Jesus changed the game. Start to live now.

Posted by admin on 5 March 2023 in John, Matthew |

John 5:1–9a [1]

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralysed [—and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’

7 ‘Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’

8 Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

I. An invalid man in the game of the world (1-5)

It was one of the Jewish festivals (1) when people would enjoy themselves with their families, relatives and friends. But there were people who couldn’t enjoy it together. A great number of disabled people used to lie near a pool called Bethesda in Jerusalem – the blind, the lame, the paralysed (2, 3a).

When everyone was busy enjoying the festival, Jesus went to care for the most miserable people (1-6). Jesus considers that the person in difficulty is Jesus Himself (Matthew 25:31-46). He taught in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Why were the disabled people there? See v3-4. They were waiting for the moving of waters (3b). Bethesda means ‘place of mercy’ [2]. From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters (4a). The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had (4b).

This is a picture of this world. Even if some people in this world may be physically OK but everyone has mental and spiritual problems. Also, people are competing for the same opportunities and only a limited number of people win the favour.

Who was there? See v5.

5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

Based on the 36 years of his sickness, he might be one of the worst patients in that place.

II. Jesus, the healer and the game changer (6-9a)

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time (6a), what did Jesus say to him? See v6b.

he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’

This man might have lost his hope for healing after being sick for such a long time (5) and repeated failure to enter the water first (7). “Do you want to get well?” was a kind voice of the Savior, giving him hope of healing. Today, Jesus asks us, “Do you want to get well?” even if we ourselves have given up and forgotten. It is because He loves us, and wants to give us hope and heal us.

What was his answer? See v7.

7 ‘Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’

He was in abandonment [3]. Instead of saying ‘yes’, he replied with a long story of his repeated failure in the game of the pool. His answer included dependency, complaints, blame [3], and negativity [3] about no help from others. Are you negative and ready to blame others [3]? You may be a type of sinner in this scripture.

What is the response of Jesus? See v8.

8 Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’

Jesus commanded the man, “Get up!”. He didn’t say quietly. He didn’t give his hand to help him up. Instead, He exclaimed. Further, he asked him to pick up the mat that he was lying on, and walk.

What is the result of His command? See v9a.

9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

He was cured immediately. It was without having to wait for the moving of the waters. It was without having to compete with others to enter the water first. Jesus is the game changer.

Have you suffered any problems for a long time? Are you negative and ready to blame others? Jesus wants to heal you immediately without being limited by the rule of the game you are in. Start a new life in Jesus today.

References

  1. The Holy Bible: New International Version. Anglicised. Revised and updated. ed. 2011: London: Hodder & Stoughton.
  2. Easton’s Bible Dictionary.
  3. Borchert, G.L., The New American Commentary: John 1-11. 1996: Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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