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Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx

Episode 86 · 8 months ago

Do You Want To Be Healed?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Do You Want To Be Healed?

John 5:1-15

Dax Bryant - Preaching

Amen. Sometimes what you think is your biggest problem isn't really your biggest problem. Ever experience that? Sometimes what you think is your biggest problem isn't really your biggest problem. I'll share a story to hopefully illustrate that point. It's probably been close to twenty years ago now, before we had kids. Anyway, Sarah and I were moving from Oregon to Iowa of all places, in the middle of winter. Not Smart for a new for new job, and we were traveling through the Great State of Wyoming. And we woke up in Wyoming that one morning and found thick ice on the roads and I just thought, oh no, we're going to have to wait around and be delayed. We were kind of in a on a tight schedule to get there for a job I was starting, and so we had to wait around. We had a, you know, second breakfast and hung around and it was three or four hours before we got on the road and we finally headed out at a snail's pace. I'd seen a couple of cars go off the freeway already, so I was being slow, but on what felt like literally the last hill out of the Rockies, I was going faster than I wanted to be. I was in the U haul truck. Sarah was behind me in our car and, not knowing any better to slow down, I down shifted the rear wheel drive truck to a lower gear. That's a bad idea it I immediately started going to the right, which was a steep dropoff. Didn't want to go that way, so I corrected, maybe overcorrected, to the left. Somehow in the middle of that, the rear two tires blew out and spun the you haul around so that now I was traveling backwards, but I could see my wife right there. And then the the wheels caught the edge of the median. The truck went on its side, skidded to a halt and I was left hanging there by my seat belt in midair. Oh, but it gets worse. The trucks that were coming over the top of the hill that we had just come down saw our you haul in the middle of the road. Somebody had helped me out by then and I was safely in our car, was Sarah. But the truck that sought, the Semitruck, he slamed on his brakes. He jackknifed across both lanes of the freeway, and then the next truck came and saw the same thing and hit and then the next truck and then the next truck, and I don't know how many. Mean the sounds of the collisions were awful, but it must have been nine hundred and ten trucks by the time we were all done. There was a ninety miles stretch of highway that was shut down with something like a hundred and twenty accidents. So we found a hotel to stay out because all of our stuff, what was left of it, was in that truck and it turned out when the wreck happened the frame of the truck was bent. So you all wanted to tow the truck cleared a Denver with our stuff in it, and we had to stay in Laramie, Wyoming for three days, dozens of phone calls, going back and forth with with you, haul hundreds of dollars spent to try to get our stuff on a truck so we could get on our way. And you know, I thought I had a problem when I woke up that morning and we were delayed by three hours. Three days later we got back on the road. Turn out had a much bigger problem I wasn't aware of. You had right sometimes what you think is your biggest problem isn't really your biggest problem. Now that illustration, it falls short of what we read about in the passage here this morning and John Chapter Five. It's not as severe as this situation with this man, but I think the lesson is the same, because the man who encounters Jesus in this story, in John Chapter Five, he thinks he knows what his biggest problem is, but...

