Intro: John's Gospel is different from the others in that his primary
goal is not to give men a historical treatment of the life of Jesus. John's purpose is to
exalt the person of Jesus so that men believe on Him and be saved, John 20:30-31. In order
to elevate Jesus to the proper level, John presents Jesus in a new way in every chapter of
his book. We are looking at these portraits of Jesus in John's gallery as we journey
through John together. In these verses, Jesus is presented to us as The Great Physician.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a physician who became wealthy,
having discovered a cure for a fatal disease. After some time, when he knew he would not
be living much longer, he decided to give his wealth to some people in real need.
"One day he went out on the street and found a man lying of the
sidewalk, hungry, hopeless, and almost naked. The doctor took pity on him and extended to
him a bank card. He said to him, 'Take this card. It gives you access to a bank account
with $100,000,000. You must make withdrawals every day for all your needs and to help
others as much as you can.'
"The outcast looked at the card. He looked at the physician. He
looked at the card again. He couldn't believe anything the good man said. 'Could it be,'
he thought, 'that this stranger has gone out of his mind?' Angrily, he grabbed the card
threw it away, spat on his would-be benefactor, and returned to his sidewalk bed.
"The doctor continued his search. He found a poor woman in an
equally sad situation. He made the same offer to her, and she accepted the card happily
but did not go to the bank immediately. As the day dragged on, she got distracted by her
problems and lost the card--the very card that could have solved her problems. And she
made no attempt to find the doctor.
"Not long after that, the physician found another man in desperate
need and offered him the same deal. The man took the card thankfully and was careful to
keep it with him at all times. Wherever he went, he proudly showed his bank card and spoke
enthusiastically about the immense amount of money he had in his account. 'I'm rich,' he
would say, 'and have need of nothing.' But he was still dressed in rags, still terribly
sick, still dirty, disheveled, and hungry, and still dependent on handouts. Whenever he
said he was rich, nobody would believe him because he lived just as he did before
accepting the bank card.
"Another woman caught the famous physician's eye. She was in the
greatest need of all: deathly sick, thin, and weak. The rich man made the same offer to
her: 'Take this card. It represents all that you need and more. You must make withdrawals
every day for all your needs and for the needs of those around you.' She took the card in
her trembling hands and saw her very own name on it. She thanked the rich man and went
straightaway to the bank. She walked up to the teller, presented the card, and dared to
ask for $100. She could not yet fully understand the vast riches at her disposal. The
teller was a friend of the wealthy doctor and was aware of his offers. She could see the
woman's true distress and kindly responded, 'Is that all you need? You'll earn more in
interest in the time it takes me to count it out than what you asked for!' The woman, in
total disbelief, then asked for what she thought was a staggering sum--$5,000.
"The woman rented a small apartment, bought food and new clothes,
took a badly needed bath, and went to the rich physician for healing of her sickness as
well as advice on how to prevent its recurrence. The woman began to live as much like a
rich person as she knew how and sought to imitate the only wealthy person with whom she
was acquainted--the physician. Following the instructions given her, the woman went to the
bank every day to make withdrawals and shared her wealth with others in need."
This little parable illustrates for us the truth of what Jesus desires
to do for everyone of us this morning. He longs to take us from where are and bring us to
where we need to be. As we go through this passage this morning, we are going to have the
opportunity to see the Great Physician in action. Let's observe Him as He delivers this
man from the bondage of his affliction and as we do, please know that He can do the same
for you if you will allow Him the opportunity. This morning, let's look together at Jesus:
The Great Physician.
I. V. 1-5 A SICK MAN
A. V. 5 His Wretched Condition
1. He Is A DisabledMan - According to
the Scriptures, this man had lived with this infirmity for 38 years. He had been sick
longer than Jesus had been on the earth! The Bible says that this man had an
"infirmity." This word means that he had some weakness or frailness that
prevented him from walking about as other men.
(Ill. What a picture of the sinner who is lost and separated from God by
his sins - Isa. 59:2; Rom. 3:23. Regardless of what he tries, the sinner is still lost and
unable to walk in the ways of the Lord. The sinner may be able to put on a good show and
have all the appearances of being right with God, but the fact remains that God knows the
heart of the sinner and He knows that the sinner is still dead until he tastes of the life
that can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ - Eph. 2:1-3.)
(Ill. Many lost people feel that their lives are going along well and
they need nothing. Sadly, the lost sinner is in more trouble than he could ever believe.
To live your life without God is one thing. After all, you never really miss something you
never have. But, to die without God is a terrible thing! For there is only one destination
for the lost sinner, and that is Hell - Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9.)
2. He Is A Desperate Man - The very fact that he is
here at this pool in his condition is proof positive that this man is desperate for
healing. Imagine him dragging his broken body toward that pool.
