John 5:1 – After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
John 5:2 – Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
John 5:3 – In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
Hey all, new blog today, from John 5. It is interesting that the chapter begins with the sheep market, because all the story unfolded at a pool near the sheep market. Sheep clearly being sold, transferred, trafficked as a commodity. We are referred to as “sheep” in the Bible, but God never intended us to be on any market, or in any market. Yet so many humans, saved and unsaved alike end up in the market, rather than having been purchased and redeemed and bought by the blood of Christ. There is a veritable market for souls today in this world, and that’s why we are commanded to go out into the world and preach the gospel, to get souls out of the devil’s market, and instead saved and safely, securely and forever in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to be in any market, you don’t have to believe lies any more, and be fooled by man, and be made merchandise of by false prophets, false teachers, false Christs. There was a sheep gate in the Old Testament, but in the Bible here it had become a sheep market. Clearly it had all got away from it’s purpose, just as the temple had when Jesus found it and drove them all out who were selling doves and defiling the temple. Repentance is the way back to God, getting right, clearing house and getting back on track with God, getting back to God’s will for your life.
Because we see by the sheep market a pool, and the Bible says a great multitude lay there… they had all kinds of issues. And on the market of souls today, everyone’s got a problem. The sheep gate was no longer a gate but instead a market. Christians should be pointing to Jesus Christ, who is the gate to eternal life, who is the shepherd of the sheep… but instead churches today are a marketplace, trafficking in the souls of men and women… messing them around, nobody’s getting saved, nobody’s getting right with God. There was a pool here, called the pool of Bethesda. Bethesda means house of mercy, and Jesus wants to have mercy. But these guys were actually getting cheated a bit, they were wasting their lives at the pool. It is so easy for us to waste our lives as these guys were at the pool of Bethesda. God’s word is available to us today, the gospel made known and declared, yet we wait around waiting for miracles, signs, wonders, waiting for epiphanys and crystallizing moments… yet the Bible is clear that it is hearing and believing the gospel that will make the true change. You just have to take God at his word, believe it, and own it in your own heart before God. This was a house of mercy, but it had lost it’s purpose. It only found it’s purpose when Jesus Christ came on the scene. Because there is no mercy without him, there is no healing without him. Jesus came to a nation that had completely lost it’s purpose, he came to his own, and his own received him not.
So apparently an angel came down and touched the water and whoever got in first was made whole, while all the rest had to wait another year. It sounds like the dangling of a carrot to me, keeping people stationary, keeping people in one spot, and wasting their life away. Jesus when he came didn’t make people jump through any hoops, he healed them there and then. He just said to this man “wilt thou be made whole?” … and “rise up and walk”. Simple, and you can spent 38 years like this man… or you can just be whole here and now. Salvation is instant when you first believe, Jesus is instant, he is God. The problem with being in the market is you waste your life, you’re by a pool that has a great name and great claims, but you’re really wasting your time. It’s funny how at this pool, that this man’s excuse was there was noone to take him there. That sounds like most preachers and teachers and prophets today. Noone who can take a man to God’s word, noone who can take you to the TRUTH. Do you ever get a straight answer out of “Christians” anymore? Hardly. The Bible says let your yea be yea and your nay be nay. In God is no variance or shadow of turning, and in Genesis 1 God divided the light from the darkness, furthermore the Bible says there is no darkness in God at all. As a Christian you should be able to as Phillip did with the Ethiopian eunuch… you should be able to take people to Jesus Christ. It’s not about theological mumbo jumbo, it’s just the simple gospel, so simple it eludes all intellect and pride of man. It is no wonder the simple folk, the fishermen, the scum of society received Jesus Christ, they didn’t have any airs about themselves, and with their pride on the backburner, they could readily receive him with gladness, the good news of salvation from sin.
Don’t jump at the devil’s carrot anymore. This story seems so fishy, it is like a picture of most churches today, playing around with godly things, dangling the carrot, but noone ever getting healed, noone getting fixed, but instead waste, waste, waste. God’s way is not a marketplace, but most churches are a market, and in fact this world is a marketplace where the commodity is the souls of mankind… and Satan is after the souls of men, he’s after your soul. Jesus purchased you out of the marketplace of sin if you have been saved. That’s what his blood did, it BOUGHT you, it PURCHASED you, it REDEEMED you. You see, when Adam sinned, sin was passed to all his descendants, mankind was a slave of sin, and when you were born you were born not only a sinner, but born in sin. We are sinners by inheritance and by nature. Satan has a claim on your soul because of sin, a claim he so readily staked on Moses, only to realize his claims were broken by the Lord. Because the Lord Jesus Christ died, paid the price for sin, which was so great… hell… and by rising from the dead victorious, he is able to save you. He has POWER to save you. So while no man was able to take this infirmity stricken man to the pool for 38 years, Jesus could arrive and instantly set him free, instantly cure him. The biggest problem we all have is sin. Spiritually is the biggest problem we have, and at this point in history, Jesus is working in hearts, setting people free from lies and slavery to sin, giving us all spiritual gifts such as healing, truth, true liberty, light… so while you may be physically sick, the true sickness that needs healing is inside us all. That is what God is primarily concerned in… we are all going to die. What use is you being physically healed, only to finish up in hell? Isn’t it better to be healed inside? To be washed, cleansed, and have a fullness of life and joy inside that transcends your physical situation today?
We are all sheep that need saving, we don’t need to be on the market, but instead in the fold of Jesus Christ, being led by the shepherd and finding pasture. This story is a sad story, because it shows a great multitude of people, who we are just like today, maybe not physically, but definitely spiritually, and we are all wasting away by a pool whose name speaks of mercy, we are wasting away in Christianity, a Christianity that has lost it’s way, that has no purpose, that has no power. Stop jumping when the devil says jump, you don’t have to be run in circles by him, and his evil world system anymore. It’s funny how complicated it is all made, but God didn’t make it so. In fact we are warned in the Bible of being beguiled and corrupted from the simplicity of Christ. If you read John 5, you will see it was so simple when Jesus came on the scene. He said rise, take up thy bed and walk. And he’d have us all do that today. We can rise in Jesus Christ, we can take up that bed… our past life that is so much waste and a reminder of how futile life was without Christ… and we can start walking for God, and walking with God. Stop waiting for the water to move, and start hearing and believing the word of God! It is then that the waters of your life will actually move! There is no moving of the water without Jesus Christ. A Christianity without Jesus Christ, his word, his truth central… is one like these guys sitting around marking time. God wants you walking, not lying down. Get walking, Christian. You see back in the Old Testament, it was a man walking, Abraham, who got to see some amazing things, all because he was walking where God told him to go. Without walking, he would never have made it to Mount Moriah, without walking he would’ve never made it to Canaan. You gotta stop lying around waiting for stuff that ain’t going to happen, and get up and go, because Jesus wants you to get on with it!
John 5:6 – 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?
John 5:7 – 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.
John 5:8 – Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.