Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Men though the ages have tried to complicate the gospel. They have tried, like Adam and Eve, to hide their sins and to try to make a covering for themselves. Men have forever refused to acknowledge the simplicity that is in the gospel. There are many, many verses in the Bible dealing with this simplicity and I would like to look at each of them as we come to them.
“He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Here is the simplicity: 1. Hear my word. 2. Believe on Jesus. 3. Have everlasting life, which means that we will not come into condemnation, but are passed from death unto life. Hear the Word of God and believe it. That is what it really boils down to. Hearing and believing.
We, as humans, like to complicate things. We want to add to this plan of salvation. We want to make it some complicated formula including long lists of “dos” and “don’ts.” We want to add our own righteousness to it. We want to jump through hoops and climb over obstacles. We want to do everything except what the Bible tells us to do. Our human pride tells us that there has to be something else to it. There has to be something that we can do to earn our own salvation. But this is the gospel and it is beautiful in its simplicity. The only question is whether we will accept it or not.
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
In this passage, the Jews were angry at Jesus because, in verse 17, He had claimed that God was His Father, thus making Himself equal with God. They were seeking to kill Him because of this supposed blasphemy. But they never stopped to think about the possibility that it was true. They never thought that He might actually be the Son of God and that He might actually be equal with God. They never understood what He was trying to tell them: that honouring the Father meant honouring the Son.
If we want to give honour to God, we need to give honour to His Son. He loves His Son more than anything and has given Him all things. “…the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth.” The Bible is very clear about the equality of God the Father and God the Son, and it is important for us to recognize it as such. It is also very clear about the Father’s love for the Son and we should love Him just as much.
We can’t pick and choose Who we are going to honour in this situation. If we would love and honour the Lord God, we need to love and honour His Son, Jesus. And, if we are honouring Jesus, we are honouring God the Father also. We should be careful to whom we give honour. Not everyone is deserving of honour. But God is worthy, and Jesus is worthy. Are we honouring them both today?
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: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
After Jesus healed the impotent man who had been sitting at the pool for years, He told him to “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” So, the man wisely did as he was told. He rose, took up his bed, and walked. It was a glorious miracle. But, of course, the Jews who were in authority found a problem with this situation. They told him that “It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.” They were very good at observing the outward points of the law, but not very good at helping, or even caring about, people.
This man had just been healed and was obeying the Lord and carrying his bed. When confronted by these Jews, he gave them a great answer: “He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.” Jesus healed me. I am doing what He told me to do. Period. When confronted with a decision to follow either Jesus (the One Who helped and healed him instantly) or the Jews (who had never lifted a finger to help him in all his years of needing it), he made a wise decision. He followed the One who made him whole.
Whenever a controversy arises between what Jesus would have us to do and what men would have us to do, we know who to follow. We obey Jesus: all the time and every time, just like this man did.
And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 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.
We looked yesterday at this story of the impotent (powerless) man who could not get into the pool to get healing. We compared his situation to our situation. In both cases, we were powerless and hopeless. And in both cases, the Lord Jesus came to us, and helped and healed us. But we can also look at this story from another angle.
Verse 7 is a sad verse: “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool…” This man could not get himself into the pool. There was healing in that pool, but he could not get there. All he needed was a friend who would be willing to help him to the pool. We do not know for certain how many years he had been there waiting, but if someone had been his friend and helped him, he could have been healed long before this story took place.
The sad fact that he had no friend who would help him to the pool can be mirrorred in the lives of many people around us. There are people all around us who desperately need healing. And they desperately need help getting that healing. But they “have no man…” to help them. If we know the Lord Jesus, we can help. We have the answer. We can be that friend who helps them.
This saying, “Sir, I have no man…” should not need to be repeated by those around us.
When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 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: and on the same day was the sabbath.
The more I read and think about this story, the more I realize just how much we have in common with this impotent man. The word impotent simply means “without power.” We do not know exactly what was wrong with this man, other than the fact that he had no strength of his own. He could not move himself and, in this case, he could not move himself into the pool. He laid next to the pool in hopes of someday getting in and getting healed. But, without a man to help him and to put him in the pool, he was both helpless and hopeless.
That is the exact same situation we find ourselves in before we come to the Lord. We are both without help and without hope. We are dead in sin and we have “no man” to help us. We can’t help ourselves and we can’t get the healing that we know we need. That is where Jesus comes in.
Just as Jesus helped and healed this man when he could not help or heal himself, so Jesus helps and heals us when we could not help or heal ourselves. Just as this man was immediately healed, so are we immediately healed when we come to Jesus. Just as this man’s healing was only because of the grace and mercy of God, so our healing is only because of the grace and mercy of God. The next time we look at this story, we should think about just how many similarities there are between us and this man. What a wonderful Saviour we have!
Love Lifted Me
James Rowe (1912)
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!
All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling
In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs.
Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.
This is a great hymn about Jesus reaching down and saving us. We were in desperate need of a Saviour, and He reached down and saved us. Truly “when nothing else could help, Love lifted me!” Amen to that.
Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 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. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 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.
This is one of my favorite stories about Jesus in the Bible. We know that He is “a helper to the helpless” and this story really drives that home. There was a pool at Bethesda in which an angel would stir up the water. The first person into the water after that would be healed of whatever disease they had. This man had been crippled for 38 years. He was there hoping to get into the pool to be healed, but he had nobody to help him into the water. When the water was troubled, he could not get himself into it and he had no one to help him. He was, both literally and figuratively, helpless. But then he met Jesus.
Jesus recognized his condition and stopped to help him. He healed him on the spot. There would be no more waiting and hoping for this man. He had met the helper of the helpless.
We were dead in trespasses and sins. We were spiritually helpless. And Jesus came for us, just as He came for this man. We should be thankful every day that we know the Helper of the helpless. What a wonderful Saviour!