Series on John (Chapter 5: 1-14 )

Do You Want to Be Healed?


If you have a Bible, I invite you to take it and open to John Chapter 5. We will continue our study with a sermon I have titled “Do You Want to be well?

Let’s read together: …

The text tells us that this is the moment of Jesus’ third miracle at another Jewish feast. Most commentaries agree that it probably is not the Passover feast, because the term feast would have been preceded then of the definite article, the and would have said: "Next, there was THE feast of the Jewish. "

Therefore it is not the big feast, but notice that Jesus goes up nevertheless.

What does that tell me? That He was not a worshipper of the four seasons.

Have you already heard this expression? One calls a worshipper of the four seasons a believer who goes to the church only for the all big events of life.

I say today, no one can look like Jesus if he doesn't go regularly to the church. However is it not Jesus that we want to resemble?

Take note how many times the gospels mention that Jesus went to the synagogue or the temple. (Matth 12 :9, 13 :54, Marc 1 :21, 3 :1, 6 :2, Luc 4 :20, 6 :6, Jean 6 :59, 18 :20)

For Him, this was not just an obligation, He found pleasure in going, he did because He loved God.

Oh how I would like to be like Jesus! That I would like my relationship with God to always full of life! That nobody or anything could stop us from going to church.

Jesus, was always ready to worship! That’s the first lesson that I would like us to go home with today.

Then the text tells us that Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Usually, the Jews of a certain rank went up to the temple avoiding the poor neighbourhoods. They preferred to stay far from the beggars, the sick, and the lower class people.

So what path do you suppose Jesus took to the temple? He took the path the others avoided. He took the path by the pool of Bethesda.

Archaeologists tell us that the pool was covered and therefore a natural place for the homeless and the sick to take refuge. Amongst them one could find mostly those that could not work due to an illness or a handicap.

The Bible tells us, they also took shelter there because there was an old belief that said that from time to time an angel came to agitate the water to offer the divine recovery to the first lucky person that dove in the swimming pool.

It’s necessary to understand that the people are there because they have no other hope. They are on the street, either because they have been abandoned by their family due to the fact they were too heavy a burden to carry, or either because they don't have a family anymore.

The sick there were left behind, abandoned by their friends and family. These families had left without ever planning to return.

It’s a lot like the dogs abandoned in the forest at the beginning of every vacation, isn’t it? Like them, these handicapped had become a bother to everyone.

This pool was the pool of the hopeless!

II. Sin will lead you soon or later to that pool

For a lot of these people under the shelter of the Pool of Bethesda, it is because of their sins that they had contracted their diseases.

For our man, it is certainly the case because he has been sick for the past 38 years. Look at verse 14; it confirms this.

Imagine yourself for 38 years unable to move. Could you imagine, for four decades, relying on others to do everything for you? 38 years of depression and not knowing what will become of the next day all because of a great sin in your life.

The sins we have in our lives sometime do the same to us.

Sometimes it is alcoholism. One starts drinking during his youth only on the weekends, to have fun. Then all of a sudden, he drinks more and more and he starts losing his motivation for life, to care for his family, to go to work. Before you know it, he is losing his job, then his friends, and finally his marriage. In the end, he finds himself in the pool of the hopeless!

And for how long? I think of Renaud (The famous French singer who became an alcoholic), of Patrick Swayze and many others that this has happened to.

Sometime a person ends up in this pool because of the love for material possessions. He or she buys more and more, and soon loses control of his or her spending. In the end, that person is overburdened with bankruptcy and collecting agents calling him non-stop. He no longer has money to sustain his family basic needs and he joins the ranks of the hopeless!

We could speak of what happens when we love the flesh, sex, when we become selfish. All the vices that can enslave us, bring us sooner or later to a place like the pool of Bethesda.

When this happens, we are left utterly empty and broken, hoping for a miracle. We long silently for a chance to start over and go about life differently.

But if an opportunity presents itself to us, would we have the strength to seize it? Sometime we are unable because the hold of our sin is so strong.

