A couple of weeks ago, I did a post on the wedding at Cana where Jesus turned the water into wine.
Then I wrote about Jesus healing the nobleman’s son and how you can be a noble person.
This week I’m covering another miracle of Jesus, and what to do when you feel all alone. It’s found in John 5.
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, which in Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great crowd of invalids, blind, lame, and paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water. After the stirring of the water, whoever stepped in first was healed of whatever disease he had. 5 A certain man was there who had an illness for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been in that condition now a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred. But while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 Immediately the man was healed, took up his bed, and walked. That day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath day. It is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” 11 He answered them, “He who healed me said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have become whole. Sin no more lest something worse happens to you.” 15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 So the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day. 17 Jesus answered them, “My Father is working still, and I am working.” 18 So the Jews sought even more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
The Sick Man Healed…and Scolded!
Verse 2 talks about a pool of water. Invalids would gather around it waiting for an angel to stir the water. Some people think the water had medicinal properties, but I don’t think it did. If that was the case, it would have had healing properties no matter what.
The man mentioned here had been laying by the water for years. He watched closely and when he saw the waters stir, he tried to get there first. But because he had no one to help him get to the water, someone always beat him to it.
Then Jesus came and asked if he wanted to be healed. The man didn’tr realize who Jesus was and explained his situration. He was still looking at what earthly people were able to do.
Jesus told him to get up, pick up his bed, and walk. The man may have doubted. But he did as Jesus saidf and he had been healed!
This healing took place on the Sabbath. When the Jewish leaders saw the man carrying his bed and told him it was unlawful for him to carry his bed on that day. He told them about the man who had told him to do it. The man had broken the Sabbath.
Jesus had already moved on, so the leaders spoke to the man. There he was, all excited about being healed, and he was scolded.
But Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. He said we are to do good. What’s better? Keeping some rules or following Jesus’ lead.
Of course it’s important to set aside a day for rest and worship. It’s good for your physical, mental, and spiritual health. In Luke 14:5, Jesus said, “Which of you having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”
After the man was scolded by the Jewish leaders, Jesus found him again. He told the man to go on his way and “sin no more.”
So the man left and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. This angered them even more because He had healed (done work) on the Sabbath. Not only that, He had also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. They wanted Him dead.
Jesus IS the Messiah
As I’ve said before, John 20:31 says, “But these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
Then in 1 John 5:13 he writes, “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
So the Gospel of John shows us who Jesus is.
We’ve seen some near disasters in the story so far, then the resolutions, and then persecutions coming again.
I think there are four applications we can make in our lives from this.
When You’re All Alone, Look to Jesus for Help
Think about the three Hebrew children (Daniel 3). They were ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar to bow down and worship a false god, which would break the second commandment; no idols. The three, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused.
The whole nation complied, with the exception of these three. The king had ordered that anyone who disobeyed his decree would be thrown into the firey furnace.
After they had been thrown in, the king went and looked inside. Instead of three inside, there were four.
The Bible says the fourth was “like the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:25) I believe it was the Son of God.
When the time came to open the door of the furnace, they came out, their clothes weren’t burned, their eyebrows weren’t singed, and they didn’t even smell like smoke.
They came out unscathed, and God took care of them.
Then there’s Daniel.
The order was given that no one was allowed to pray. Daniel made the decision that he was going to continue to pray just like he always had. Three times a day, he went into an upper room, left the doors and windows open, and talked to God.
The punishment for Daniel’s defiance was to spend the night in the lions’ den.
He was thrown in with no man to help him.
The next day, the king called down to Daniel and asked if his God had been able to save him. Daniel looked up and said, “O king, God sent His angel to shut the lions’ mouths so they have not hurt me.” (Daniel 6)
God took care of him.
We have the story of Jonah.
He was swallowed by a great fish or whale. The animal had been prepared to do something unusual.
Jonah was in the belly of that fish alone for three days. There was no man to help him.
But while in there, Jonah prayed. After three days, the fish “spit him out” on dry ground.
Jonah went on to Nineveh, preached, and there was a great revival.
God took care of him.
When you feel like you’re all alone, look to Jesus for your help.
People have had loved ones pass away for one reason or another. Maybe a father dies while serving his country, leaving behind a wife and kids. Maybe a mother suffers from a terminal illness, and she leaves behind a husband and children. Single parents. It’s difficult to raise children all alone.
But the Bible tells us that God will be a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widows. (Psalm 68:5-6) and God is our comforter (2 Corinthians 1:3)
All over the world, persecuted Christians are facing death seemingly alone. But they aren’t alone. God is with them.
When You Sense God is Prompting You to Do Something Unusual, Act on It
My son and daughter-in-law (Rusty and Brenda) are missionaries in Japan. Something that all missionaries have in common is that it takes money for them to get where they need to go. It takes money for them to be able to survive.
