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The Day The Impotent Man In The Bible Taught Me A Valuable Lesson
"...it is His(Christ's) honour to side with the weakest, and bear up those whom He sees run down..." - Matthew Henry
In John 5, we read a very intriguing account of an impotent man's encounter with the Lord Jesus.
Wouldn't you love to have an encounter with Jesus today?
You certainly can! Just be like the impotent man and have a situation in your life which seems absolutely hopeless and impossible for change. Then you will be a sure candidate for a visit with the Master.
Have we gotten your attention? Are you one who is in desperate need of a Miracle from God? Or do you know of someone who is facing adverse circumstances at this very moment and does not know how he will ever get out of them?
John 5 opens up with a "Feast of the Jews." It is most likely to be the Passover - which was the most celebrated of the feasts. There were three feasts held in Jerusalem which all men had to attend - the Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. John 5:1 relates - "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." Most commentators agree that it was the Passover or the Second Passover that Jesus attended.
Notice one thing - "...Jesus went up to Jerusalem." Whenever we have an encounter with God, we must come up to His level - we must "go up." In other words, we must go higher in our walk with Him...press into the spirit realm..."draw nigh" to Him...leave the things of this world and cleave to Him...or take our focus off of the earthly and set our gaze on the eternal.
"Jesus went up to Jerusalem." That is where we will find Him. In order to reach Him, we have to - in a sense - "go up"...ascend... or even "look up." He will be found above our circumstances - in total control of "the wind and the waves" - if you will.
In John 5:2, we read of a specific place where Jesus went. It was not to the palace but to the Hospital - "Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches." Right outside the temple there was found a "sheep market" or gate by which the sheep or oxen were brought into the city. Nearby there was a "pool" - bath, small lake, or pond - for swimming or washing. This place had a very interesting name. It was called - "Bethesda" - which means House of Mercy. There you saw five covered porticoes or colonnades built for the sole purpose of receiving the poor and distressed who came to be healed.
We want to make mention of the fact that - when "Jesus went up to Jerusalem" - the very first place that He went was Bethesda. Isn't that interesting? Before He ever stepped into the temple, He took the time to minister to the sick and hurting. It was as if He was drawn to the desperate of humanity.
John 5:3 tells us what kind of people hung out at Bethesda - "In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water." These were the sick...weak and feeble due to a long disease...infirm...and languishing. These were the ones who came to the "House of Mercy" looking for one ounce of mercy to be extended to them from God. They took the pains to travel from afar and to wait a long time for their Miracle.
John 5:4 tells us how the Miracle occurred - "For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had." This was a very strange phenomenon. The opportunity to be healed came swiftly for only one. The "first" one to jump into the waters - when they were supernaturally agitated or stirred - got healed.
As you can see - the chances of getting healed were as slim as the chances are of winning the Lottery. What a hopeless situation this was indeed!
Yet it seemed to be the only opportunity for most. That is, until Jesus showed up and showed mankind "a better way."
John 5:5 takes the camera shot off of the multitude and zooms in on one specific man - a man who happened to be the worst case of all - "And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years." This man had a grievous disease which disabled him from walking. Many believe that he was paralyzed; others, that he was blind.
No one seemed to pay much attention to him. No one really understood the pain and suffering that was his as he struggled with an incurable disease for so long a period of time.
No one - that is - but One! There was One Who did notice this man. In fact, He took note of him before all of the others. John 5:6 informs us Who this was - "When Jesus saw him lie..."
Don't you just love those words?
"When Jesus saw him lie..." The others seemed to be preoccupied with their own troubles. Not Jesus! He seemed to be drawn to the most deplorable case of all. Being God in the flesh, He knew ahead of time the duration of this man's helpless condition - "...and knew that he had been now a long time in that case..."(John 5:6).
