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Title: I am not going to be stuck

Text: John 5:1-9

Introduction:  February is the month we as African Americans celebrate our heritage, success and our continuous fight for the struggle.  As a people we have come a long way.   However, on a personal level we are still stuck in many ways. We are achieving great success as people but our personal lives are still in a shambles. Some of you have been dealing with the same issues and struggles that you been dealing with 20 and 30 years.  Some of you are still bitter about something that happens to you in high school. Some of you are still struggling on what you did not get that you siblings did.  I am not minimizing you pain but the problem is you are being crippled by your hurt and not becoming all that God wants you to be!  You have been this way for too long and now it time to become unstuck.  It time to get out of that rut and get on with your life.

Relevant Question: How do you get out of a situation that you have been dealing with a long time?

I. vv. 1-4

The scene of our story today is in midst of some stuck people.  In our text, Jesus is on his way to a feast in Jerusalem in place called Bethesda which means the house of mercy or the flowing water.  At this particular location there was a sheep market pool used for medicinal bathing and drinking.  It had fives porches surrounding this pool. But there was something sadly interesting about this pool.  On these five porches were a great number of suffering people.  The text says there were blind, lame and withered or dried up folk waiting their.  These are people who have been halted by there illness unable to have a fulfilling life.  They were stuck. But why were they waiting there?  This was an ancient tale that when the water was trouble or stirred by and angel that the first person who jumps in at that time will be healed from whatever disease they had.  That is why it was so many sick and crippled people just laying on these five porches of this pool waiting to be healed of their sickness.   But please don't miss the problem we have in the text.  All of these sick people are waiting for one divine moment in time to be the first in get in the pool to get heal.  This is a problem for us today. This multitude was waiting for the angel to move.  We always ask for help from everyone but the Lord.  We have to start looking higher for our help.  We have to eliminate the middle man and go right to source or our strength.  Secondly, the problem in the text is that only one person can be healed at time.   Thank God that Jesus’ healing is not limited to just healing one person at a time. He transcends time and space. He is able to heal at the hospital and he here in church. His healing is always available if you believe. So don’t you dare think that you will be stuck in your situation for the rest of your life.

II. v.5

Out of the hundreds who were in attendance that day waiting for this sensational event to occur, one man stands out particularly because of his condition.   The text says that a certain man was there. He stands out not only because he was so gravely ill but also the text says that he was dealing with his illness for 38yrs.  My brothers and my sisters, I am going ask you to look at this event spiritually and metaphorically.  We can look all round and see multitudes of people who are spiritually blind, spiritually lame and spiritually drying up all around us who have all come to a point in there lives that they are looking for something to help them in there desperation.  They want something miraculous to occur but looking for in the wrong place and the wrong people.  People want the supernatural but they don’t want the one who is responsible for the supernatural. 

Our main character in the text has an illness and he has had it long time.  Many of you have to dealing with a certain issue for a long time.  The only difference between you and others who are dealing with the same mess, you have been dealing with it longer and there is still no sign of things changing in your life.   But I have some good news for you today your situation is about to change.  The Lord knows what you are dealing with and how long you have had it.  There is hope in your misery.  How can you say that preacher?  Where ever there is my most need, you are sure to find the “most Jesus”.  When you are at you weak he is at his strongest!  The one who has been suffering the longest is about experience what he has been longing for but something will be required of him.   

III. v. 6 

 The text says that Jesus saw him laying down.  Out of all the multitudes, Jesus singled out this man.  You should get happy.  Don’t think that the Lord doesn’t see what you are going to thru.  He is watching you with loving eyes. You have been seek for some help for awhile and He sees you! Help is on the way.   

Not only does Jesus see you in your suffering but He truly knows how long you have been dealing with that thing!  He knows how long you been stuck.  The Lord is omniscient!   He is the good shepherd and the shepherd knows his sheep.  He knows where to lead you, feed you and care for you in a unique and special way!  He knows about every detail of your struggle. He knows the nights you cried in bed.  He knows the fights and the abuse you had to endure. He knows!  The bible says he knows your frame.  He knows how much you can take. 

But I have a problem with this verse.  If Jesus is all seeing and all knowing about each and everyone of our situations, why did He ask this man who was at this pool in Bethesda on the belief that he can get healed if he can just get to the pool this question?    Jesus asked him, “wilt thou be made whole?”  I didn’t understand but I realized this was not a question for Jesus. This was a question for that man.  Jesus was making sure that this man knew what He wanted from Him.  The Lord has been asking some of you some questions not for His sake but for yours. You have to want it! You have to want to get out of your mess for yourself!

IV. v. 7 

However, this man’s response to Jesus shows us where he is as far as to changing his situation.  Jesus asked the man, “do you want to be whole?” But the man did not answer the question.  He replied, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steps down before me”.   Looking at this man’s reply, we see a couples problems that we do when we are stuck mentally, emotionally and spiritually. First, he says “Sir, I have not man to put me in the water”.  For years he has been depending on somebody else to carry him to certain so he can be healed.  You may not have been depending on somebody physically to carry you but spiritually and emotionally you have been waiting for people to do what the Lord can do for you.   Second, he is blamed for other for their selfish desires. People were stepping in front of him at the time of stirring.   Everybody does not care if you are well are not.  Other desperate people at the end of the day only care about themselves. Third, in this replied this man is justifying his excuse why he is not healed.  By justifying his excuse, this man is saying that he is accepting his circumstance.   This is self inflicted bondage.  But I am so glad that Jesus is able to look beyond our fault and not only see our needs but meet them. 

V. Jesus sees his desire.  V. 8

Despite this man’s answer, Jesus is going to cure this man of his woes.  That is good news for us today.  You have been stuck in the same situation so long and have accepted your circumstances but Jesus rejects it because He wants you to live better than that.  This man had the desire to be healed but he did not have the means.  What he lacked was strength. He could not get there on his own. As I said earlier, He will be your strength at your time of weakness.  Look what Jesus does.   Jesus speaks!  That is all we need, is Jesus to speak!  Jesus word accomplished His will. He spoke the man saying “Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” He spoke it and it was done!  He did not have to touch this him because there is power in His Word.  This morning, the Lord is speaking to your situation from his word. The Word will change your situation.  This is why we have to know and take action to his word!

VI. v. 9

Look what happen when Jesus spoke to the man.  The text says immediately the man was made whole.   He took up his bed and walked.  

We can learn from this man on how not to get stuck.  The first thing we learn is that:

You can’t depend on your on strength.

We can only get so far on our strength.  Like this man at the pool of Bethesda, who went as far as he could to getting himself healed.  We need the Lord to do it. Next…

We have to stop depending on people and depend on God.  We reach out to people who are sick like we are and who really can’t do anything for us.  Instead of reaching out, we have to learn how to reach up to heaven.  Seek ye first the Kingdom of God…. The next thing we learn is…

Don’t justify your excuse.  Don’t accept where you are if that is not where you want to be. The Lord has better for you! Jesus has to set us free from such a mindset but truth not excuses. 

Respond to the word.  You have to take responsibility for your destiny by adhering to the Word of God.  Your healing starts by your obedience to the word.  There is healing in his word.

If you do this you won’t be stuck

Close:  You are not stuck. Jesus’ words made you free! So get up from that bed of affliction.   Get from that low self esteem.  Get up from that depression.  Because Jesus spoke a word to you! There is power in his word!  Take up the very that gave you comfort while you were desperate.  Take away those sorrow sheets and the bitter blankets. You are not going to need them any more!  Walk into you purpose, destiny, newness freedom… I am not going get to stuck in this situation because the son has set me free! 

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