Summary: Sometimes we say or act like we want to change to God's way but when we examine ourselves, we really don't.


Last week, I began a new series entitled “Make your Life Count in 2022”. And in that very first sermon of this new series, I talked about what it took to make God first in your life. You must remove the roadblocks that stand in the way between you and God. Secondly, God wants you to know and understand Him so that is going to require some study on your part. And finally, God wants you to distinguish what He is doing in the world from what the devil is doing in the world and that is why that study of the Scriptures is so important.

Today, I want to begin by asking you a question. Does Jesus ask us foolish questions? In your life have you ever had a foolish question asked of you by God? The answer is no. God don’t ask foolish questions. Can we all agree on that? And so, as we approach our Scripture today, and the paralytic man is asked a question by Jesus which appears to be foolish on the surface, we know that we must dig deeper because Jesus don’t ask foolish question.

Let’s get a little background before we look at our Scriptural text. There was a pool near the Sheep Gate that had five porches. Picture it, there was this pool area with a large area of shade around it where people could sit or lie down. And we are told those who are there are those who have some type of infirmity. We are told an angel would visit this pool once a year and stir the water and the first one in the pool after the stirring of the water would be healed. And then we are introduced to a paralytic man who has been there thirty-eight years. And it is this man that Jesus singles out to ask the question: “Do you want to be made well?” And without looking ahead at the text, if you put yourself in the paralytic man’s place, you might have replied of course I wanted to be healed otherwise I would not have been here thirty-eight years. But the paralytic man does not give that answer. His response might just tell us why Jesus asked the question, “Do you want to be made well?’


John 5:2-9 (NKJV)

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?”

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.”

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.



Thirty-eight years you lay there and year after year, someone beats you to the pool and you remain a paralytic. Don’t you think you should change your strategy because what you are doing is not working? Maybe move much closer to the pool, so all you must do is fall into the pool when the water is stirred or have someone push you in the pool when the water is stirred. Maybe, you need to appeal to the others around the pool to let you go first this time since you have been here the longest. Maybe, you could ask some relatives to take turns staying with you so they can get you to the pool first after the water is stirred. But we are not told the man did anything about his situation other than be near the pool. And Jesus’ question confirms that he did nothing. “Do you want to be made well?” And that question implies” “Why haven’t you done something about your situation?”

But people today are not much different than the paralytic man. There are people who come to Greg and me for marriage counseling and we tell them what they need to do to get their marriage back on the right track according to God’s Word. But instead of doing what we suggested that they need to do from the Bible, they do nothing. And they will call you up in a week or two and say that our marriage is not working. Of course, it is not, you are not doing what God’s Word says for you to do. And Jesus would want to ask you, “Do you want to make this marriage well.”

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