As He approached the impotent man, the Lord asked him a very strange question - "Wilt thou be made whole?" At first, this seemed to be an insensitive question to ask a man who had been suffering with a disease for thirty-eight years. Yet, the Son of God was not being insensitive or cruel at all. He was attempting to arouse the man's attention.
In a sense, what Jesus was asking him was this -
Are you in earnest? Do you really want to be made whole? Are you ready for your life to be dramatically changed for the better as a result of receiving a Miracle from God?
Jesus was desiring to excite in him faith, hope, and a greater desire for change. No doubt - because this sickness lasted for such a long period of time, it is very possible that he grew apathetic concerning his condition. The Master was seeking to deepen the utter hopelessness of his dilemma and make him "hungry" for the cure. In order for that to happen, He had to get this man to take his focus off of his surroundings and place them on Him as the Living Son of God.
Before going any further, may we emphasize two very important points in relation to your helpless state today - Jesus sees the "bed" that you are lying in at this present moment, and He wants you to know that He is keeping an account of how long you have been in it as well. He has His eye upon you...knows the desperation behind your condition...and is moving toward you with His mercy, love, and supernatural power. Get your focus off of your surroundings and circumstance and place it solely on Him as your Healer.
We want you to pay close attention to the conversation that follows between the Lord and the impotent man. It is found in John 5:7-9 and says - "The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked..."
Jesus just asked this man the question - "Wilt thou be made whole?" - and the man answered with - "...Sir, I have no man..."
Obviously, we would all have to agree that this man was totally ignorant of Who it was Who was standing before him asking him - "Wilt thou be made whole?" For surely, no one in their right mind would answer the Great Physician with a pitiful statement like - "...I have no man..."
This man had an excuse for his ignorance. He really did not know Who it was that was standing before him.
But how many times has Jesus come to us - wanting to do a mighty work in our lives - and all we can spew out of our mouths is - "I don't have enough money...No one will help me...I have no friends...No one likes me...The whole world has forsaken me...I have no other choice but to lean on the arm of the flesh...I don't know if God will give me a Miracle...I am not worthy...I never had anything like this happen to me before... My Pastor preaches that Miracles went out with the Apostles..."?
Let's break this down a little further for all to see. Jesus - the Great "I AM THAT I AM" - the Creator of Heaven and Earth - the Great Physician - the Mighty Deliverer and Redeemer - is standing before you asking you if you want to experience a Miracle in your life and all you can say is - "I don't have..."
Do you see the absurdity of it all?
The Living Son of God is standing in front of you asking you this question because He is wanting to perform a Miracle for you. You don't need anything or anyone at this point.
Brother and Sister, when you have Jesus, you have everything that you will ever need!
The impotent man had "tunnel vision" - if you will. He only thought that healing could come through one means - through the "troubling of the water" by the angel. For years - no doubt - Satan toyed with his mind showing him over and over again how impossible it was for him to get in those waters to be healed. He never thought that one day the Creator of the universe would walk up to him and say the most powerful words ever spoken in his life - "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." Never did Satan ever suggest that such a thing could ever happen to him. No, of course not!
In what way has Satan been toying with your mind about your situation? What limitations have you placed on the Living Son of God as a result? Do you think that your healing can only come through doctors...surgery...or medicine? Do you think that you have to get two more jobs in order to pay off that huge debt?
Jesus today wants to be your "Bethesda" - your House of Mercy.
Stop looking at your surroundings for answers. Stop allowing the enemy to paint the most depressing and despondent scenario of your life's situation and its outcome.
Just "go up to Jerusalem" - so to speak. Draw near to God. Come up higher in the spirit by spending quality time with Him in the study of His Word, prayer, fasting, and worship. Allow the Holy Spirit to take you to the next level - where your vision will be clearer.
Jesus sees you lying in that "bed" of adversity. And He is surely coming your way to bring you a Miracle. When He gets through with you - like the impotent man - you will be able to do what you could never do before.
Just listen for the command of the Lord.
"Rise, take up thy bed, and walk."
May God Bless His Word.