Wednesday, 30 August 2023
“Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." -John 5:14
John records the miracle of the man healed at the pool of Bethesda as a witness to Jesus’ deity. One of the proofs Jesus mentioned to John the Baptist of His messiahship was that the lame would walk (Matt.11:5), for the prophet Isaiah had predicted this long before: “the lame shall leap like a deer” (Isaiah 35:6).
Jesus who was ALL-KNOWING came to this particular man who had been sick for a long period of time. The scripture says, “… You understand my thought afar off . . . For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:2, 4). He knows each of us much more than we do. He is willing to meet us at our point of need.
Jesus handled this case of the paralytic in its hopeless condition. 38 years is not a short period but long with its 13,870 days or 332,880 hours. Helplessness turned into a hopeless situation, yet the man remained there in that condition without losing hope. The Holy Spirit must have given him a little spark of faith to hold on to!—a whispering in his inner mind that he would see a change in his deteriorating condition. A typical example of long suffering.
The man even didn’t know Jesus and His Power. The compassion in Jesus arose which was more powerful than the uproar of the consequences from the Jews. Since it was happening on a Sabbath, Jesus was breaking the Law according to them. The Law was given as a tutor to bring every human to Christ (Gal.3:24), so that he can experience a total deliverance in body, mind and spirit. To Jesus, Sabbath was not a hindrance to the sick man in enjoying his healing and deliverance in its totality.
Jesus asked the sick man a simple question (v 6), “Do you want to be made well?” what the man said was not, “Yes”, but a narrative of his tragic situation. Jesus asked no more questions, but said, “Rise, take up your bed, and walk.” (v 8). Remember, we should be specific to the question or answer to the point.
Jesus did not do this miracle in the most favorable conditions. First of all, the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah; hence they were trying to trap him to the core. Further, He did not do this miracle for popularity and acceptance, like our contemporary miracle workers. He did not even reveal himself to the sick person. He told him to ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ The sick man did exactly as Jesus commanded and both of them moved away from the vicinity. The Holy Spirit must have led the sick man to the temple. Jesus met him in the temple and told him, “see, you have been made well, sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
Through this episode, Apostle John’s aim was to reveal Jesus Christ for His 1) complete knowledge, 2) heartfelt compassion, and 3) sovereign power. Jesus did something deeper into the life of the sick man. When He said, “sin no more …”, His aim in healing the sickness of the body was the healing of his soul—the focus being holiness mainly, not health— hence His instruction to the man to stop sinning. The LORD healed him not just physically but his sick soul too. The healed man was told to stop doing evil, so that he may not rise to face judgment, but to the resurrection of life. Jesus revealed Himself to him as the life-giver; now, he had to continue to live in this power to holiness.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a heart to cling on to You in every situation from my lowliness, helplessness and hopelessness so that Your power will be revealed in me and I will live to please You unto eternity.