Some of us may find ourselves in place of this story. Maybe you are here today and you play the game well and from the outside you have the appearance of following Christ and glorifying God, but you know in yourself, you have hit rock bottom. You are in the depths of despair and you do not know how to bring yourself out of it.

Perhaps now you tell yourself that you are a failure because of it?

III. Jesus can help the one who is at the pool of the homeless.

Oh how I love the story of John Chapter 5, because I see there a friend who can change everything.

Jesus does not ignore those who are found in desperation, He does not only visit those who are well. He does not walk on the other side of the street if He sees a beggar. He is better than that and seeks out those in need by going to the pool of Bethesda, the refuge of those in desperation and without hope. Jesus comes to me to offer His help when I am distressed and in need.

Look at what Jesus has to offer in this text. His help is greater than all the world has to offer. With him, there is no fake miraculous remedy (Probably like the one of the pool of Bethesda)

He offers to break the chains that bind us, to break the hold that the devil has on us and to free us from our sins. Jesus has the power to repair my life and restore my perceptions that have become twisted with the mal intentions of the world.

He speaks of a way that we can be healed in Matthew 11:28-29 “…”

Do you see how Jesus offers us His help? He said that He is gentle and humble in the manner He would take our life into His hands. He offers healing to all.

IV. But do we want to get out of our hole?

Attention though, because there is a question that we must respond to before we can benefit from His help. We can find it in John 5:6 “Do You Want to be Healed?”

Is it not a bizarre question? At a glance, one might say who would not want to be healed when he is desperate and at the end of his rope? Yet Jesus asks this question to a man who has been bedridden for the past 38 years and says he wants a miracle.

This is really bizarre, as if you had found a car accident, with somebody trapped by the wreckage and you ask them: “Do you want me to call the ambulance?” Even more if the victim is bleeding profusely and the car is on fire and ready to explode.

If your marriage is ready to fall to pieces, if each day you have a heated argument with you spouse, and you are suffering; would it make sense to ask “Do you want a happy marriage?”

If you have a physical illness that has for many years rendered you incapable to do anything and someone asks you “Do you want to get better?” What would you think?

At first glance, I found the question to be idiotic! Although it Jesus that asks this question and Jesus does not ask stupid questions.

So let’s look a little deeper at the personality of the paralytic beside the pool; because it is maybe his personality that could motivate such a question.

    We know that it is because of his continual sinning that he is still sick.

    According to other passages we know that God punishes those who refuse to repent. (1 Corinthiens 11 :30-31)

    In verses 10 and 11, the Jewish leaders ask the paralytic why he picked up his mat and carried it on the Sabbath, to this he responds “…” Did he not have a choice? Why did he not take part in the responsibility and respond “It’s because I wanted to be healed” It seems that wanted to say more that it wasn’t his fault.

    It’s as if he was a victim.

I am not sure if my deduction is exact, but I do know that those who are at the bottom tend to blame others for their problems. When they are finally made to face the consequences of their actions, they generally say that it was unjust and that they have not done anything wrong to deserve it. It is always the fault of another.

The question of Jesus is therefore an introspection question. Before Jesus helps those he meets He asks them “Do you want to get out of your hole? Are you willing to manage your sin problem?”

In other terms “I Want to help you in your weakness, but it is necessary that you first of all must be willing to change certain things in your life.” John 5:14 shows this is what Jesus probably meant.

The question of Jesus brings forth a question that we often ignore. We often have the desire to change, but without having to work at it. We desire to see the results of change in our life, but we are often unwilling to sacrifice anything. As soon as the efforts become difficult we lose our inspiration to act.

Jesus says in this verse, proclaiming to all who will listen, “Face yours weakness, take responsibility for your sins and sin no more!”

You see he can heal your helplessness, but are we willing to admit our moral failure and beg for his help? Psalm 32:5 advises us to do so.


Today I say that if we continue to fight against our sins alone, nothing will change.

So, It is necessary to ask this question “Do you want to be healed?”

He asks me the same question, what will be my response today?