Scripture: John 5:1-15
I. Only Jesus can make you well.
A. In the midst of the joy of a Jewish feast, there are some very sad people mentioned in verse 3: the blind, lame and paralyzed. One of the sad and hopeless people is described in vs. 5. He is a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. Jesus approaches the paralyzed man with his strange question in vs. 6, “Do you want to be healed?” Jesus is not asking the man how badly he wants to be healed. All Jesus is doing with his question is offering to heal the man. Jesus stirs up hope in a hopeless man. Jesus offers to heal. Jesus offers to make the man well.
B. The man placed his hope in a superstition to heal him (vs. 7). Jesus makes it clear in vs. 8, “It is not some superstition that will make you well. Only I can make you well.” So, Jesus commands the paralyzed man in vs. 8, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And what happened? Verse 9 says, “At once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” In healing this man, Jesus was doing a miracle that would be a preview of a more incredible miracle that Jesus will do in the future. We read of that miracle in John 5:28-29.
II. You can’t be made well by superstitions or traditions or your own effort.
A. The paralyzed man put his faith in a superstition to make him well. But his superstition was powerless to heal him. There were other people who needed Jesus to make them well in John 5. These are the Jewish leaders of verse 10. Instead of being joyful they were annoyed by Jesus’ miraculous healing on the Sabbath day. God’s law about the Sabbath is in Exodus 20:8-10: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.”
B. These religious leaders were not well. Who has Jesus made well? It is the joyful people who understand that everything is a gift of God’s grace. Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
III. You can’t stay well if you keep sinning.
A. In verse 14, Jesus runs into the man that he had healed. And Jesus says something interesting to him. “See you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” Jesus had offered to make the paralyzed man well. And Jesus had made him well. But in saying, “sin no more”, Jesus is making it clear to the man that there was a reason for his sickness. He was sick because of his sin. So, what did the old man need to do if he wanted to stay well? Stop sinning. And if he did not stop sinning? Jesus said that something worse would happen to him – worse even than paralysis. He would be judged by God at the last judgment and sent to hell. We Christians are to be killing sin. Or sin will be killing us. Do you want to stay well? Then, kill your sin every day.
Jesus is offering to make you well. Respond to His Word. Get up and walk by faith.
The Gospel of John
Commentaries on John by D.A. Carson and Richard Phillips
SERMON DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- Do you ever have doubts that Jesus can make you well? Why? What can overcome those doubts?
- What are some things that we place our faith in to make us well? What are some signs in our lives that we are not well?
- What do we need to avoid if we want to stay well? Where does the power come from in order to stay well?