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No Swimming Allowed

John 5:1 Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches.3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” 7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” 8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” 9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!

Man's poor attempt to figure out how to get things done causes us to embrace many man-made remedies. All of which, fail miserably and continue to disappoint. This man had been lying by the pool of Bethesda for thirty-eight years waiting for the water to bubble and then he could jump in and "hopefully"get healed. Thirty-eight years of hope and conjecture had kept him going, but he was not healed as yet.

Then enter Jesus, the Son of God! In verse 7 the man says the following after Jesus asks him if he wants to be healed. 7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Conventional wisdom of the day believed that the pool caused those who were afflicted to get healed when bubbles appeared and that was the solution for the malady of those who had gathered for healing. Jesus walks right up to the lame man in the verses above and asks one question "Would you like to get well?" Jesus didn't say "Can I help you swim in the pool when it bubbles?" Jesus also didn't say "What's your sign?" Or he didn't say "I heard a man of god dipped his foot in this pool so you should find healing here because of that historical event."

Jesus said something quite a bit more direct and those words were “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” No superstitious beliefs to "maybe" cause the man to walk after 38 years. Just the words of the Son of God. Stand up! The end result of that man following the instruction from Jesus was 9 Instantly, the man was healed! No voodoo dolls. No incantations. No worldly actions to heal the man. Just Jesus! Just Jesus! But He was enough! Jesus is always enough and when He is invited into a situation things change. In this case, Jesus initiated the action by approaching the lame man.

Take the case of the healing of our sin problem . Once again, Jesus takes action and when He enters and addresses the "spiritual" problem called sin, His action gives healing as well. Not new legs, but a new life! Only Jesus could have done this and only Jesus did. If you are lame spiritually then Jesus is offering you a new life that has the result of walking in freedom. That life is an abundant life of hope and power because that life is lived in victory.

One more thing happened when Jesus healed this man in verse 9 He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! When Jesus comes into a life He enables us to walk and be a living testimony of His grace and power. No swimming needed. In fact, we don't try to live our lives off old traditions or wives tales. We live our lives in the truth we have seen, heard, and experienced. That changes every day of our lives and the result is the impossible made possible through faith. Jesus died to make all of this new life possible and Paul wrote it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

No swimming allowed. Just Jesus and only Jesus.


The Pilgrimage Continues


David Warren



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