(Ill. Sadly, there are too few sinners who are desperate about their
spiritual condition. Many live their lives as if they will go on indefinitely. In truth,
life is nothing more than a brief pause between 2 very long eternities. This life is
simply a time of preparation. One day, it will end and then it will be too late to do
anything about your lost condition. Please don't be guilty of presuming on tomorrow. Time
may just run out on you - James 4:14; Pro. 27:1.)
(Ill. I am convinced that there are very few people who genuinely desire
to go to Hell when they die. Most, if not all, humans want the assurance that they will be
in Heaven when their time down here ends. There is only one way to accomplish this; you
must come to Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Savior. Acts 4:12; John 14:6)
3. V. 7 He Is A Disappointed Man - He tells Jesus that
every time he is about to get into the water, someone else beats him there and goes away
with the healing instead. Year after year, he has seen his hopes and dream shattered as
another person beats him into the healing waters.
(Ill. Again, we can see the sinner in this scenario. A man can try many
things to bring peace and salvation to the soul. He can try works, religion, goodness,
giving, praying, etc, but none of these things will ever be able to save the soul of man.
It takes the blood of Jesus to accomplish this. Whatever you may decide to try, outside of
Jesus, you will be sadly disappointed. Men may receive you as being righteous and worthy,
but it takes the shed blood of Jesus to make the sinner truly worthy of Heaven, 1 Pet.
B. V. 3 His Wretched Companions - This man was
surrounded by others who were in the same shape as himself. They offered him no comfort
and they offered him no help. They were as desperate as he was to be released from their
own prisons. Even if these people had been able to help this man get into the pool when
the time came, I am sure that it would have been every man for himself! They wouldn't have
helped him, because they needed the healing for themselves!
(Ill. Again, this is a sad, but true, picture of the lost sinner. These
sad people picture the sinner in all of his helplessness, his brokenness, his blindness
and his uselessness before the Lord, Eph. 2:12. He is surrounded by others who are in the
same boat. Others who are just as lost as he is and others who can no more help him than
he can help them. But, as they say, misery loves company! Often, sinners will surround
themselves with others who are as bad, or often who are worse than, they themselves are.
This is a vain attempt to justify their condition.)
I. The Sick Man
II. V. 6a A SYMPATHETIC MESSIAH
(Ill. Jesus is pictured here as the compassionate Savior. He is shown
doing three great works that prove this true.)
A. He Is Shown Choosing The Sinner - According
to the Bible's own witness, there was a "great multitude" there that day. Jesus
could have gone to any person in that place, yet for His own reasons, He went to this man.
This is nothing but pure grace!
(Ill. What a picture of Jesus and His work in salvation. He passes by
and knocks on our heart's door, John 6:44. He reaches out to us in love and calls us unto
Himself, Jer. 31:3; Matt. 11:28. When the sinner responds in faith, Rom. 10:9-10, Jesus
comes in and works the work of salvation in our hearts and lives, Rom. 10:13. This is a
work of grace and grace alone! After all, we have done nothing to deserve His love. We
have done nothing to earn our salvation. We have done nothing to even make God notice us.
Yet, He chooses to love us just because He is God! I praise the Lord for the day when He
chose me! He could have passed by and left me bound for Hell, but He didn't! Thank God He
stopped where I was, helpless and broken by sin and He reached out to me! All I had to do
was say "Yes!".)
(Ill. Now, don't miss understand me! I am not saying that God has some
handpicked to go to Heaven and others handpicked to go to Hell. All I am saying is that
the sinner is dead in his sins until Jesus comes along and awakens the heart. Then and
only then can the sinner be saved! All are called, but far fewer are chosen!)
B. He Is Shown Caring For The Sinner - Jesus
knew everything there was to know about this man! He knew that he was crippled, that he
was unable to walk, that he was unable to stand and carry his own bed. Jesus knew that
this man was totally dependent upon others for everything he had in life. Yet, Jesus
reached out to him anyway! What a picture of His grace! (Ill. Bethesda = "House of
(Ill. Jesus knows all about the condition of the sinner. He knows that
we love our sins, that we cannot control our passions, that we desire the things of the
world that gratify this old flesh, yet He loves us still! Jesus refuses to look at man as
he is and chooses rather to see man as he can become through the power of grace. Jesus
looks beyond our faults and our failures and cares for us in spite of our sins. Isn't it
an awesome thought that Jesus knows every lowdown thing we have ever done, yet He loves
us? That He knows all our evil thoughts yet He loves us? That He knows we will fail over
and over again as the years go by, yet He loves us? I say glory to God! What a testimony
of the amazing grace of Almighty God! I am so glad that God loves Old Sinners - Mark
C. He Is Shown Coming To The Sinner - In what
may be the greatest move of all, Jesus literally comes to where this poor man is lying and
reaches out to him in genuine grace and love.
