Vol. 3 No. 10 – John 5:1-23 (3.11.2018)

Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool . . . –John 5:1-23

Charles Kettering, a great inventor suggested that we must learn to fail intelligently. “Once you have failed, analyze the problem and find out why, because each failure is one more step leading up to the cathedral of success. The only time you do not want to fail is the last time you try.”

Within the walls of Jerusalem was a Center for Failures, located near the Sheep Gate, called The House of Mercy. Bethesda. Impotent (from the Latin root for impossible) people by the dozens lived there; blind, lame, and paralyzed. Of the man in our text, it has been written and said, lived there a long time, 38 years. For 38 years he had not gone to church; for 38 years he had no friend to help him; and for 38 years his experience at life only resulted in failure.

The man formed a habit of beginning without finishing, and so had simply formed the habit of failure. One thing about habits: You do not have habits, habits have you!

At Bethesda he was a bust; he gave up. He threw in the towel. There was no use in even trying because he thought he would never win or accomplish, he was destined to be a failure. Christians and Christian Leaders often fall into this trap, even many of you who are reading this blog.
Jesus, seeing him, knew all about his failures, and said to him:

Do you want to get well?

Scores of helpless people were at Bethesda. Why did Jesus focus on this one man? It surely was not because He did not care about the others. While the others made their way to the “healing waters,” this man had given up. The others were still trying, struggling, working hard for healing. They had friends and family to help. It seemed the man had none of these.

It is like that today for many we know; even on occasion it is that way to the person we see in our mirror in the morning. Heaven help us!

However, God takes the initiative: Rise, take up your pallet and walk!

At once the man was made well, and did as Jesus commanded. Not only was he completely healed, he could immediately walk – something he could not do for 38 years.

If our salvation depended upon our recognizing Him or reaching out a hand toward Him, who might be saved? The answer is: No one! Yet, instead of waiting for us to come; instead of waiting to help those who help themselves, Christ comes to us and speaks the words that give life. –James M. Boice

This impotent (“failured”) man was asked to do three things: stand up, pick up, walk up.

Faith turned this fiasco into fulfillment. They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

Come to Me and I will give you rest; all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. –Matthew 11:28-30

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

March 12, 2018

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