John 5:1-9, 14 Do You Want To Be Made Well?

by | May 6, 2024 | John, New Testament

I. The Historical Setting Vs. 1-4

A. Unusual Healings In The Bible

1. The purified pot of stew (2 Kings 4:38-41)
2. The healing of Naaman by washing in the Jordan River (2 Kings 5:10-14)
3. The healing of the man who touched the bones of Elisha (2 Kings 13:20-21)
4. The healing of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. (Matthew 9:20)
5. Healing of those who have the shadow of Peter upon them (Acts 5:14-16)
6. The healing of those who have Paul’s handkerchiefs upon them (Acts 19:11-12)
7. God can and does do things in unexpected ways.

B. Alternate Scenarios

1. But something isn’t necessarily from God simply because it is unexpected or unusual.
2. Conversely, this may have been a superstitious belief.
3. The pool of Bethesda was fed by a spring, and the water levels may have changed through natural occurrences.

II. The Man Who Needed Healing Vs. 5-9, 14

A. The Infirmity And The Offer Vs. 5, 6

1. This infirmity was the norm for this man. 38 years.
2. Jesus knew how long he had been crippled, and offered to heal him.

B. The Man’s Response- Possible Scenarios V. 7

1. He wants healing, but can’t imagine how it could happen

a. As time passed, his situation worsened.
b. His muscles atrophied from non-use.
c. He became more discouraged as time passed, since he was only getting worse.
d. He may have begun to resent those that did get healed, and bitterness was setting in.
e. He may have started resenting or hating God because he was getting healed.
f. There is no mention of his family life, but it was probably non-existent.
g. There was no home life, or at least not a regular home life.
h. If he was able to go home, his thoughts/emotions were focused on being at the pool.
i. Even if he was at home, he wasn’t there emotionally.
j. As a man, he had long ago lost the pride of being a man.
k. He didn’t work, if he was married, his sexual life was probably non-existent.
l. There was nothing that he could be proud of or passionate about.
m. His entire existence revolved around his dying hope of being healed, and his inability to go into the pool.

2. He had found advantages in being crippled

a. We may have some desire to be healed, but the fear of not progressing after our healing may seem like a very intimidating thought.
b. Healthy people are expected to take care of themselves, make progress in life, fulfill their potential, and help others, and not be one who constantly needs help.
c. It is reasonable to wonder if this man really wanted to be healed.
d. One commentator points out: “An eastern beggar often loses a good living by being cured of his disease.”
e. As bad as our current situation is, at least we are familiar with it. We know it. It won’t surprise us. We can be more comfortable in our present misery than taking the steps we need to be free.
f. Our new identity can become “the one who suffers and will never get well.
g. When we were healthy, we may not have gotten as much attention as we do when we are suffering.
h. It may seem strange that someone would only have a moderate desire to be healed, but that can sometimes be the case.
i. Someone might be fearful of being unable to function normally.
j. They may have developed a degree of laziness and being dependent on others.
k. They may have lost motivation for abundant living, and are content with that.

3. Calvin speaks well of his response: “The sick man does what we nearly all do. He limits God’s help to his own ideas and does not dare promise himself more that he conceives in his mind.”
4. J.B. Phillips wrote a famous book about this problem, titled Your God is too Small. For many of us, we create a small God in our heads, a God who is limited by whatever “box” we try to put God into.

C. The Healing Vs. 8, 9, 14

1. V. 8- Jesus spoke healing into the man, and the man was immediately made whole.

a. This healing would have been widely known.
b. The healing was public, and the man may have been a long time hopeful at the pool.

2. V. 9- The healing was performed, bug the man still needed to rise and walk.

a. Jesus had enabled him to rise and walk, but it had been 38 years.
b. This would have been a decades long condition that became the norm for the man.
c. The man needed to, by faith, respond to that enabling that Jesus had given him.
d. The man did stand, and the crippling effect of the infirmity was broken.
e. Jesus asked this man to do what he thought he could not do.
f. It was probably true that up until this moment, he couldn’t rise up and take his bed and walk.
g. A divine enabling was given to this man at this very moment.

3. V. 14- We are given insight into the original cause of this crippling.

a. The root cause was sin.
b. It may have been drunkenness that led to a fall, and subsequent paralysis.
c. It may have been a problem with anger that led to a fight, bringing some injury.
d. It may have been a divine judgment placed upon the man.
e. It is very possible that the man knew that his own sin had caused this condition.
f. He may have been overcome with self-hatred and extreme regret for 38 years.
g. Jesus not only healed him physically, but spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc.

D. Healing Today

1. God can and does heal today, but not always.
2. Our concern ought not to be why does God not always heal today?
3. What is Jesus offering to heal in you today? He offered this man healing.
4. How has God spoken to you from His word regarding right behavior, victory, sanity?
5. What promises have been offered to those who deiced to believe on Jesus? John 3:16, 17
6. What promises have been offered to every child of God through the word of God? Philippians 4:6, 7