Most countries that missionaries go to will not allow them to take other jobs in their country because it will take jobs away from their citizens. They go to the country under a missionary visa and they have to have that support that comes to them.
Rusty was raised in southern Illinois and Brenda was raised in Oklahoma. Neither were familiar with big cities. God spoke to each of them independently about becoming missionaries. After discussing it together, they understood that He wanted them to go to Japan.
So Rusty, from tiny little Thompsonville, Illinois, and his wife, were told that they needed to secure $108,000 a year.
Many people thought that was an excessive amount and it would make Rusty and Brenda rich.
However, Rhonda and I went to visit them in Japan. While there, we went to the grocery store and decided to buy them a watermelon. When you translated the Japanese amount into American dollars, that watermelon was $40!
So, $108,000 a year was not an excessive amount for them to live on in Japan.
Before leaving, they had to go out to various churches and raise money and get sponsors. They’d go out, and when they came home I would ask how it went. They would say it went great, someone had given them $30. Next time it was $50, then $400. But, those were all one-time offerings.
They just kept going, though.
They started coming back with the news that a couple people had committed to giving them $25 a month, then some people committed a little more.
After about 10 months, they had gotten so much support that they were up to 80% of what they needed. That was a miracle to me!
They made the plans and were able to go.
When God calls you to do something that seems hard or even impossible, do it!
He will bless you for it.
Get to Know Jesus
When the Jewish leaders asked the man who had healed him, he didn’t know. Then Jesus found him. (Aren’t you glad that Jesus comes to us?)
It only takes one offer of salvation for us to turn down, and then it’s on us. I believe that every person, at some point in their life, will have some type of encounter with Jesus.
What about those who have never heard?
Here’s what we know:
If they look up at the stars and realize that there’s a creator, God is going to send them some way to have more light.
What about those that live in countries where they could be killed for converting to Christianity? People have had dreams. In those dreams, Jesus came to them. You may think that it was just a dream, but it was the real Jesus and they accepted Him!
How do I know it was real? Because after they woke up, they tell people that they met Jesus in a dream. They face the loss of their own lives. That’s how I know it’s real. They met Jesus.
I believe that in every person’s life, Jesus, the Savior of the world, will come to them with an offer of salvation. It’s what you choose to do with Jesus that will count when you come to the end of this life.
But it goes beyond that single act of salvation. Get to know God. The man who was healed didn’t know who Jesus was. Jesus came to him, and he got to know Jesus.
How do we get to know Jesus?
One of the ways is through studying the Word of God. You may not have read a book since high school. Reading may be difficult for you.
When we lived in Georgia, we interviewed some parents who wanted to enroll their child in the Christian school we had. Sometime after evening, the pastor asked the father about his salvation experience. The father confessed that he had been intoxicated the night we had visited. But the pastor had shown the man the scriptures and told him how Jesus wanted to save him. That night, he believed.
After that, he became a Bible scholar. He would read a passage of scripture, and see the number at the bottom of the page that represented a corresponding or related verse, so he’d go read that. He told me once that he’d done it for three hours the night before. If he had trouble understanding some words, he would get a dictionary and look them up.
The Word of God is different than any other book. It is a living Word. I believe that if you take it and read just a little bit, search and meditate on it, the Bible says you will have good success.
That’s one of the ways to get to know God.
Another way is to talk to God. You don’t have to use flowery King James language.
Richard Wurmbrand was a Romanian Lutheran priest. He lived in a Communist country and was imprisoned because of his faith. He founded the organization called “The Voice of the Martyrs.”
He sat in a prison cell after having undergone an extensive time of torture. The physical suffering had devastated his mind.
He started trying to pray.
“Our Father, Which art in Heaven. Hallowed be Thy ….” Then he could not remember anymore.
I thought how disheartened I would have been if that had happened to me.
But, then he said, “Suddenly it came to me that it was what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’ I was so happy I could remember what prayer it was. It was like the glory of the Lord came down and filled the prison.
A young boy found a young girl’s name on a messaging site. After looking over her profile, the boy thought she sounded interesting and began to send her messages.
She replied and they chatted back and forth for some time. The more they talked, the more they wanted to know about one another. Finally, the boy asked if he could just call her.
They wanted to know each other better.
Tell Others About Him
An old friend, who has since passed away, often told me that in the past, he didn’t give God credit. Then he got saved and got to know God in such a way that he wasn’t ashamed and didn’t’ care what others thought.
That’s what we all need to do. We need to tell others about Jesus.
There was a football player who would kneel down and pray after getting a touchdown.
Controversies aside, here’s the point. If you know God, if you know Jesus, and you know you’re saved and that your life has been changed, and there’s someone who needs help, they may just need you to tell them where that help is.
They can turn to Jesus.
If you’ve never called upon the Lord, I would say that you need to do that today!
Call upon Him.
Do you feel like you’re all alone? You’re not. Jesus is present. Call upon Him. He can help you in your time of need.