Text: John 5:1-16
God’s work is restoration. He fixes broken things. He is the Great Physician. John has already said that Jesus Christ is God. Nicodemus testified that Jesus Christ had to at least be from God. And now the Lord Jesus Christ himself is going to start equating himself to God.
- The infirmed man as a type of the nation of Israel
- When you speak many times one thing is said and it has multiple applications. In Bible talk its called typology and in modern terminology its called innuendo without the negative connotation. John had to leave many things out about the ministry the Lord Jesus Christ, so that means what he included is very important.
- His typification
- sheep market
- in Hebrew its called something
- they are waiting for a sign
- he’s been in this condition for 38 years (Deuteronomy 2:14, time of Israel’s journey through the wilderness.) Practically we get used a new normal.
- What about this angel?
- If you have an New International Version or something besides a King James Bible, then you are either missing verse 4 or it noted as being as add-on verse.
- So what we do with this angel account tells us something about our own condition.
- “Scientific” explanation – judge things by what we can or have seen
- Angels in the Bible just appear as men. No wings. None of that superstition. Couple showed up to Abraham. Then went to Sodom and Gomorrah. Those men thought they were real. Angels sat at the tomb of Jesus and talked to the ladies that came by the tomb that day.
- This multitude is a record of our own spiritual condition
- impotent – powerless, no ability to produce anything Godly
- blind – in the dark, no understanding
- halt – unable to move, progress and grow in God
- withered – no life in the limbs
- Waiting for some sign
When you and I think of deliverance we think of a sweeping fix. Shazzam! and the whole thing is corrected. But God’s deliverance is not that way. You say, Pastor, I quit smoking or drinking or looking at things I shouldn’t or whatever the sin, you say I quit that cold turkey; the Lord delivered me from that bondage. Amen! But restoration puts the remaining responsibility on you.
Wilt thou be made whole?
- He was doing some things that showed he wanted to be made whole.
- He thought he knew how to be made whole.
- Prayers aren’t exactly right sometimes, but God isn’t looking for perfectly manicured prayers.
- Being made whole is different than a band aid. Some people just want the band aid. So Jesus asks him. His will has to be engaged in this.
- Victory is a present reality. Its time to get up.
- There is nothing else you need to live victoriously. There is nothing else God needs to say. There is nothing else God needs to do.
- Conversely there is nothing you can do to add to the victory.
- More than conquerors is the way Paul puts it.
- Battle is you and God
- We blame the Christian life for a lot of things. “It’s just so hard to be a Christian.” The reality is this, it’s hard to be a saved sinner in a corrupt body.
- The point of struggle is where your flesh meets God’s will.
Take up thy bed
- Commitment. You aren’t going to be living here anymore. Your life is new.
- Why we don’t take up our bed?
- Problem is that old ground has become familiar. If I rise I can’t come back here and beg. If I got saved I’d have to stop drinking and fooling around. Well, that’s why he asked the first question do you want to be made whole. You find out when he says rise, maybe you didn’t really want to be made whole.
- Afraid to commit. We want the option to get out. If you are walking down the right road, is there ever any reason to get off that road? No. So why do you want an option to get off that road? If its right, do it. And keep doing it.
- Maybe the past.
- Like the nurses say in the hospital, you need to get up and move around. It’ll be better for you.
- Restore you to a healthy spiritual state and you need to walk.
- Why don’t we walk?
- We don’t walk because we don’t see the whole picture. Where are we going Lord? I need to see the end of this.
- Quit comparing your race to another’s. God just didn’t give me the things he gave so and so over there.
Sin no more
- Opposition enters. Anytime you start getting right with the Lord and obeying what he’s telling you to do, you WILL face opposition. You will get pressure.
- The enemy is not after you, his goal is destroy Jesus Christ. And if he can use you to destroy the testimony of Jesus Christ in your world of influence that’s what he wants to do. Because of you the name of God is blasphemed.
- Romans 2:24 – when God’s people are hypocrites, God’s name is blasphemed.
- 1 Timothy 6:1 – Christians backbite their bosses and have a poor testimony at work gives the enemy an advantage to blaspheme the name of God.
- Titus 2:5 – when married women fail to keep their homes the enemy gets the edge and God’s name is blasphemed.
- Jesus Christ shows up long enough to remind him, Don’t get distracted. Don’t get into sin because doing that after you’ve been made whole will have an entirely different effect on you than it did before. And the recovery out of that case won’t be 38 years, it will grip you until you die. So be very careful with your restoration.
- The story of the evil spirit in a man, then being flushed out. Then returning with 7 more evil spirits worse than himself. That the last state of that man is worse than the first. Why?
- Your mind has been hardened and your heart has been embittered.
- Hope has turned to hopelessness. A person in that condition losses their will to obey God. The conscience is seared and the tender heart for the Lord has been seared and scarred past feeling anything. No conviction. No hope. No joy. No faith. Just living out death.
- He colludes with the enemy for one of two reasons and both are detrimental
- Either he is offended that Jesus would talk to him about his sin
- Or he wants to get in good with the big shots and is just ignorant of their intentions.