...in reality he has a much bigger problem. But before we get into that, let's let's put this passage into its context here. Last time that we were in John's Gospel a couple of weeks ago, we finished up chapter four and if you remember, chapter four ended a short Little Unit of John's Gospel called the Cana cycle that began in chapter two. Now, as we come to chapter five, we enter into another little bit bigger section of this book that starts here in Chapter Five and goes through most of chapter ten and sometimes this section of John's Gospel is called the festival cycle. The festival cycle, as you might imagine, because most of the action that takes place in these chapters is centered around these different Jewish festivals that take place. And one other factor that that is in this section to is that there isn't a building opposition and increasing hostility toward Jesus from the religious authorities. And and as we'll see, that that begins to build right here in this story this morning. Now also, we want to remember every one of these stories in John's Gospel is handpicked by John for a specific purpose. It's designed so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. That's John Twenty, verse Thirty One. That is the overarching purpose statement of this entire Gospel. So, in light of that purpose statement, why is this story included here? Well, it's fairly simple, isn't it? This is a another miraculous healing performed by Jesus. In fact, it's the third sign of John's Gospel. Remember how we're going to see seven signs in John's Gospel. This is the third one. This is further proof of his divinity, that he is the son of God. But, as we will also see, there is something different about this miracle than the one that we saw last time we were in John's Gospel, at the end of Chapter Four. Something different about these two miracles. So let's turn our attention here to John Five. This story unfolds in five stages. I guess you could say this is a reformed sermon because it's going to have five points. So let's look at this here. So the first stage is really in verses one through five, and it reveals a hopeless condition. Okay, so this is stage one, a hopeless condition. John Five, verse one. After this, there was a feast of the Jews and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. So so after this, that is some time after the healing of the officials son in Copernam. Now we're not told how much time has passed since the end of chapter four, nor are we told exactly which feast this is. This first verse here simply explains what Jesus is doing back in Jerusalem. Now. He went there for the purpose of attending this feast. Verse Two. Now there is in Jerusalem, by the Sheep Gate, a pool in Aramaic Call Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty eight years. Now, if you're following along in your Bible, you might have noticed something that we need to briefly mention. Look back at verse for for just a minute. Oh, but there is no verse for Right. Unless you're using a King...

James Bible, you'll have a verse for in there. Why not? What's going on with this missing verse four, while you probably have a footnote in your Bible that explains it, so I won't go into too much detail. Simply put the the oldest and most reliable manuscripts that we have don't include verse four, meaning that it seems to be something that was added in later by a scribe copying the at the text in an attempt to kind of flesh out and give more detail and context to what's happening in this story. Before you start to panic and and question the trustworthiness of Your Bible, you need to know that there's no reason for alarm, because this passage is about the person and the work of Jesus Christ and that still called missing verse doesn't affect the meaning of this text at all and in any event, will get to this. The substance of what's missing in verse four is alluded to in verse seven. Like I said, we'll get there soon. Enough. So that's that's all I'll say about that for now. If you're confused or or curious or want to know more about textual variations in ancient manuscripts, that I'm sure that Ed would be happy to stick around after the service and explain all of that to you. But for now let's let's get back to the scene here in verse five. A hopeless condition, right, a hopeless condition. So Jesus. He's back in Jerusalem for this feast and he makes a point to visit this pool called Bethesda that is near the sheep gate, right along the wall of the city, and this is just to the north of the temple and the and the grounds around the temple. Bethesda means something like house of mercy, by the way. Now the the archeological ruins of this place have been excavated and sure enough there are two large pools that are evident to see. There are four colonnades, one on each side of those two pools and a fifth colonnade that went between the two pools and divided them. So it's just just like the text describes here. And a colonnade, if you don't know what that is, that's just a big covered porch, right and and the that's important because a big covered porch like this created a lot of shade, which was necessary because lane all around the pool. Verse Three tells us was a multitude of invalids, blind, lame and paralyzed, and of course they're gathered there, they're they're waiting to be healed because this superstition had developed. That that that missing. Verse Four mentions that whenever the water in the pool was was stirred up, when they could see it moving, and they thought it was an angel stirring up the water, but it was that turns out there's a spring that fed into the pool that would disturb the water, but when the waters moved, so it was believed the first person to enter into the pool would be healed. And there's a multitude, I don't know, dozens, hundreds, a multitude of people around this pool desperately waiting to be healed. And I want you to see how Jesus Wades right into the midst of this Sea of hopeless humanity with all of their diseases and disabilities and defects. I mean, can you imagine the sights and the sounds? Chris, you guys are getting ready to go to India. The smells of a place like this. If there was ever a place that was unclean, this is it. and Jesus comes right in the middle of it. And we just...

