The Invalid Man in Me

Seven Signs  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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In John's gospel Jesus comes across an invalid man who is need of healing. In this message we will discover what it means for Christ to heal on the Sabbath day and for the church to pick up their beds and walk.

IDEA: Jesus came to me so I can stand up and sin no more.
A man walks into a doctor’s office. He has a cucumber up his nose, a carrot in his left ear, and a banana in his right ear.
“What’s the matter with me?” he asks the doctor. The doctor replies, “You’re not eating properly.”
Unlike the patient from the joke. Sometimes we actually need to visit the doctor’s office because we have real needs and yet lack an adequate solution.
Last week, my wife scheduled three separate doctor visits for the kids. Each one was battling either an ear infection or virus. Our family’s pediatrician prescribed antibiotics for Lydia and Lewis and for Isaac he recieved Tylenol.
Luckily for my family, everyone got the proper care they needed and my household return to its normal self. Truth be told, I rather handle rambunctious healthy children any day of the week rather than seeing my kids under the weather.
I believe we sympathize with others because it personally hurts when we see people not living a full, healthy lives. As a father, I would rather endure my children’s sickness than having them go through that kind of suffering and pain. If you’re a parent, I know you can relate to my feelings.
And yet, we do not have to look far to find someone who is experiencing a health crisis or a debilitating aliment. If you shuffle down the hallway of nursing home or hospital you will eventually encounter numerous of individuals who are hoping to get better soon.
The home of where the sick and lame are a reminder that the world we experience and dwell is not right. And it is in need of real healing.
With that thought in mind, I invite those of you who brought a bibles to open to John chapter five. In this scene, we will read about where Jesus performing his forth sign according to John. So far in John’s gospel, we read about Jesus’ previous signs such as turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana, Jesus prophesying concerning his death and resurrection of his body as the new temple in Jerusalem and the healing of the Official's dying son in Capernaum.
I. Jesus heals the invalid man on the Sabbath day (Jn. 5:1-9).
Jesus is currently finished with his visit in Galilee, and again is returning to Jerusalem for another festivity. And then we read about setting of the narrative. It is located by the entrance of the Sheep Gate by the pool of Bethesda.
If you visited Jersualem today, the Pool of Bethesda is to be identified with the excavated ruin in the St. Anne Courtyard, a ruin with two pools of considerable size. Arched pillars originally bordering the two reservoirs were covered intact with 25 to 30 feet of debris.
The masses linger on invalid healing (vv. 1-5).
And there beside the pool we find the multitude of invalids - blind, lame, and paralyzed. We can speculate why all these disabled people all congregated near the pool of Bethesda. The masses linger so hopelessly waiting one day can dive into the magical water and be cured of their debilitating disease.
Depending on which bible translation you are reading from, you either will have verse four omitted from the text or you will see barracked surround it. Most likely Christian scribes inserted this verse four to make sense of what was going on in the story.
It is interesting out of the numerously amount of ill men, only one is highlighted. We don’t much about him other than his affliction lasted for thirty-eight years. Whatever his condition was I imagine it was terrible. Why else would the man wait patiently for the waters to be stirred? He believed his salvation and hope was next to him, and day go by while he waited just for one moment for the bubbles to arise. I bet he drempt a lot about going into the water and coming out whole. One could only imagine regain their fully humanity.
Jesus notices the invalid man's desire for restoration (vv. 6-7).
As Jesus was walking through his eye caught a glimpse of the invalid. Christ knew this man was ill for a long time. So he begs the question this man longed to hear. “Do you want to be healed?” The invalid answer reveals where his hope lies. It’s in the water, he thought. If only if, someone would place me in the water. Thankfully God’s grace is not determined by our knowledge. Because most of us would not pass that test.
Jesus' commands the man to "walk" (vv. 8-9a).
With compassion Jesus speaks to him, “Get up, take your bed, and walk.” It was that very moment when the invalid lost his thirty-eight year old disability. Truly, there was no reason to remain by the pool. It was time for the man to leave by his own freewill.
The healing took place on a Sabbath Day (vv. 9b-18).
The story moves along and in John’s gospel account we read more about when the healing took place. It was a holy day - the Sabbath or also known for the Jews as the day of rest.
The Jewish controversy about doing good on the Sabbath (vv. 10-13)
All the religious leaders’ indignation burned against whoever would perform this act of mercy on this day. Why would anyone ever do good on Saturday? Lord forbid it!
What does it mean for Jesus to heal on the Sabbath?
It means that God the Father and the Son are not limited to doing acts of mercy to only six days a week. God can enact his divine will regardless of time or location. By his authority Jesus tells the man to "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." Christ is not subjected to the Sabbath for he will demonstrated his Messianic Sonship by his signs and wonders. Which is why he heals the man on this day. To prove he is both God and Messiah.
An invalid man's warning and lack of gratitude towards Jesus (vv. 14-15).
What surprises me is how fast this man was willing to sellout the person who cleanse him of his disability. He showed no respect or love to Jesus. And yet, Jesus confronts him about his spiritual life. “Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” Perhaps its a past sin that crippled him, regardless Jesus warns him even when this man has clearly turned his back and reported to the Jews his identity.
The real reason why the Jews hated Jesus (vv. 16-18).
Why is Jesus hated? It is because who he claim to be the God the Son. Jesus is not doing this mission alone, but is working besides his heavenly Father. And yet, there is more to learn from this story.
The connection between the invalid man and us.
Yet, John’s gospel teaches something about us that maybe we never realized. We are the invalid man in the story.
The world lingers with a spiritual disability waiting on invalid hope.
We trust in idols and believe the world has the solutions to our broken condition. That is what the invalid believed with his whole heart. Our world waits besides something they believe will make them whole and yet, they wait patiently and nothing ever happens.
It not until Jesus enters into our lives where our spiritual disability can be removed. He is the only cure to our sickness. If we want to be healed, we must stop putting our faith in this world and start believing in the One who made it.
We must identity the sin that keeps us down.
Which is why after the healing that comes from Christ. We must be willing to forsake all our sins. Why else would he warn the invalid man? It is because sin is the symptom of our spiritual condition. Christ can take away our sins but we must not hold onto them any longer if wish to remain healthy.
That is why as a church we must identify our most prevalent sin that has keep us spiritual disabled and plea to Jesus to heal us once again to a fuller, more abundant life.
I need you to write down and reflect on which sin is keeping you from getting up and preventing you from walking in your faith journey. Because we will never be healthy if we let our sins keep us down. It is time for you to confess with your lips the sin that so easily consumes you. When we give it to God, he can take it away.
The healing Jesus provides comes when trust in the Gospel.
The only way we shed off our invalid self is by looking up to the Cross of Chris and believing in Him who takes away all sins. It is through his dreadful Passion that we can remove the clothing of death and wear the garbs of immortality. He alone can heal and we must believe in the only begotten Son of God.
Jesus came to me so I can stand up and sin no more.
This is where hope is found, Jesus came to me so I can stand up and sin no more. He is coming to you now as you hear this message. You don’t have to go anywhere. He is coming to you. It is your decision if you will stand for him and sin no more.
So when the day comes to a close, and the Son of God comes to you and asks, “Do you want to be healed?” I pray you do not say, “I have no one to place me in the waters of healing.” Rather I hope you listen to the voice of Jesus the great physician, speaking to you, “Get up, take your bed and walk.” For it through the mighty works of Jesus the crucified and risen Lord who is able to turn your spiritual disability into eternal life. We are no longer the spiritual invalids of this world, but are the children of God who walk by faith and not by sight. Now let’s pick up our beds and follow Jesus.
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