(Ill. It is one thing for Jesus to love us and to do so in spite of our
wickedness. However, it isn't until He actually comes to us that we have the opportunity
for salvation. There are 3 ways in which Jesus comes to the sinner.
1. He Came As A Sacrifice - The first time Jesus
came, He came to die! He went to Calvary and gave His life a ransom for sinner. When He
died on that cross, He took your sins upon Himself and paid the price for your redemption.
Jesus suffered every agony of Calvary in your place. He became your sin and suffered the
awesome wrath of God so that you wouldn't have to, 2 Cor. 5:21.
2. He Comes As A Savior - Today, when Jesus
comes to the sinner, he comes as Savior. He comes as One offering eternal life to all who
will receive Him into their hearts and lives. Jesus is here this morning in this capacity.
He desires more than anything for you to be saved and for you to miss Hell. He knows all
there is to know about you and your life, yet He still calls you to come unto Himself. If
you will respond in faith, He will not deny you salvation, John 6:37.
3. He Comes As Sovereign - One day, if the
sinner doesn't respond to the Gospel message and come to Jesus, he will find himself
facing Jesus as judge. The same Jesus who has the power to save you today, will one day
have the power to sentence you to the lake of fire, Rev. 20:11-15. If Jesus is not
received as Savior, He will be face as Judge - John 5:22. (Please do not presume upon the
grace and goodness of God. If anything, take the opportunity God gives and run to Him for
I. A Sick Man
II. A Sympathetic Messiah
III. V. 6b-9 A STRIKING MIRACLE
A. There Is An Offer - Jesus asks the man if he
would like to be healed. The man responds by appealing to the flesh and tells Jesus that
he has no one to help him into the pool.
(Ill. This man is guilty of the same thing that so many others are
guilty of, he is confusing the physical with the spiritual. Jesus came to offer him
physical healing from a spiritual source, but this man still has his eye on the what he
(Ill. Even today, Jesus comes to the lost sinner and makes an offer of
salvation. The common responses are, I am not good enough, I can't hold out, I have been
too wicked, It won't work for me, etc. The problem is that sinners are looking for a
physical solution to a spiritual problem. The sinner needs to be saved! That is something
that no man can do for himself! It takes the power of God, the conviction of the Spirit
and the blood of Jesus to accomplish this for the sinner. If Jesus is calling you to come
to Him, then do not tarry, but obey and come to the Lord for salvation.)
B. There Is An Order - Jesus tells the man to
get up and walk. Jesus just told this man to do something that he hasn't been able to do
in 38 years, if ever. To me, this is a pretty incredible command! However, all that was
required on the part of this man is simple, child like faith and obedience to the call of
(Ill. When the call comes to the sinner lost in his sins, the only
necessary response is faith! Jesus comes to men who have lived their entire lives in the
grip of sin. He passes by and says, "Get out of the gutter and follow me!" Men
refuse because it sounds too simple. It is! Jesus doesn't require perfection; He just
requires faith in Him! I suppose that is why it is so easy for little children to be
saved. They are used to depending on others for what they need. Mama and daddy take care
of everything, so it is easy for them to trust Jesus and be saved! However, adults are
different. We are conditioned to make our own way in the world. We are taught to stand on
our own too feet. I believe that we need a dose of childishness in our lives - Mark.
C. There Is An Outpouring - When this man
responded to Jesus' command by faith, he was immediately healed and he was able to get up
an walk. This miracle required no in put from the crippled man, all he had to do was get
up and walk at the command of Christ.
(Ill. Salvation works the exact same way. Jesus comes to the sinner and
calls him to salvation. All that is required of the sinner is humble obedience to the call
of Jesus. When this obedience comes, the sinner is immediately and instantly made right
with God, transformed into God's child, delivered from wrath and made an heir of all that
Heaven has to offer. All of this simply because the sinner turns to the Savior in pure,
(Ill. Jesus Christ has the power to take any life that is broken and
ruined by sin and make it over again. He is all-powerful, all-saving and awesome! He will
lift you out of the affliction of your sins if you will only come to Him when He calls
Conc: Jesus demonstrates His power as the Great Physician by healing
this man's body. However, there is no indication that this man ever became a believer in
Jesus, v. 10-15. What a sad thing to come face to face with Jesus, experience His power
and know His touch, yet go on in sin without Him an perish, lost, into Hell forever. What
a sad thing! You see, the important thing to remember about Jesus as The Great Physician
is not that He can heal the body, but that He can heal the soul! If he heals the body,
that is wonderful ,but eventually, the body will still perish. However, what Jesus does
for the soul is eternal. Are you saved today? Maybe you would have to confess that the
Lord has been dealing with you and you know you need to come to Jesus. Why put it off any
longer? While He is passing by, take the time to come to Him this morning. He will save
you from sin and deliver you from Hell. And that, after all, is what you really want and
Sermon By Alan Carr
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