...need to think about that for a minute, right because we are reminded every day that we live in what we could call, at best, a broken world. And not only that, not only is our world broken out there, but our own individual condition in here is hopeless. But but the good news is, just like Jesus walked into the brokenness of Bethesda, he walks right into your life. He meets you right where you are in your brokenness. So don't, don't miss that. And as Jesus enters into this pool area and he stands there, seemingly unnoticed, surveying the miserable heap of humanity who is just gathered around, laying around that pool, he settles his gaze on one of the worst cases, a man, the text says, who had been an invalid for thirty eight years. Anybody in here thirty eight years old? By chance in the back there Christians, thirty eight years old? No, no, Nay, David, I by that thirty eight years old. For Perspective thirty eight years ago was one thousand nine hundred and eighty four for a long time, not that you're old, but that's a long time. Notice notice for six when Jesus saw him lying there and knew somehow, he knew that he had already been there a long time. He said to him, do you want to be healed now? I want us to see a couple of things here. First of all, noticed that Jesus chooses this man. Here he is. He's surrounded by, however, many, a multitude of people in very similar hopeless conditions. Some are blind, summer, lame, summer paralyzed, and just like all those other people, this man can do nothing for himself. And so Jesus comes to him. Jesus selects this man to extend his healing grace towards. Why Him? Why not someone else? Why not that guy over there? Why not everyone? You'd have to ask Jesus about that, but what's clear is that he chooses this man by his own sovereign initiative and no reason is given for his choice. But it's a good illustration and a good reminder that if Jesus has healed you from your own spiritual paralysis, that salvation is something he initiates, that's something he provides, that's something he gives. That's that's the first thing I want you to see. The second and really this is the next stage of the of the story. I want to focus in on this, this question that Jesus asks of this man, and it's a surprising question, isn't it? Do you want to be healed? This is stage two, a surprising question. It's surprising. And not only that, if we're being honest, doesn't it seem a little silly? Do you want to be healed? I mean there are some questions that you just don't ask right. Never ask a woman if she's pregnant right. Never ask a hunter where his favorite spot is. Never yell out to somebody WHO's got their head under the the hood of their car on the side of the road if they're having car trouble. All right, there's some questions you just don't need to ask and I have to admit in all of my experience with hospital bedside visits, I've never thought to ask do...

...you want to be healed? And I don't know if I would have thought to ask this man that question either. And maybe because that's a little bit of the cynic in me, but I imagine asking that question to someone like this, you would get a response of do I want to be healed? No, no, I'm just out here for the sun and fresh air. Thanks very much. He's been laying by this pool for thirty eight years. Of of course he wants to be healed. Right, why else would he be there? And to even ask him the question it seems almost cruel. And yet, and yet, from the lips of our Lord, this surprising question is the very question that this man needs to hear, because it's possible, isn't it, that after such a long time in this hopeless condition, he had grown accustomed to that, he had grown dependent upon the help of others, he had grown cold to the possibility of of getting better and having to re enter society and provide for himself. So the question isn't so silly after all. This man's biggest problem is not his physical paralysis. It's much deeper than that. And here he is. He's in the presence of the only one who can actually heal him. But it's possible for him to not really desire that healing because of the necessary changes that would mean for his life? Do you want to be healed? Do you realize that is the exact same question that Jesus asks each and every one of you? Do you want to be healed? Not Physically, necessarily, but definitely spiritually, because it's possible, isn't it, to think, to even say you want to be healed but deep down to not really want that after all because of the changes it might necessarily mean for your life? You know what I'm saying. It's possible to gather regularly with the people of God, to to sit under the teaching of God's word, to take all that in and then still reject the spiritual healing that Jesus offers. The question that Jesus asks this man is the very same question that the Gospel confronts each and every one of us with. Jesus is able to save you, he's able to transform your life, to heal you from spiritual paralysis. But the question is, do you want that? Do you want to be healed? You may you may like the idea of what that looks like from a distance, all these nice people who seem to have their lives together, but when you get up close and you realize what following Jesus Christ actually means counting the cost. Dying to yourself, picking up your cross, Hating your sin, forsaking the world. Well, you have to ask yourself, is that what I really want? Do you want to be healed? Now? If you're here this morning and you're not a believer, first of all we're glad you're here, but you have to realize...

