March 20, 2013
Back again after a long hiatus. Decided to write notes from current Bible studies first, then go back and play catch-up. My husband and I felt this was a dynamite study – taught Friday, March 13, 2013
John 5:1-4 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 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.
Whoever stepped in first.
John 5:5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
Thirty-eight years!!! That’s a long time.
John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that conditiona long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
Jesus asked the man – Do you want to be made well? We think, well of course he wanted to be made well. Jesus knew he was there a long time through a Word of Knowledge, it wasn’t that Jesus saw him each day of those thirty-eight years. Jesus was just in town for the feast. This question is pertinent for today, because there are people who are still sick in our culture and church. Not all who are sick really desire to get well.
John 5:7 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.
Notice, the man did not answer the question. He’s sort of saying, “Are you joking? Here I am coming to the pool thirty-eight years.” Pastor Don said that the man’s paralysis was limited – he could get to the pool, but not into the water.
We looked at verse six in the Amplified Bible When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?]
Jesus was asking the man and us, “How motivated are you?” We have to want to believe divine healing is available yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We are bound by the parameters of our desire and our motivation. Everyone who is sick doesn’t want to be made well.
Pastor Don told us about how, during one service, the Holy Spirit let him know that the anointing for healing for one of the ladies attending. She had been in a car accident. Pastor went to lay hands on her and pray for her healing. He said to her, “I believe the Lord told me that if I lay hands on you, you will be healed.” The woman said, “Don’t touch me, Don.” He asked, “Why?” She said, “If you touch me, I’ll get healed and I want to sue that SOB that hit me. Don’t lay hands on me.”
Pastor was stunned and he told the woman, “The healing anointing is here for you now, I can’t guarantee that after the lawsuit that it will be available.”
She insisted she wanted to get that man.
Pastor Don said that the criterion for healing is not so much God’s criteria, but our own. This woman rejected the possibility of healing. Often, we are the problem.
Then Pastor Don said, that there were many people at the Pool of Bethesda, and Jesus only went to this one man. How come the others waiting at the pool didn’t look at Jesus and ask, “What’s your criteria for healing? Are you willing?” The leper went up to Jesus and asked him if He was willing, and Jesus said He was willing to heal.
So, we need to be aware that it is our criteria that is preventing the flow of what God wants to do. We limit what God wants to do because of our stuff. Sometimes we are not obedient. We don’t drop our criteria to accept God’s.
Verse 7 is a coping out about the problem. The problem for this man wasn’t faith or belief (he believed if he would get into the pool, he would be healed) it was obedience. He was at the pool for so many years that he was obviously believing something.
Pastor reminded us that when we visited Israel we looked at the pool – one side was a high wall, and you had to climb a series of steps to reach the pool and there was just a narrow walking area maybe three to four feet wide. People would lay on these steps waiting for the waters to stir. Because of the nature of this man’s disability, he was able to get to the steps but unable to be the first in the water. An able bodied person would have been able to reach the waters.
It was mentioned that Jesus had healing in His wings. Pastor Don took us to Malachi 4:1-3 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” says the Lord of hosts, “that will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,” says the Lord of hosts. “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Pastor Don illustrated this by using a prayer shawl – showing how, when wearing one, the person praying could pull it completely over their heads and have their faces hidden from view (prayer closet). And how, if one wears a prayer shawl, grabs the ends and lifts their arms it looks like wings of a bird. And the tassels (talit) were the hem of this garment that the woman with the issue of blood reached out to touch.
The Jews believed that such a garment would build up a healing power because of the prayers prayed while wearing it. Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness. He would have worn a prayer shawl because no Orthodox Jew would be caught without his prayer shawl.
The Day of the Lord did not come at the appearance of the Messiah, they took this prophesy out of its setting.
Healing came through Jesus’ prayer shawl because they believed and had faith for it. God accepts those who hear the truth and obey. Those who are faint of heart can be changed when their ignorance is replaced by the truth that God holds us to. God won’t bless our ignorance.
Pastor Don shared that when he first began to believe God and lay hands on people he felt the presence of God for healing as a tingling on his arms. When the tingling appeared, he knew that the healing anointing was available. As Pastor grew in his faith, the tingling stopped. He realized that he had to believe, by faith, that the anointing for healing was there. And he realized that, if he relied on an outward sign like the tingling of his arms, that the enemy could imitate that and fool Pastor into believing it was God.
