Text: John 5:1-15
Today, we will talk about healing, asking for help, and inviting God into the messiness of our lives.
“Bethesda” means house of mercy (v. 2). “Asthenéō” strictly refers to a condition of physical weakness. — Christ meets us in moments when we least expect to meet Him. He enters into places where we thought He will not be there; and encounter Him when we are in our deepest despair in our lives.
A Personal God
“Saw and knew” (v 6) – Christ sees us first and knew what we are going through. Our God is personal in that he relates with us and empathizes with our present circumstances (Heb 4:15). However, even though God knows, he does not assume; you need to tell him that you need help.
A Powerful God
“Get up, pick up your mat and walk” (v 8) – Christ’s words have the power to transform. The same power of the One who created all things at the beginning of Genesis. When God said, “let there be light, and there was light… this time, get up, walk because you are now healed; and he was healed.” Transformation is expected of those who have encountered Christ (v. 15).
A Perfect God
“Sabbath” (v. 10; 16-18) – Sabbath is holy and is made for man. But Christ is not merely man but God. On the other hand, you will see here how people will see the flaw, loophole, and failure of a person over his healing. Instead of having awe and wonder, they were mad, legalistic, and criticizing. In this story, we also see that God invites everyone. He does not desire those who are only part of the church, those who are well and fine. But he offers this transformative experience to everyone, especially to those who were considered the outcasts of society during the ancient time.
As I end, there is a wonderful observation that I saw when I was studying the passage; it was the use of the term “healing or healed” in verses: 6, 10, 11, 14, 15: hygiēs (wholeness), 9 therapeúō (meeting his need of healing), 13 iáomai (draws full attention to the Lord; supernatural healing). The inter-usage of the terms points that God’s healing meets our needs in a divine way towards wholeness.
Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
April 3, 2022
This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.