...this is the question Jesus is asking you. Do you want to be healed? Do you really want to be forgiven of your sin and made new? Because if you want that, Jesus can do that right now. He can heal you right now. He can save you right now if you cry out to him. But if you keep stiff arming Jesus, even though maybe you you come to this place, you've heard the Gospel, you have a knowledge of who Jesus is and what he's done, but you're keeping him at arm's length, that is that is you choosing to remain spiritually paralyzed. You don't want to be healed, you don't really desire Jesus and there are severe eternal consequences for that. And also, if you're here this morning and you are a believer in Jesus Christ, we're also glad that you're here, but this is the ongoing question that Jesus asks of you also. Do you realize that, because the longer you're a Christian, unless it's just me, the more painfully aware you become of the areas in your life where you need healing? But the same question remains for you. Do you want to be healed? And in the life of a believer, I'm talking about things. I mean there's many things, but it could be things like bitterness or unresolved conflict or feelings that we keep pushed down, situations that we avoid dealing with, thin that remains unconfessed, things that you may be able to hide, in fact, very well, but things that are nevertheless affecting your life, hindering your spiritual growth, damaging your relationship with God and your relationships with other people, that that will take a toll on you eventually, even if for now it appears like you're doing all the right things. So, for the Christian, the question is the same. Do you want to be healed? Do you want these things in your life to be resolved? Do you want to be continually transformed into the image of Jesus, even if that is uncomfortable and embarrassing and leaves a mark at times. Do you want to be healed? Do you? So you see this, this surprising question that Jesus asks, which seems silly and maybe even unnecessary at first, is actually spot on, not just for the man in his story, but it's the most important question you face if you don't follow Jesus. Do you want to be healed? And it's a question that remains relevant even after you follow Jesus. Do you want continued healing? Do you want the the release and the fullness and the joy that comes with having reconciliation between you and God and between you and others? And I could probably stop the sermon right there. I won't, but I could, because this question also applies to US corporately as a church, doesn't it? It's not just an individual question. We can also ask ourselves, do we want to be healed? And if we ask that question, doesn't that mean that we have problems here at Grace Bible Church? Of course we do. Every church has problems. But in the face of those problems, the question we have to ask is, do we church, all of us together, do we want to be healed? Because if we do do?...

That means things won't stay the same. Your homes won't say the same, your marriage is won't say the same, your children won't stay the same, your friendships won't stay the same, your priorities, your schedules, they won't say the same. Our Church won't stay the same. That's a good thing. That's the question we need to wrestle with. Do we want to be healed, do we want to be made better, or do we want to stay the same? So how does this sick man respond to this surprising question that Jesus asks? For seven Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up and while I am going, another steps down before me. It seems he does want to be healed at some level. The problem in his mind is that he can't do it himself, no matter how badly he wants to get to the pool, he can't do it on his own right. He needs outside help. And again, if only we could see that clearly when it comes to our own need for healing. We might we might say that we want healing right, but we like to think that that's something we can take care of ourselves, don't I owe. I know that's a problem, but I will worry about that in my own time on my own terms. My friend, I do not think you know what you're asking for. You do not want to leave your spiritual condition to be dealt with on your timing and your terms. Here this man is again. He's in the presence of the only one who can actually heal him and he's caught up in his own efforts to try and save himself. What can I do? He's caught up in religious mysticism and superstition. He's got to get into this pool and he's even blaming others that he is stuck in this hopeless condition. And in Verse Eight, it's almost like Jesus doesn't wait for the man to to finished kind of giving all of his excuses. Jesus said to him get up, take up your bed and walk. It's a powerful command. This is stage three of this story. A powerful command, because step back for a minute and just ask who can say to a man who's been paralyzed for thirty eight years get up, take up your bed and walk? But this is the power of Jesus. But again we're talking about the son of God who created all things. We're talking about the man who would go on to defeat death when he rose and walked out of the Tomb. And it's this same Jesus who's now standing in front of this man, once again showing his power to bring forth life, this time by commanding muscles and joints that have been atrophied for decades, nearly four decades, and commanding them to get up and walk. It doesn't really sound like he's giving the man a choice here. This is a command. And and do you see the connection again? For you, friends, this is the same Jesus who looks at your hopeless condition, who alone has the power to bring your dead, atrophied heart to life. Without Jesus, your heart would be no more able to come alive than this man's legs would be able to walk. Do you understand? In this story, we are the invalids, we are the the blind and the lame and the paralyzed, and and we will remain...

