Let’s look at another passage in John. This one we find at the fifth chapter verses 1-16
1-6 Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”
7 The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.”
8-9 Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.
9-10 That day happened to be the Sabbath. The Jews stopped the healed man and said, “It’s the Sabbath. You can’t carry your bedroll around. It’s against the rules.”
11 But he told them, “The man who made me well told me to. He said, ‘Take your bedroll and start walking.’”
12-13 They asked, “Who gave you the order to take it up and start walking?” But the healed man didn’t know, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd.
14 A little later Jesus found him in the Temple and said, “You look wonderful! You’re well! Don’t return to a sinning life or something worse might happen.”
15-16 The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus—because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath.
So here is this supposed “healing pool”where people come like you and like me- blind, crippled and paralyzed. Oh you say you’re not blind, crippled or paralyzed think again my friend. You think you always see things as they really are? You always think and act out of a motivation of selflessness? You think emotionally you are healthy in all you think, say and do? Only if you act, think and do out of the Master’s will for your life is this possible. That again is why understanding the role Jesus Christ our Master, Teacher, Lord and Savior is so important.
So this guy with needs like us all encounters the Master.Note the text say he was an INVALID. In-valid. The Master asks him if he wants to get well? If he wants to become VALID. So many of us feel IN-VALID by the society we live in. We are IN- Valid and devalued by others lack of concern ,love and selfishness. But the Master Jesus sees no one as IN-Valid. Everyone has value to Jesus. So Jesus immediately cares for his needs by telling him to get up and move forward. He does and he becomes VALID!
So as he is embracing his new validity he encounters the religious and was asked why are you walking. He told them in so many words some guy came by and told me I was worthy, I was valid so I got up and embraced it.
Later he encounters Jesus again and The Master loves on him and tells him to stop sinning. On boy here is that word SIN! We hate that word because we believe it is so condemning and judgemental. Sin is the indicator that we are a people who do not feel we need God and any action that leads us to avoid God and trust God is a sin. Sin blinds, cripples and paralyzes.Anything that comes between you and God is sin. What was his sin? His belief that a pool could heal him when ultimately trust and belief in the Master’s power to heal was sufficient.
Lastly in this passage don’t miss the religious outraged that Jesus did something other than engage the religious Sabbath. Again strong evidence right in the Bible that Jesus has nothing to with religion. The religious it says were out to get him.
Now let’s bring this into our perspectives. What is your pool? The thing that you are hoping to make you valid, make you well or ease your pain and help you to continue to escape and to avoid Jesus for true healing, true validity.
Is it work, sex, drugs, tv self help gurus, tv doctors, religious rituals that purport to have something to do with God but do not. Again I ask you honestly how are these making you feel VALID? Stop and think right now.
There has not been an issue of my personal invalidity that Jesus has not showed me the way forward to trust and validity. Be it my drug abuse in the my early years, to my self-centeredness in my marriage, to my lies and pride, to my fear of separation and loneliness,to my need to fix and control. All futile attempts at validity without Jesus that never got the job done. I was still left selfish, lonely, addicted and fearful until I trusted Jesus. Why? Because regardless of what you believe that is the way life is supposed TO WORK! Then why does Jesus not force himself upon us so we can get VALID? Skeptic, is there any love in an action of force and coercion? Of course not. That is why we have free will. Jesus wants us to freely come to Him and become VALID, picking up our mat, our crutch and walking free in mind, body, heart and soul.
This event in John should rock your skeptical world . It’s all here: the evidence of our invalidity, the way to validity, the proof Jesus has nothing to do with religion. Friends, this guy was sitting in his stuff for 38 years. How long will you wait with your stuff by your pool until you embrace Jesus and walk free? For some of you I am sure it has been more than 38 years. The good news is you don’t have to wait a second longer Jesus is RIGHT NOW standing by you at your pool asking you “Do you want to get well.?