One Of The Testimonies At A Missions Conference … Contributed by David Yarbrough on Jul 23, 2001 [SERMON CENTRAL].
Recently one of the testimonies at a Missions conference was so powerful it seemed to take the breath away from the people attending. It was the story of a blind woman by the name of Pani. She was listening to the Jesus film in her village as those with their sight were watching. Pani was greatly moved when, she heard on the film, Jesus restored the sight of the blind man. When Pani heard these words she cried out, “I want to receive my sight too.” At the conclusion of the film a miracle took place. Pani could see! Jesus restored her sight! As the mission conference attendees heard this wonderful story they began to show emotion for such a miracle. They were stopped of their emotional exuberance by the missionary as he gave them a reminder. The restoration of Pani’s sight was not the greatest miracle that evening.
A greater miracle took place than the restoration of her sight. Pani received forgiveness of her sins that night by trusting Jesus as her Savior! She heard Jesus speak the sweetest words of all, “Your sins are forgiven.”
You see, every miracle in the Bible which healed a person of a physical condition was also meant to illustrate and teach us about someone’s spiritual condition that also needs healing. I’m learning that one of the keys to living a lifestyle of holiness and purity is being able to view holiness and purity from a lens that is not fragmented or damaged. Many times we sin because we are sinners; but oftentimes our view of God, our view of the Bible, is damaged, and needs restoration . Today’s story is one of restoration.
The Gospel of John is the most theologically profound and mysterious of the four Gospels in my opinion. It is famous for both its depth and its simplicity. We are specifically going to look at the 5th
chapter of John. So we have pretty solid church evidence that John moved to Ephesus after the events of the Gospels, and he planted several churches, was the overseer for them, took Jesus’ mother into his home, and she became his dependent, and John wrote his gospel in Ephesus as well.
Now let’s look into the Gospel of John, chapter 5. Here we see that Jesus traveled to one of the Jewish festivals, and encounters a man who was confined to live on a mat for 38 years.
John 5:1-6 (NLT) 5 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?”
Do you want to get well?
Have you imagined your life without that particular sin or hangup? Have you seen that show “Hoarders?” You’ve seen how disgusting those folks houses are, right? I mean there’s trash, moldy food, roaches and even mice and rats. But yet, when family members try to help them out, it is such a battle to get them to get rid of stuff. Why? It’s because of fear of the unknown…they can’t imagine life without all that stuff. And some of it’s laziness. Some of it’s denial. But then some of it is issues or trauma that they just can’t get past. Now let’s turn to ourselves….don’t answer, don’t raise your hand, but how many of us are spiritual hoarders in here. We’ve grown comfortable with our dysfunction. We are so used to that sin, that we can’t imagine life without it. In fact, life without that sin or that attitude or mindset is terrifying. Why? But that’s where real life begins, where this life and being in control and being in familiar territory ends and life in the Spirit, and real life in Christ begins.
John 5:7-12 (NLT)
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! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”
11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.
Who Is Jesus to you?
See when Christ saves you and changes you and heals and restores you, people will start asking, who is this that lifted you up?!! They’re gonna want to know. Brothers and sisters….who is Jesus to you? Why are you here? Are you here because you really believe he is the Son of God, and is the Savior of the World? The Jews were mad that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. And then he had weak friends who let this guy stay laying down. And who was it that carried him to the pool every day? Or did this guy live at that pool. Well, it actually snows in Jerusalem, and it can snow quite heavily there:
http://www.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-braces-for-storm-three-times-worse-than-what-has-been-seen-so-far/ ‘So it’s obvious that this guy did not live at this pool! Every single day, some enabling, weak friends carried him to the pool, so he could maybe get healed, or at least beg to make a living.
Wow so this guy came to this pool, or had his friends take him to this pool everyday, even in the snow. Maybe he gave up on trying to get healed, and maybe he got a lot of money by begging. Either way, I think at some point he lost sight of why he was there. Is it the same for us today? We are in the presence of Christ, and in his presence is a fountain of living water, where healing can happen. Now when Jesus asks you if you want to be made whole and healed, how can your response be anything other than, Yes Lord, heal me?!!
Instead of waiting for something to happen or for things to get better, I encourage you to choose to encounter Jesus everyday. He’s coming to the pool; he’s coming to you. In fact, Jesus is constantly calling to us.
“To find Me and hear My voice, you must seek Me above all else. Anything that you desire more than Me becomes an idol.”
See, this guy could’ve asked his friends to take him the temple, where the priests could’ve prayed. Don’t let your relationship with God become superstitious, like you have to be in a certain location to hear from him or for him to speak to you. Don’t feel like you have to be kneeling or he won’t hear, or if your hands aren’t raised you aren’t worshipping. Please be careful not to let your perception of Jesus, or your perception of what his restoration will look like, distract you or become an idol. Receive your healing today, physically, mentally and emotionally. Now we get back to our text. This man received his healing, and now the haters are asking who dun it…
John 5:13-15 (NLT)13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.
This guy had no idea who healed him. Jesus slipped away. Later on he confronted this man about his sinning, but he went away and confessed who it was who made him whole.
Nicholas James Vujicic, is an Australian preacher and motivational speaker born with Tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. As a child, he struggled mentally and emotionally, as well as physically, but eventually came to terms with his disability and, at the age of seventeen, started his own non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs. Vujicic presents motivational speeches worldwide, on life with a disability, hope, and finding meaning in life.
Published on Sep 30, 2015
God presented Nicholas with a team of people to help him accomplish Gods plan for him in spite of his limitations. And I’m sure they had their doubts and struggles about the goodness of God. But you know what, we can still see the miraculous in spite of our unbelief!
Miracles can happen in spite of unbelief
Back to this paralyzed man in this story. This man had zero faith. This account destroys the idea that miracles are always the consequence of faith. I’m sure the Apostle Paul had all the faith in th world, and God worked miracles through him even, but there was one thorn in his flesh where God said, no I won’t take that away. I am not sure what your thorn in the flesh is, and it doesn’t matter, because even we are physically 100% or emotionally 100% guess what? We are still sinners in need of a savior so we need his grace to be sufficient ANYWAY. But There is a good story inMark 9:22-25 (HELP MY UNBELIEF). Jesus raised people from the dead, as you can tell. Resurrection is not a result of how much faith the person has, they are DEAD! There is no faith. When you become a Christian, then you are born again. You are not morally improved when you become a Christian. You are spiritually resurrected from being spiritually dead. You have been made alive in Christ!!
Ephesians 2:1-5 (NLT)
2 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
It is by grace we have been saved. You’ve already been healed. So, be HEALED. Be free! Be delivered! Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His Might!