Scripture Text: John 5:1-16
Have you ever had anyone ask you, “Do you want to change your life?” If they did, what would you say? Before you answer you should give some serious consideration to what might come with your new life. Jesus asks us every day if we need to make a change- and if we are His family, He expects to see us do it. Tonight we are going to John 5:1-16 as our text. It gives us an example of this very thing happening and it teaches us some lessons we need to consider.
I.The World Tends To seek A Change For The Better Through Things That Cannot Give It. (vss. 5:1-4)
Jesus was back in Jerusalem after being in Cana. He was there for a Feast celebration. The Sheep Gate (where animals meant for sacrifice were brought in) is actually found northeast of the Temple and the Pool of Bethesda was just outside the city walls. Multitudes of impaired people, (blind, lame, paralyzed) come to bath in what they believe to be healing water. These people can not get into the pool on their own. The blind could not see their way, the lame could not walk, and the paralyzed could not move. The point is, their waiting at the pool was probably a hopeless act. Those there got used to the idea that life was hard, uncertain, and not likely to change. We must not be careful not to let ourselves waste away searching for something that we will never find because our focus is on some mythical possibility.
II.The Opportunity For Change Is Not Always Welcome . (vss 5-9)
Jesus asks the man a simple question;”Do you want to get well?” Apparently he had been coming there a very long time. It was his life , as he knew it and had learned to handle it. So the sick man made an excuse; he couldn’t get to the water. No one was around to help him. So he had no choice, he must stay sick. But Jesus decided to give him help. “Get up…pick up your mat and walk!” It was such a commanding tone or some rushing feeling, in any case, the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and began to walk. What would you do if Jesus asked you if you wanted to be well? Do you want to get rid of your helplessness, or your pride that makes people hate you, or your pride that makes people hate you, or your addiction to the things of the world? What if Jesus asked, “Do you want to be truly saved? Will you give yourself to serve others, to stand with the helpless and love the unloving?” I believe Jesus asks all of us each day if we want to live more like Him or continue just being ourselves.
III. Change On Your Part Can Make Others See You As A Threat. (vss 10-16).
The man was not stopped because he was cured, he was stopped because he was carrying his mat on the Sabbath, which was illegal. The Jews wanted know who told him to do it, but the man didn’t even know.He had not stopped to give thanks or to even catch the name of Jesus. When Jesus chooses us and touches or lives for good, we will face those who want to know what happened. It will give us chances to explain how we were changed, but it will also make other people to be jealous, or threatened, or doubtful. Also, new life brings new responsibilities.
Do you believe people, who every day venture out into the world so they can make life better, would accept a better life if offered?The hope of Jesus is offered all around our nation and the world- but most people won’t accept it. Without Christ, people live in a world full of hopeful, but helpless broken hearts. They focus on some paltry and weak little “idol” they hold onto even though it does no good. But, sometimes, people will meet with Jesus. He comes and pulls them out of the crowd and into health. But not all of them remain in good spiritual health. If they disregard the Lord, by putting Him down the list of their priorities, and choose to live in sin, they will fall back into a worse sate than before. Are they saved? I don’t know, but I do know Jesus, never told this man his sins were forgiven, but He did tell him not to sin again. Today, if you don’t already know the Lord personally, or for some reason you have stopped letting him continue to change you, you can call on Jesus and He can heal your dead spirit and make you one of His. So, from Jesus, the question goes on and on, “Do you want to get well?”