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Changes: Do you want to get well?

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Mom’s I have to tell you all a secret that we have been keeping from you for a long time. This is probably going to get me in trouble…especially with my peers in the baby of the family club. But we…your kids… we aren’t as nice, we aren’t as clean, we aren’t as organized, we aren’t as well dressed as we seem. You see, mom when we know you are coming, we clean up.
You see, mom’s you have a way. Even when we are are adults, you showing up changes us.
Some of you moms have expectations for cleanliness… so we clean when you show up.
Some of you have expectations for cooking… so we do our best…or we take you out to eat.
My sister who acts like my mom… has expectations of how a gentleman is supposed to act, so she will wait in the car for you to open her door. Several times I have forgotten only to get in a restaurant and remember we forgot her.
My mom was the disciplinarian in our house…so things changed usually because we had done something wrong and hoped mom didn’t know about it.
But for others,


One of the unique characteristics of Jesus’ ministry was his insistence that the religious experts of his day not only misunderstood him but the Bible as well. Christ taught the Bible pointed ultimately to him – it contained road signs people had read about for ages which were finding their fulfillment in his presence. All the hopes, joys, and promises of God could be found in Jesus! Today we begin a new message series based on the Gospel of John 5-10. In these pages, we will discover how Jesus’ changes everything!
John was one of Jesus’s closest friends. In fact at his crucifixion, Jesus entrusted his mom to John’s care. They were close.
This 4th gospel was written when John was getting old and he wrote it so that we would believe. John only included 7 miracles in the whole book. But each of these 7 are included to teach us something that will lead us to believe....something that will spark faith in us…something that will allow us to see Jesus for who he truly is.

John 5:1-8

John 5:1–8 NIV
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 4 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
Location of pool has been substantiated by archeology.

Do you want to get well?

Many people prefer their current condition.
Some people enjoy the concern and pity of others.
Some people accept living off of the handouts of others.
But the reality is that many people don’t want to get well
v 7 - Lacking determination - Tried hard? 38 years? No help? how did you get here every day?
His sad story got even sadder. Woe is me.
So this guy was far from perfect…no surprise there, right.
But do you want to get well?

Pick up your mat and walk.

In this healing there are a couple of things going on here that we should consider
First, why him? This was an act of grace.
Jesus could have healed anyone at the pool…he could have healed everyone at the pool…but he chose to heal this man. Why? Grace.
Grace is the undeserved favor of God. You know what it is.
He didn’t deserve to be healed…Jesus just did it.
It wasn’t a matter of his faith, the man didn’t even know who Jesus was. No Jesus just decided to heal…this man.
Grace is hard to understand like that. Some people get healed and others don’t; some people are blessed financially and others aren’t; some have children and some don’t; some get great jobs and some don’t. We don't’ all get everything, but we all have received blessings. Scripture teaches that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from our father in heaven. It’s grace.
The second thing we will see in just a moment, let’s continue:

John 5:9-15

John 5:9–15 NIV
9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
The sabbath…a day of rest. There were all sorts of rules as to what you could do and couldn’t do on the Sabbath. Obviously you couldn’t work, but what constituted work? In an effort to protect people from breaking the law, the Pharisee’s had put into place rules that prevented people from working on the Sabbath.
You couldn’t work, cook, another one was that you couldn’t move furniture unless someone was in it. Here Jesus is commanding the man to break the law.
This is the question that people would be asking when they heard this story.
Who is this guy who tells people to sin like that?
Before we get the answer, we see Jesus slip away and the Jewish leaders ask the healed man, WHO TOLD YOU TO PICK UP YOUR MAT?

Who told you to break the law?

The man didn’t know.
It wasn’t until later that Jesus sought the man out.
That’s what God does. He seeks us out. In revelation it says that God stands at the door and knocks…who ever opens the door, he will come in and dine with him.
Then he tells the man,

“See you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

What could be worse? Death?
This verse gets a lot of attention. Many people wonder if Jesus is talking about punishing him for his sin. Does Jesus punish us in life for our sin? Well one thing is for sure, many things which are not honoring to God have physical, mental, emotional, or relational problems. Think about it…greed, gluttony, selfishness, jealousy, hatred - not to mention addictions, acts of violence. All these things are sinful and all of them can lead to consequences that are much worse than spending 38 years as an invalid…eternity separated from God.
The man then goes and tells the Jewish leaders he knew Jesus was his healer.
And this begins a whole world of problems for Jesus.
John 5:16–18 NIV
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
You see this is the second thing that this healing reveals. Why did Jesus tell the man to break the Law?
This is a difficult part of the story for us. We are quick to explain away Jesus’s actions…He had done something good…we can overlook this. He had shown mercy…carrying a mat wasn’t really work after all…besides it was just the oral law the was broken…not the written law.
But Jesus doesn’t back off.
John 5:17 NIV
17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”
Well…that didn’t work. Now the issue wasn’t breaking the Sabbath, it was now blasphemy…Jesus claiming to be the Son of God. This was crazy talk to a Jew.
The only thing was that he had proved the truth of his crazy claim by the healing that was right in front of them.
But they couldn’t see it.
Jesus goes on to explain how it’s not his will to do these things…in fact everything he does are things that the father is doing.
They saw Jesus as having this miraculous power, but the real power of Jesus was that he humbled himself before God the Father. He only did what the Father did.
One wonders what would happen in our lives, in our families, or in our churches if the only things we sought to do were the works of God the Father rather than our own, if everything we did grew out of our intimate, loving relationship with the Father instead of coming out of our brainstorming sessions and personal motivations. Think about that…if every plan was rooted in God, every conversation was framed in God’s love, if every response was measured by God’s grace.
When you think about our ability compared to God’s ability, there is little power or life in any work we do, even though we may call it Christian when the source is our own ingenuity and effort.
That’s something to really consider.
Jesus goes on to explain that this very moment, the house is being divided. I don’t mean like the boys verses the girls…we divide up that way in our house regularlly based on the things we like…here Jesus is talking about allegience. His words, his deeds either bring us to accept him, or they lead us to reject him. life or death. We see this happening again and again through the Gospel as Jesus encounters people. Every encounter closes with a question, usually unspoken but sometimes very plainly put before us…Who is Jesus?
Jesus is saying that he and God are one. He’s not just a healer who breaks the law. Jesus says he is a savior who’s Father wrote the law, and has given him the authority to judge the law.
John 5:24–25 NIV
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
You see this miracle is about grace. God’s grace to us to believe and enter into a relationship with Jesus.
You see without faith in Christ, Jesus says that this life is as close as you will get to Heaven. No matter how rough your life is, it isn’t going to be better for you after you die…in fact it is going to get worse because grace will no longer be present…all grace will be removed. But if you act on the faith you have been given, if you put your trust in Jesus, if you surrender to his authority over your life, then this life, no matter how good or hard of a life you have, is the closest to hell you will ever experience. You will die to a new life. A life wihouth pain, death, sickness, hunger. A life filled with love is awainting you.

What do you say? Who was that man Jesus?

How we answer that question will change everything.
The way we worship.
The way we live today, the way we die tomorrow, and everything after that.
Who do you say that man Jesus is?
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