Receiving True Healing

 A sermon given on John 5:1-18


everyone we're we're here in the fifth
Sunday of Lent so I know that Lent is
very well known and we know that every
Sunday has a special Gospel reading and
if I had to take a poll and ask you and
say what's your favorite gospel and lent
I can't imagine that today's gospel
would be at the top of the list right
many of us can relate to the prodigal
son many maybe we felt like we've been
lost before and we strayed away from God
and many of us like this story of the
Samaritan woman perhaps you felt
rejected perhaps there was something you
were trying to hide in your life but
today's story is a little bit hard for
us right a man paralyzed for 38 years
perhaps I can't relate to the story
right well do me a favor ok let's try
today to go inside the story and when I
read the Bible I like to imagine myself
there I like to imagine myself in the
story so picture this you live about two
thousand years ago and you're paralyzed
okay you cannot walk do you have a
wheelchair no there's no wheel chairs at
that time you have a bed what they used
to call a bed was actually more like a
map and as you saw as you know the story
of the paralytic in mark chapter 2 there
were four men that had to take this man
on his bed and bring him to the Lord
Jesus Christ right so at that time if
you were paralyzed you basically had to
do what you had to rely on for people to
bring you everywhere you needed to go
right it was a very difficult life and
that's why a lot of times many them
wound up as beggars okay because there
were too much of a burden on their
families imagine a grown man every time
he wants to go someplace he has to get
four people to take him right it's a
very difficult life and all of a sudden
you're living at this time and you find
out about a pool that can take away your
sickness there's a magic pool that if
you happen to be the first one to jump
in the pool you'll get healed what would
you do would you go there would you take
a chance absolutely you would write
imagine now I told you guys that I have
a winning Powerball ticket okay we're
two hundred million dollars ok and I'm
going to drop that ticket in the middle
of this church what do you think would
happen I said to at 12pm today I'm going
to drop I'm gonna drop this ticket okay
and the first one to get it is going to
win the 20 miles what do you think would
happen would you come early you would
right so I want you to picture with me
the scene at this
fool okay a great multitude many people
they're blind lame paralyzed waiting for
what waiting for an angel to come and
stir the water okay most like it nobody
saw the angel okay they would wait to
see the water moving and then what would
happen everybody would jump in right at
the same time right that's the scene
that we have in our heads so imagine
you're this poor paralytic now okay
there's probably thousands of people
there everyone is waiting to be the
first one to jump in right not only the
blind lame and paralyzed her there but
who else is there do you think probably
their friends and family right because
if I'm paralyzed I need someone to do
what I need someone to put me in the
water okay so you can imagine it's a
crazy scene now how do you think if
you're this man how do you feel okay
you're paralyzed you have no one to put
you in the water and year after year you
see people going in you see one person
coming out healed okay how would you
feel have you ever felt that way before
like maybe there's no hope for me maybe
I'm stuck in the same situation year
after year after year there's no hope I
cannot move okay my situations not
changing my financial situation maybe my
job situation maybe I have some sort of
personal circumstances maybe there's
some emotional problems here but no
matter what it is I have a paralysis
right I can't move forward and I feel
stuck no matter what I do I just can't
move forward and all of us are looking
for that magic pool right maybe the
magic pool is a new job maybe the magic
pool is if I get heels for my sickness
maybe the magic pool is just if I find
the right person if I just you know find
the right person to marry maybe that
will make everything right but let's
compare a couple things before we move
on right let's look at this pool and
let's look at the true pool that we have
the true baptism that we have so
obviously this pool was a sign of
baptism right because there was water
there and this water offered healing but
let's compare that pool with our pool or
the true pool of baptism first of all
that pool healed a person's body but
baptism heels what it heals a person's
soul and that pool moved only at certain
but our baptism is available when any
time for them and angel descended but
for us the Holy Spirit descended they
were waiting for the angel to stir the
water but now we're going to see the
Lord Jesus Christ he's going to stir
what he's going to stir the heart