...in that hopeless condition until and in less Jesus powerfully intervenes here. It's by the means of just a simple spoken word, but it's also a powerful command that brings about an immediate result. Notice their verse nine and at once. The man was healed and he took up his bed and walked. The is healing is complete, an instant and patently obvious. The proof of the total physical transformation of this man can be plainly seen by all. Crippled for thirty eight years and in one glorious instant he's walking into the city carrying his bedroll over his shoulder. That the power of Jesus's command here is beyond dispute. And then notice the end of verse nine, almost like an oh, by the way, now that day was the sabbath. Now that day was the sabbath. It's signals a shift in the story here, because it sets up what's going to happen next. Now, listen, if a man has been paralyzed for thirty eight years and he is a fixture at a place like the pool of Bethesda, mean you can guarantee everyone in Jerusalem knew who this guy was. They knew what he looked like, they knew his name, and so when they see him strolling through town, maybe even singing and leaping for joy like the crippled man who got healed in acts three, I don't know, but they see him in this new state. What do you imagine their reaction would be? What would they say to him when they recognized who he was and what must have happened to bring the about? What are the first words out of their mouths verse ten. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed. It is the Sabbath and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed. Not Amazing. Here they have a living, breathing, walking miracle right in front of their eyes. There's no question about the healing. Notice, there's no there's no denying what they can plainly see. And the the Jews here, which is a way John often refers to the religious authorities, they can think of one thing in light of this. It's the Sabbath. What do you think you're doing? It's the Sabbath. Instead of joyfully celebrating with this man, they respond with bitter opposition. That's stage four of this story. Bitter opposition. Now here's the thing. Let's try to give credit where credits to due. The attempt of these religious leaders to protect the observance of the Sabbath in obedience to God's Law is commendable. However, in these noble efforts to protect the Sabbath. The way they do that is by adding prohibitions and restrictions and regulations to God's word. Their philosophy, as I've said before, is we know the line is here, we don't want to cross that lineer get anywhere near it, so we're going to build a wall way back here to keep us from ever even coming close to that line. And let me save you some time. If you wanted to go home this afternoon and scour the Old Testament, you will not find a verse that says no bed carrying on the Sabbath. It's not there.

