Jesus can still heal us today

The opening to this essay, re-written for intelligibility, was recorded with a CAD U37 and edited slightly with Audacity.

Then a pseudo-stereo track was added, and then... the bottom track was inverted. Kind of an interesting sound. What do you think of it?

With No Invert:
We're sometimes  amazed by the stories we hear from Scripture and when we hear  
modern day stories of healing.
Perhaps most of us like the idea of God healing, have read about it, maybe prayed about it, but we're skeptical of healing services or healing prayer.
We may try to rationalize it away.
Maybe that’s how some of us respond, because we just can’t accept that it can happen the way the Bible says it can happen.
Perhaps when Jesus was around He could do it, but to duplicate it today...not so much.
Let me be clear that Jesus can heal today.
Whatever situation, circumstance, illness, or problem you have,
or family member has,
or friend has –
Jesus can make a difference today.
He can heal and restore –
He can make the broken whole, the sick well-
Jesus can still heal us today.

My desire is for you to hear God’s voice, to feel him ministering to your need, to know the
wholeness and restoration that only he can bring to your life.

John 5:1-15 tells a healing story set at the Bethesda Pool near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, a place which has been found and still exists today.
 (NIV)
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.
3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed—
and they waited for the moving of the waters.
4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had..
5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 ”Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is
stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,
10 and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law
forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the
crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop
sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

When someone gets healed from a terrible condition, shouldn’t it change their life?
Shouldn’t it make them want to come back to God?
Shouldn’t it make them want to become a better person than they were before?
Yes! Definitely!
But do things always work out that way?
No.
Keep that in mind as we look at this passage.
Jesus is going to do a tremendous miracle in the life of a paralyzed man.
Let’s pick up the story in verse one, where we see the circumstance behind the miracle.

We’re told that Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.
But as we all know, people’s problem’s don’t go away just because there’s a holiday coming up. And sometimes, the depression associated with a physical problem is even more intense during the holidays.
Jesus is about to walk into an area of town where people are struggling with all kinds of
physical problems.

Verse two says “Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.”
In 1956, archaeologists found the pool next to the old St Anne church on the NE side of
Jerusalem. And a few years after that, they also found the five covered colonnades.

And verse three says that “Here a great number of disabled people used to lie- the blind,
the lame, the paralyzed.” There was an old tradition that from time to time, an angel would come down from heaven and stir up the waters. And the first one to jump into the pool after the water got stirred would be cured of whatever disease he had.
And that’s why you see all of these handicapped people lying around the pool.
Because you never knew when the angel was going to show up!

And I guess he didn’t show up very often.
Because verse five says that there was one guy who had been lying there for 38 years!

Can you imagine that?
Can you imagine lying on a straw mat for 38 years, all by yourself, hoping to God that the day is going to come when you get your chance to go into the pool and make all your health problems go away?
How sad. What a depressing scene!

And I think the Lord Jesus was genuinely moved when he saw this man.
And in verse six, we’re told that “when Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had
been in this condition for a long time, he asked him “Do you want to get well?”

Maybe after 38 years, the man had gotten used to his condition.
Maybe he liked relying on others to do things for him. Maybe he liked not having to work for a living.
If he were to ever be healed, he would have to go out and get a job like every other able
bodied person.
And since he didn’t have any skills, life would become very complicated very quickly.
Maybe his problem was more than just his physical paralysis.
Maybe the paralysis was emotional.

And so Jesus wants to be absolutely sure,
“Is this what you want?
Do you want the responsibility associated with becoming a fully functioning member of
society?

Right now, like the paralyzed man, you and I are in the presence of the One who can bring wellness and wholeness and restoration and salvation into our lives.

And we need to decide, “Is this what I want?
Do I really want to be made well?
Do I REALLY want to be healed?”
Do I REALLY want to be whole?”
Do I REALLY want to be restored?”
Do I really want to be right with God?
Do I really want to be saved?
Am I ready for the responsibilities associated with being a Spirit filled believer in Jesus
Christ?
Or is it too hard for me to change because I’ve gotten used to the way things have always
been?”

William Barclay said that “the first step toward receiving the power of Jesus is wanting it!
If in our inmost hearts we are content to stay the way we are, there can be no change.”

And in verse seven, the invalid said,
“Sir, I don’t have anyone to help me get in the pool! Every time I try to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

There’s something that’s interesting about the way the man answered Jesus.
In his mind, the only way he could ever hope to get better was by getting into the pool.
He couldn’t imagine that God could come through for him any other way.
Aren't we guilty of the same kind of thinking?
Isn’t it true that we tend to put limits on God?
We say to ourselves,
“Well, since God is not helping me in the way I expected Him to help me, then this must
mean that God has no intentions of helping me.”

Listen, Jesus is showing us that the power of God is not limited to one particular method.
God can intervene in a person’s life any way he wants!

And so in verse eight, Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” And
immediately, the man was cured and he picked up his mat and walked.

This is an amazing miracle. And think about this: It’s been almost 2000 years since Jesus performed this miracle. And in spite of the best efforts of medical science, we can’t even come close to duplicating this kind of power.
We spend millions each year developing new treatments for disease and injury, but we can’t even come close to the power of Jesus Christ.
In two short sentences, Jesus showed the kind of healing power that mankind without the
Holy Spirit can only dream about.

It’s also interesting that Jesus never said, “You have to believe in me first before I do this miracle.”
The bottom line is that God sometimes does nice things for people with no strings attached.
Psalm 112:9  says that “he has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever.”

NOTES:
http://www.katapi.org.uk/Maps/Jerusalem30.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pool_of_Bethesda
Until the 19th century, there was no evidence outside of John’s Gospel for the existence of this pool; therefore, scholars argued that the gospel was written later, probably by someone without first-hand knowledge of the city of Jerusalem, and that the ‘pool’ had only a metaphorical, rather than historical, significance.[1]
In the 19th century, archaeologists discovered the remains of a pool fitting the description in John’s Gospel.[2
 

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