because he has a different kind of
healing okay the true physician our Lord
Jesus Christ wants to serve something
else in this man so what does he do he
asked the man what we would consider a
silly question right he says do you want
to be made well now let me ask you if
you were paralyzed for 38 years and
somebody asked you do you want to be
made well what would your answer be do I
want to be made well of course I'm
sitting here by the pool right I want to
be made well what do you think I want to
sit here paralyzed for another 38 years
right all the bitterness all the anger
everything that was inside of us would
come out of this question right at least
that would be for me well let's look at
how this man answered with all meekness
on with all humility the Lord asked him
he said do you want to be made well the
man answered sir I have no man to put me
into the pool when the water is stirred
up but while I'm coming another steps
down before me so there was something in
this answer that the Lord Jesus Christ
saw and he said okay this man is ready
and he told him he said one word he said
rise up take your bed and walk and
immediately the man was made well he
took up his bed and walked all it took
was one word from the Lord's mouth right
did you notice the psalm today said by
the word of the Lord the heavens were
established all it took was one word so
now the man is healed right and
everything's perfect now we can move on
with life and everything can go on
everything's great right 38 years
paralyzed stuck on a mat but now I can
walk and everything is great right no
that's not where the story ends right
because later on the Lord would find him
in the temple and tell him see you have
been made well sin no more or less the
worst thing come upon you wait a second
so maybe this is why we don't like the
gospel that much we learned two things
here right number one we learned this
man's problem result of what his sin
right and then we learn also that there
could be something even worse than that
can you imagine something worse
in a punishment of paralysis for 38
years let's say today I committed a sin
I did whatever I you know I lied I stole
I did something and God struck me down
38 years paralyzed that'd be pretty bad
right but listen when our Lord Jesus
Christ has even worse he said if your
hand or foot calls you to sin cut it off
and cast it from you it is better for
you to enter into life lame or maimed
rather than having two hands or two feet
to be cast into the everlasting fire you
see the Lord Jesus Christ is not
concerned with our outside he's
concerned with what are inside our
salvation the salvation of our soul many
people are perfectly healthy in this
world but you know what they're going to
suffer for eternity and vice versa many
people have suffered in this world but
they will enter into the presence of God
they will enter into joy for eternity
why because at the end at the the
resurrection of the Dead all the
maladies of the body all the sickness of
the body will all be gone and we'll all
be raised in glorified bodies so it's
not the outside that matters right so
let me ask you this question why didn't
the Lord heal everyone at the pool I
mean everybody was there for healing
right if I was the Lord I'd say listen
this is a good chance okay I have few
thousand people here now let me just
heal them right while I'm here let me
take away their sickness okay and I can
save myself a little bit of headache
right didn't people always come to the
Lord begging and trying to be healed but
that's not what the Lord wanted to do he
didn't want to heal the outside but
instead he wanted to have a personal
interaction with this man and show him
the exact reason behind his
circumstances see many of us want just
the problem to end we want the outside
thing to go away but the Lord has a
different a different view okay he cares
about the big picture he cares about the
salvation of our souls so is sin always
the root of my circumstances no not
necessarily I mean let's look at think
about next week the born blind right
what happened when the Apostles asked
the Lord they said the dis man Center
his parents said what did he say he said
neither right so it's not always that
our sins cause our problems but for the
most part okay for the most part if
we're honest with ourselves and we look
at our situation and
go deeper will find that there is
something going on inside it's a good
chance for us to evaluate ourselves okay
to look at my circumstance a wait a
minute is there something deeper here
all of us need to repent right every
single one of us okay we may think that
we're good but all of us need to repent
but a lot of times I don't know where to
start right okay let me share with you a
beautiful meditation by st. Augustine
that may give us just a starting point
okay a starting point for our repentance
if you don't know where to begin okay
