As Jesus’ ministry of healing became more popular, He got the attention of the religious leaders. This miracle in John 5 marked the turning point in Jesus’ ministry and set the bloodhounds of hate on His track. They never let up until they put Him to death on the cross.
Let’s meet the paralyzed man whom Jesus healed. For 38 years, he sat by the pool of Bethesda, hoping to be healed. Jewish folklore said that angels stirred this pool with their wings, and when the water moved, the first who got in would be healed.
Jesus’ first words to him are, “Do you want to be made well?” (v. 6). Why did Jesus ask such an odd question?
First, to stir hope in him. More importantly, Jesus wanted to get his eyes off the pool and looking to Him. What about you? Are you waiting for something to happen? Look instead to Jesus.
That’s what the paralyzed man did. At Jesus’ command to get up and walk, he picked up his bed (proof that he was healed) and walked.
You’d think everyone would be overcome with joy at this miracle, but the religious leaders objected because the miracle happened on the Sabbath.
Jesus had clashed with them before over the Sabbath Day (Mark 2:23-28). They never forgave Him, and that hatred for Him put murder in their hearts. They also objected to Jesus making Himself equal with God (v. 18).
Jesus said these three great principles about Himself:
* “I’m God. I do what God does. I can forgive sin.” Read John 5:19.
* He raises the dead because He’s God—this is also the reason He can give us everlasting life today. Read John 5:20, 21.
* He came to save the first time, but He will come to judge the next time. Read John 5:22. But if you’ll hear His Word and believe on Him, you won’t come into judgment but will pass from death to life.
You can have everlasting life if you hear and believe His Word (v. 24). The Lord Jesus is a life-giver (v. 26) who will make you a new spiritual creation.
Jewish leaders of Jesus' day were serious students of the Old Testament, but they studied to earn eternal life through hard work. Jesus was the living Word of God, yet they had little time for Him. They looked for God in Scripture, but didn’t recognize Jesus for who He was.
If you look for Him, you’ll find Jesus on every page of the Bible. Even Moses spoke of Him, but Jesus said, “If you don’t believe him, how will you believe in Me?” (vs. 45-47). The Old Testament is the foundation of what we believe about Jesus. Look for Him throughout the entire Bible.
Next, we'll hear from Jesus why He came.