by Theodore Wright.
Just like how one community would rather have pigs than Jesus when He delivered the Gadarene demoniac from demons,
From the Gospel of John chapter 5…
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” – John 5:1-5 (NKJV)
This is a good question Jesus asked the man who could not walk. Did he even want to be made well? He could have just located himself near the pool and rolled in if he really wanted to be healed, but did He? No! Yet he was brought there for 38 years!
I present this to you: THE MAN DID NOT WANT TO BE HEALED. He was fed and cared for well enough where he made a lifestyle of it.
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” – John 5:7 (NKJV)
That was a lame excuse. The man did not want a better strategy to get in the pool more quickly. He was comfortable the way he was and was used to it.
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. – John 5:8-9 (NKJV)
In other words, Jesus told the man to take a hike and get out of there. He had wasted enough time of his and effort from others for him. Jesus got him off of society’s welfare by healing the man.
10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
As for the scribes and the Pharisees, we know what a lazy lot they were. Jesus said about them…
For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders;
God did make the Sabbath a day of rest but some people want to do nothing!
For those who believe that the Sabbath day is still to be observed under legalistic rules, please see our page… “The sabbath rest is neither Saturday nor Sunday”.
So many people gave Jesus praise for their being healing by coming to Him. Even when the 10 lepers were healed, one of them returned to give Jesus glory. The man healed by Jesus at the pool of Bethesda did NOT praise Jesus for his healing. However, he did shift the blame to him for breaking rabbinical laws by replying to the Jews…
11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’” – John 5:11 (NKJV)
Compare the testimony of the lame man here in John chapter 5 to the man born blind in John chapter 9. The lame man was a shining witness of Jesus Christ after he was healed. The lame man here did mention that he was healed but he only complained that he was told to take up his bed and get out!
12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” – John 5:12-14 (NKJV)
Jesus gave a fair warning to this lazy and ungrateful man who did not only not thank Jesus for the healing but after he was healed he did not even get Jesus’ name. He was not even concerned about it until asked by the Jewish authorities.
That man did not ask Jesus to heal him but Jesus came and did anyway. Jesus told the man not to sin anymore lest a worse thing come upon him. Perhaps Jesus would also get a job for the man in addition to the healing he did not want to receive.
15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. – John 5:15 (NKJV)
No joy or happiness was demonstrated from the man, much less thankfulness. The man healed by Jesus still kept blaming Him rather than showing any kind of appreciation. The Jewish authorities were no better but worse as we see reading below…
16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” – John 5:16-17 (NKJV)
Here, Jesus speaks on how industrious God the Father is and how He is in contrast to the lazy people He was surrounded by.
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. – John 5:18 (NKJV)
Notice how the rabbinic laws were used to supersede the law of God to defend a system of lax attitudes they developed. They were more concerned about defending their own lazy and sinful ways than to even learn who God really is.
The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death. – Proverbs 13:14 (NKJV)
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. – Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)
Receiving governmental financial assistance is fine for those who are truly need it. However, living continually on government provided welfare without sincerely seeking to be well and live productively is not the way of Christ.
He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding. – Proverbs 12:11 (NKJV)
In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty. – Proverbs 14:23 (NKJV)
Trust in Jesus and live the productive way of live that He leads you to do for the furtherance of His gospel and kingdom.