because we all have sins we may not see
them but we all sins if you don't know
where to begin let's listen know what
st. Augustine teachers have teaches us
about this miracle that happened today
first of all he says that the number 38
is very significant the man is paralyzed
for 38 years right so he starts with the
number 40 and he says the number 40 is a
symbol of the perfection of the law why
because he says the law was summed up in
10 commandments and the fulfillment of
the law is love okay the love was given
to us in the gospel which came in for
books who says 10 times 4 is 40 okay so
40 is the number of perfection and he
says the laws of love were given to us
in two he says you shall love the Lord
your God with all your heart soul in
mind and you shall love your neighbor as
yourself okay so 40 and too so he says
if therefore the number 40 possesses the
perfecting of the law and the law is
fulfilled in only these two laws of love
why do you wonder that he was weak and
sick who was short of 40 by to do what
he's saying here hoes ain't Augustine is
telling us this man was sick and weak
because he fell short of these two
Commandments we have no idea what this
man sin was right but if all the
commandments are summed up in these two
precepts okay these two laws of love
then we can say that if we're falling
short in them that's where our sickness
our weakness comes from and even though
the Lord says these two commands are the
same love your love God and love your
neighbor they're the same but in our
minds we put one higher than the other
right loving God is a little bit more
important than loving my neighbor right
but st. Augustine says that actually
practically speaking the second one is
more important you know why because in
first John
for 20 it says for he who does not love
his brother whom he has seen how can he
love God whom he has not seen the st.
Augustine says practically if you want
to love God you need to do what first he
says you need to love your neighbor and
many of us struggle with that right so
if I don't know where to start we all
have sicknesses right if I don't know
where to start I need to first begin by
adopting the mind of the Lord Jesus
Christ which is the mind of a servant
which is to put others before myself and
to begin to fulfill this commandment yes
we need to repent and yes we need to
discover where the root of the problem
is but in the meantime I have to do
something right I have to do something I
have to begin to love my neighbor as
myself today the paralytic said
something he said sir I have no man sir
I have no man meaning I have no one to
help me but did you know that God said
the same thing if you were to look at
Isaiah 59 16 it says he saw that there
was no man meaning God saw that there
was no man and wondered that there was
no intercessor God said there's no man
and that there was no intercessor
intercessor for what to intercede for my
people to serve my people so if we want
to fulfill the commandments if we want
to rejoice God's heart we need to do
what we need to love our neighbor mean
to love our brothers and sisters isn't
that what length is all about okay it's
very hard to love others when we're busy
loving ourselves right but lent is a
time for us to get out of ourselves and
believe it or not it's almost over we're
more than halfway now this is the fifth
Sunday today if you want to read a
spiritual passage a passage about what
lent and what fasting is all about go to
Isaiah 58 versus six to eight that can
be your homework for this weekend okay
and see what God says about fasting and
how we can benefit from the season every
single one of us is looking for healing
right and when the Lord Jesus Christ
healed he usually did it in two ways he
just did it by a word meaning he would
say something like today said arise take
up your bed and walk or he would touch
right he would lay hands on someone like
next week you'll see the blind man he
put he made the clay and he put it on
his eyes right that's the two ways that
the Lord heals either by his word or by
his touch
today you heard his word right his word
was read to you and soon by the end of
the liturgy what's going to happen he's
going to touch you so now this is our
chance to stand before the Lord and Tom
lord I have a sickness I don't know what
it is but I want to be made well I want
to be made well speak to your servant
speak through your word and give me your
divine touch and he will at the end of
the liturgy when you partake of his holy
body and precious blood he will give you
his divine touch and soon if we do that
we'll find that our paralysis whatever
it is whether it's emotional
psychological physical financial
whatever art paralysis is will find that
slowly the Lord was starting to loosen
the bonds and will begin to arise and
walk take up our bed and walk may the
lord give us all the the healing that we
need and heal all of our sicknesses and
glory be to god for