Man Healed at Bethesda (Journey 16)

We start in John 5:1-47, which is where Jesus has journeyed from Capernaum, passed through to Jerusalem, and onto Bethesda.

In a nutshell: Jesus goes up to Jerusalem for a feast, on the Sabbath. He heals a man with a thirty-eight-year-old infirmity. The Jews rebuke the man for carrying his bed on the Sabbath Day. After being found by Jesus in the Temple, the man tells the Jews who healed him. This enrages them, so they try with effort to kill Jesus. In a long discourse, Jesus reveals the secret of His Ministry.

Jesus came to Jerusalem for a feast, which was on the Sabbath Day. While visiting, He saw a pool where many blind and crippled people gathered around hoping to find healing. One of them asked Jesus for help, not to heal him necessarily (as this man did not know Jesus or who He was), but assist him to get inside the pool. Jesus responded otherwise by healing him instantly, and as that took place on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders became anxious to know who had done this.

Jesus urged the healed man to repent for his wrongdoing, as his troubles must have partly been the cause of wrongdoing of some kind. However, the man was so glad that he actually reported Jesus to the authorities that were looking for Him, and therefore, when they accused Jesus of breaking Sabbath Laws, He replied that His Father also works on the Sabbath.

Every day, the Father maintains the world, and cares for the creatures of the world; making the sun rise, rain fall, grass to grow, etc. on the Sabbath—which doesn’t break the Law. Jesus is united with His Father, and does not sin when He carries out mercy on the Sabbath. The Jews objected to Him even stronger, because they did not understand, especially when He said God was His Father.

Jesus told them that the work of the Father and Son are united, and they are separate, but one God (referring to two parts of the Trinity nonetheless). In healing on the Sabbath, Jesus was not acting against God’s Commands, but rather, being obedient to what He wanted. Because Jesus is God, He would do even greater works than this, including resurrecting the dead and bringing in final judgment.

Those who reject the Son reject and dishonor God; however, those who receive the Son pass immediately from spiritual death to Spiritual Life. When the dead are raised for final judgment, the Son will be the One to Judge them. However, there will be no condemnation for those who have received Life in Jesus Christ! This is a good bulk of the good news the Gospel entails!

Jesus simply acts with God’s authority; however, He would not give evidence on His own behalf in convincing the Jews, because God was His Witness, and Jesus accepted His Witness when the Jews refused. God as His Witness requires no other witnesses; however, the Jews wanted Earthly witnesses, which were available. Jesus decided to give them three, which would satisfy their requirements for witnesses, according to the Jewish Law found in Deuteronomy 19:15.

The first witness would be John the Baptist, whose announcement of the Coming of the Messiah was as an introduction of a lamp in a dark room—to which, people first welcomed Him; however, when they saw that He was calling them to turn from sin, they became disinterested. Many people did not recognize the truly spiritual reward for leaving things they loved to do, even if it did violate the Law.

The second witness was the Work of Jesus, to which, His Miracles were powerfully visible proof of the Presence and Power of the invisible God. Then again, though, the Jews couldn’t care less in believing what He was saying.

The third witness was the Old Testament Scriptures; what the Jews studied most diligently, because they thought keeping such commandments granted them Eternal Life. However, their studies did not lead them to accept the Savior of the world that the Scriptures actually pointed. Their unbelief will cost them eternal life, unless they accept Him now as Savior of the world.

The Jews typically looked for praise for their activities; however, Jesus did not. The Jews would welcome those who called themselves teachers; however, they couldn’t care less about those whom God appointed. Jesus would like for them to understand The Law of Moses’ real meaning, instead of arguing the rules and regulations.

They would welcome Jesus wholeheartedly, if they would open their eyes to see He is the Real Messiah! This Divine Being, Jesus Christ, is the Messiah—to whom; His Disciples are starting to realize it well in their hearts. Per the Jews’ rejection of Jesus, they are also rejecting Moses, as well as being condemned for the very things of the Law.

What can we learn from this?

All of us, in general, are immature in spiritual things; however, full provision is made to cure us of this, and that is our Messiah. Because many are spiritually blind, they need provision to unlock that darkness so that it may be removed, to which, they can see the Savior. Those that are so pained and afflicted now have a Healer, who is also our Savior, who is willing to touch us and provide healing. We can live more freely with our Savior helping us, which is part of the value of having such a Savior.

People place such value on things that are visible, but neglect spiritual things. However, those who do not neglect spiritual things will recognize the full value of spiritual things, and be able to access the Divine Benefits because of it. The Grace of God is sufficient for us to be able to have healing glory overspread our lives, so that we may thrive on our testing ground.

Christ saw it necessary to caution the man to repent, as being free from sin is part of His Will for us. Christ spoke of the wrath to come, and it is necessary for us to repent and move forward in His Will rather than continue one in condemnation. People that are loosed of the bondage of sin have the potential to return to their sin like a dog to his vomit (2 Peter 2:17-22; Proverb 26:11)—but Christ does not want this to occur, so He says, “Go and sin no more.”

The Divine Power of the miracle Jesus conducted proved Him the Son of God, which, we must declare Him the same per the miracles He provides, because He is the Divine One who makes intercession for us. Honor the Son and commit your plans unto Him just as the Son committed His Plans to the Father.

We need to do as we see Jesus doing, just as Jesus saw His Father doing. In all His Obedience to the Father, we must be obedient to our Lord as well; doing as He does and becoming more Christlike day by day.

Our Lord’s authority is as the Messiah, and the time was, is, and will continue to come when the dead should hear His Voice as the Son of God and have New Life and Life more abundantly.

Those in condemnation need to be rescued from the darkness and into His Marvelous Light, and live! Oh that we may all continue to hear His Voice and be continually drawn to His Immense and Infinite Power, so that we may recognize His Glory and Glorify Him even more!

Lastly, those that search the Scriptures must search diligently, not for how to improve their life by rules and regulations, but by recognizing that Christ is the Messiah proclaimed all through the Scriptures and see His Glory before us as He heals, saves, and frees the captives of bondage and condemnation.

Many people would like to keep it easy: “If I could just follow rules and regulations, I will guarantee myself a good life and live forever, because obedience to rules and regulations is easy.”

Instead, Jesus wants us to say, “All the Scriptures point to Jesus, who is the Savior, the One who forgave our sins and frees us from being captives of the Law; because the Law brings sin and death, but Christ brings life and life more abundantly.”

If such people would recognize the value of the Savior Jesus Christ, they would be freed of bondage to the Law and be able to live life eternally as they wish. If we’re going to reap the reward of everlasting life, we must do it the right and only way: Through Christ!