We need to step out in faith, believing that once we take that first step, God will meet us. God frees us to operate more effectively.
We were reminded that there was nothing in the appearance of Jesus that would stand out in a crowd, his appearance was ordinary, so when people approached Him, it was not because of anything physical.
A question was asked about sin and sickness, how the Jews believed that all sickness was caused by sin. Pastor pointed out that this is not always the case using the following Scripture.
John 9:1-2 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
The Jews assumed that there was a direct connection between sin and sickness, sin and poverty, sin and misfortune. They didn’t do like we do today and say that everybody is a good person so anything bad happening is an act of God. God does not bring sickness, disease, and death, that is the enemy who does this.
We were reminded that in Deuteronomy 28 there is a long passage of blessings and curses that would fall on the Israelites depending on whether they obeyed God or disobeyed God.
Our discussion then went to the role of husbands as the spiritual head of the family.
Pastor said that it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit is linked to the feminine – wife – teacher and comforter.
More women attend church than men. The woman needs to fake it until her husband steps into his role as spiritual head of the family. Even if women know the answer to spiritual questions, it is important to take the questions to their husband so that the husband steps up to the plate and answers them. As we defer to our husbands, then the husbands fulfill the role that God placed them in.
The biggest obstacle to faith is disobedience and not obeying the law.
How come Christians go to church, are good people and they believe that they are redeemed from sin, but they don’t believe that Jesus also died for healing.
Galatians 3:13-14 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
We are redeemed from the curse of the law, not because we did anything to cause this, but because we believed it.
Two thousand years later, we believe Jesus died for our sins, but we don’t believe that He died for our healing. It should be as easy for us to believe that Jesus died for our healing as it is for us believing for salvation.
Pastor Don said that one day he drove to a local filling station, did not have money. He asked the clerk if he could leave his driver’s license so he could go to get money from the bank and then return to pay for the gas. When he got to the bank he reached his hand into the back pocket and pulled out a twenty dollar bill. He didn’t know he had that. Even though he had enough money to get enough gas, that money didn’t do him any good because he didn’t realize he had that money.
It is the same with healing – we cannot make use of the power of healing that Jesus died to provide for us unless we realize that we have that power within us because of what Jesus did on the cross.
Where is our faith? We sometimes think that we are not qualified to heal or be healed. God just says that all we need to do is come in faith believing. Do we dare believe in God? Remember Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We believe, sight unseen.
We don’t always act like we believe that there is a Heaven to be gained. We fight so hard to hold onto life.
When our prayers for healing don’t work the way we want them to, we doubt God. We aren’t always honest with ourselves. Often we say we are believing for a healing when we are really wishing and hoping, but don’t have the faith for healing. We need to get honest with the Holy Ghost. We can go to God and honesty say like the man with the sick son – Lord I believe, help my unbelief.
John 5:8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
The presence of God can change any circumstance.
John 5:9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
Notice, the man made no more excuses. He said to his self, “Self get up and walk.” He had faith in God, the person of God who talked to him.
The Church says they have faith, but they don’t live by faith. We have to get brutally honest with ourselves. Often, we can’t get past the lack of seeing.
If you tell a seven-year-old Santa is coming, the child races downstairs in the morning expecting. If you tell the same thing to an adult, they will not believe because they have lived longer and have seen things that hinder their faith.
We have to purpose that nothing on earth or in earth will hold us in sickness. Only the devil and you can hold you in sickness. The devil wants us to feel unworthy and unacceptable to God, because then the devil can hold us in bondage.
There is no place in Scripture that Jesus has us fill out forms or ask us questions about why we should or shouldn’t be healed.
Why did Jesus go find this guy? Jesus followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit told Jesus that if he didn’t get to this guy the devil and other people would hold him in bondage.
This man had the presence of Jesus. We believe for healing by faith. John 17:20-21 I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Jesus prayed for us, who believe because of the Word, not because Jesus was physically present for us.
Jesus climbed over all the people lying by the pool looking for one who really had faith for healing. When Jesus told the man to rise up and pick up his bed, the man immediately did this. He didn’t question Jesus or say, I don’t think I can do this, I’m a cripple. He immediately obeyed.
Don’t sign up for less than the best – the devil is glad to give you disease and hurt your faith. Trust Jesus and know that not only did He die for our salvation but also for our healing.