angel coming down and stirring or troubling the waters, and whoever was first to get into the waters thereafter was healed of their illness. Apparently, there must have been some truth to this notion as it appears that some people at least were seemingly being healed on a regular basis. Even today there are hot springs and other bodies of water that have therapeutic, restorative, or medicinal qualities.
Because of what they believed the water could do for them, people who had all kinds of diseases gathered around this pool waiting for the waters to be stirred. We can see our world in these lame, sick, crippled people — a world full of people who know something is wrong in their lives and are looking for a solution, looking for something that can fix them. I am not just talking about physical ailments, but spiritual and mental ailments as well. We know that things are not as they should be. And we are so desperate for a solution that we grasp for straws. Every remedy, every spiritual teacher, every self-help philosophy has its followers. The world is sick and it’s looking for healing.
Then, the scene narrows down to a single man at the Pool of Bethesda: the Bible says, “a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.” This man had been sick for a long time, but he still held out hope that he could be healed, so he was at the pool waiting for the troubling of the waters.
Jesus sees this man and draws near him. Out of the “multitude” of people at the pool, we don’t know why Jesus singled him out. Perhaps Jesus knew he had been waiting for his healing the longest. The Bible reads, “When Jesus saw him lie there, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?”
What a strange question to ask. Have you ever thought about asking a sick person if they want to be healed? Of course not. We would assume that this man wants to be made well; that’s why he is there at the well. But, Jesus has a deeper understanding of human nature. He knows that some people get comfortable in their sickness and like to be in a perpetual pity party; others lose all hope of being healed; and still others think they don’t deserve to be healed.
Many people today really don’t want to get out of their mess. It has been said that many beggars in the Middle East will refuse to give up their lifestyle of begging, even if given the chance, because they think they live well enough off of the charity of others. They don’t want to be healed; they want to stay sick. Many in our country today who are on welfare would rather remain on welfare instead of taking the steps to get on a path to success where they can provide for themselves and their families. They want to stay sick. Many in our churches like being the victim and getting the attention of the pastor and other church members who are constantly running to comfort them and supply their every need. They want to stay sick. Some who are in bondage to sin today know they are wrong, know they should change their lifestyle, but refuse to do so; they’ve gotten comfortable in their sin, and they want to stay sick.
Thus, we see that Jesus asks a very reasonable question. It is very likely that this man who had been sick for 38 years, deep down, did not want to be healed. He probably had a good family that took care of him and brought him up to the pool when the stirring of the water was expected to take place; he probably got a lot of charity from those who felt sorry for him in his condition. It was possible that this man wanted to stay sick.
How about you, dear friend? Do you want to stay sick? Have you grown comfortable in your sin and a lifestyle that is less than what God has intended? If so, then there is little hope for you, because the first condition of being saved is that you must admit that you need a Savior. However, if today, you recognize that your life is not what it should be — that you are sick, but want to be saved — then, please listen as I share with you how you can accept the healing that only Jesus Christ provides.
First acknowledge that you are sin sick and that you need a Saviour, for the Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.