What you will find is a restriction against work on the Sabbath, work meaning what you normally do for a living. This man isn't breaking God's law, but he is breaking what man has added to God's law. You see, it's like it's like these guys are writing a book on the Sabbath, called the Sabbath and how not to break it, and Jesus is writing a book on the Sabbath right before their eyes, called the Sabbath and how to enjoy it. Two very different ways to come at this, but but this is what legalism does. It kills joy. These guys didn't care anything about this man or his condition or his healing or what's next for him. All they cared about was no bed carrying on the Sabbath. How could they be like that? Do you know anyone like that? Do you know any Christians like that? Let me let me confess something to you. Sometimes on Sunday mornings I can I can get so caught up and wanting to make sure that everything's running smoothly as it should, that it can cause everything else to fade into the background and I have to remind myself consciously that what is important is being here worshiping God together with all of you. That's what matters, not how how slick the service comes across. And I suspect the same phenomenon can happen to you as you're sitting there in the seats. If you're not careful, you can come here week after week, sit in that same spot that you always like to sit in and then start trying to evaluate if the service was good for you or not. Did I like the music? Was the sermon too long? Was the temperature in the room just right? And I last week we didn't even have heat right. But but on a normal week there's a there's a low key thermostat war that unfolds every Sunday, if you're not aware of that. But my point is we're trying to decide how things are going and worry about what am I getting out all of this, and we never take the time to wonder, first of all, if God is pleased with our worship. But we also remain unconcerned about the person sitting in front of you or behind you or across the room for you, the person who you've seen a lot but you can't quite remember their name. We don't bother to ever, we don't get there in terms of how we might minister to that person, how we might serve that person, what encouragement they might need, what what love we might show them. You see, we're in the story. We're not just the invalids, we're not just the blind and lame and paralyzed. Far Too often we're also like the religious leaders in this story, judging other people, unfairly, concerned about all the wrong things, missing the forests for the trees. So this man celebration. It's cut short. He finds himself in the cross hairs of the religious authorities, of these rule writers, and they say to him. You can't carry your bad on the Sabbath. Verse Eleven. But he answered them the man who healed me, that man said to me, take up your bed and walk. Now that sounds like blame shifting to you. I think you're right. I think this man doesn't want any trouble with the authorities and so he tries to duck responsibility on this and he cast the blame for breaking this law on the one who healed him. Now, of course, to the religious leaders, the person...

...who's out there telling other people to break their laws is far more dangerous than the occasional person who might actually break a lot. And so, in verse twelve, they ask him who is this man who said to you, take up your bed and walk. And then, if you can believe this now, the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn as there was a crowd in the place. So they demand to know the identity of this healer, but the man has no idea. Is that incredible? I find that incredible. You would think he would at least have gotten the name of the man who healed his legs. And even beyond that, there's not even a record here in the text of this man saying thank you or or showing any sort of gratitude or or joy. And and you compare this man's response here in chapter five to what we sought the end of chapter four with the official and how his response is described, how how it is explicitly pointed out that he believed in Jesus, and I think we see a difference now. We're told that Jesus slipped away right after this healing because of the crowds, and that's for obvious reasons, right. The crowds pressing in. They're always wanting more signs, more wonders. Perhaps even, as we'll see when we get the chapter six, they want to demand that he be their king, and that's not on the agenda for Jesus at this point. Just this one healing of this one man would be sufficient to accomplish Jesus's purpose is here. Or unless you think that this bitter opposition caught Jesus off guard, that he wasn't expecting it, which is which is crazy. Right, Jesus knows exactly what he's doing and in fact it is this very action that really begins in earnest his March to the cross. We'll look at this more next time, Lord Willing. But but notice, just look down your page at verse eighteen for a moment. This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the sabbath, but he was even calling God his own father, making himself equal with God. In John's Gospel, the increasing hostility and hatred that will ultimately lead to the son of God being murdered starts right here. This, this healing, is incredible proof that Jesus is divine, something that Jesus will later attest to with his words. Will see that next week. But this miracle also triggers a bitter opposition, and were reminded that wherever Jesus is at work, you should expect there to be opposition. Wherever Jesus is growing his kingdom, growing his people, expanding his rule, the enemy will fight that every step of the way. So don't be surprised, believer, if you are growing in Christ that you will encounter opposition. Don't be surprised, as you go and seek to make the message of the Gospel known, that you will encounter opposition. You can count on it. It always happens and if you're never encountering any opposition, well then you have to evaluate how closely you are following Christ right. And that brings us to the fifth and final stage of this story, and it's found in Jesus's response in verse fourteen. This is stage five, a challenging exhortation, a challenging exhortation verse fourteen. Afterward,...

Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, see, you are well. Sin No more, that nothing worse may happen to you now. The commentaries I read are divided about what Jesus is saying here. Is he saying that this man's condition, this paralysis, was in fact a consequence of his sin? Because that is sometimes the case in scripture, right, though not always, and I think that is what he is saying in this case. But ultimately the point is Jesus connects the physical healing, see you are well, with the urgent need now for spiritual reformation. Sin No more, that nothing worse may happen to you. The real issue here isn't the man's health, it's His Holiness. That's why Jesus seeks him out in the temple to say to him. The reason that I healed you is for the purpose of making you holy. It wasn't just his legs that needed healing, it was his heart. Jesus's aim in the healing of this man's body was the healing of this man's soul, and so he warns him stop sinning now, because the healing that you really need is spiritual. And if you miss this opportunity, Jesus seems to be saying, there is something a whole lot worse than being paralyzed for thirty eight years. There is the eternal judgment of God for unrepentant sinners. So this is a challenging exhortation that Jesus puts forth in front of this man, and the man's response, I think, is rather shocking. Verse Fifteen, the man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him, and I think it's hot. For me anyway, it's hard to believe that his motives are innocent here, that he's just trying to give Jesus credit where he earned it, because the religious leaders had already made it abundantly clear that they were bitterly opposed to this. They were looking for this man's name and the second he has the name, he goes and tells them, and I don't think that's overreading the text because again, if we compare what's here to what's at the end of chapter for with the explicit belief that's pointed out as a response, well, at the at the bare minimum, we can confidently say that there is no evidence in this text that this man repented and believed in Jesus. You'd have to make an inference there, and I'm not sure it's warranted. This man encountered Jesus, he heard his words, he experienced his power, he listened to his warning and, from what we can tell, he walked away. He went on his way, which should be a wake up call for all of us. This man he woke up on this morning thinking that his biggest problem was that he was paralyzed, but Jesus tells him you have a much bigger problem than that. Sometimes what you think is your biggest problem isn't really your biggest problem. And now that's not to minimize whatever troubles that you're going through right now, whether that be arguments with your spouse or wayward children, conflicts at work, financial difficulties, uncertainty, fear about the future, in the state of the world. Those are all real problems, but you do need to keep an eternal perspective, especially when life doesn't seem to be going your way, because what you think might be your biggest problem isn't really your biggest problem.

The biggest problem that we are all faced with is that our sin against God means eternal separation from God. So the question remains, then. Do you want to be healed? Are you ready to not just put your sin in second place, but to put your sin to death? Is that the desire of your heart to be to be made free from sin, to be declared righteous in Christ? And how does that work when you when you seem to be stuck in a pattern of sin, when you find yourself saying, one more time, this is the last time that I'll do this, I promise. Well, guess what? If you're relying on yourself, if you're relying on your own power, if you're relying on your own strength, if you're relying on your own checklist of things is that you have to do, that will not heal you. It may make you feel a little better about yourself for a little while, until you fail, because you will fail and at that point, putting a bandaid on a paralyzed man, or, more biblically speaking, put in a bandaid on a dead man, will do nothing. Instead, you have to place your entire trust in the only one who has ever lived completely free from sin. You have to put your entire trust in the only one who has conquered sin and death, proved by his resurrection from the dead. You have to trust in the Healing Balm of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only remedy to soothe your suffering soul. And that means, my friends, your life will not and cannot stay the same. Your love for Christ has to, it necessarily will eclipse your love for the world, but also your love for self. You are to treasure Jesus above all else, and your heart's desire should be to flee from sin and to run to Jesus, to be made like him, because only he can give you that desire, only he can give you that ability. And we're right back to the question we've been aske skin. Do you want to be healed? Do you want your fears and your weaknesses and your brokenness to be healed? Do you want to be healed of your spiritual paralysis. There's only one way that happens. You must turn from your sin and turn toward Christ. He is the only one who can heal you completely. And if God is for us, who can be against us? Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of Christ. These things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in his name. Let's pray, father. I pray that, as your spirit exposes those areas in our life where we need healing, that we would not place ourself in charge of that, that we would look to your son, Jesus, the the great physician, the only one who can bring about the healing we truly need. To please, father, we ask that you would do that work in us and then enable us to be instruments of healing towards others, all for the glory of your...

...name. We pray Amen.

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