Subtopic: Step Towards Freedom
Scripture: John 5:1-9
Intro: Challenges as we should know by now, is apart of life. Terris Fallis said “A life without challenge, a life without hardship, a life without purpose, seems pale and pointless. With challenges come perseverance and gumption. With hardship come resilience and resolve. With purpose come strength and understanding.”
Challenges either make us or break us. We all have to face some type of challenge. To some, it may be easy to overcome, to others it may be too unbearable.
What we do with our challenges will determine our overall success.
There are some challenges however, that is hidden way down in the premisses of our being. We wake up in the morning, put on our clothes, go to work each day, come to church, talk to friends and love ones, but still we are left to deal with that challenge that we know we want to overcome which will result in the breaking point to our overall self-development and eventually our freedom but we are left stuck dealing with it. We are stuck trying to move forward but the possibilities of moving forward are always defeated by our challenges. How can this thing be is a question I ask myself? How can you want to go forward but can’t? How can you want to progress in life but can’t? How can you be moving but yet not going anywhere? How can you be making money but still broke? How can you be loving but still not yet loved? CHALLENGES I SAY!
Paul put it like this, “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” (Romans 7:15-20).
These challenges are what we describe as Mental Challenges. It is a state that the mind puts you in! For example, If you are moving forward each day trying to further the development of your life but nothing seems to be working out the way you expect it to. Your mind then tells you that just maybe it isn’t supposed to be what you want it to be. You then accept what your mind says and then you stop trying. Once you stop trying, you stop developing. Once you stop developing, you then see life as not making any sense. Once you see life not making any sense, you then give up and when you give up you then have accepted your defeated state. At that point of acceptance, it will be eventually become a lifetime mental state. You will die in that condition if it isn’t addressed.
Special Point: You were never created by God to STAND STILL! You were always meant to be moving, to be accomplishing.
LET’S LOOK AT OUR TEXT: (Read the text from verse 1 up to here)
Scripture: John 5:1-9
Notes: Notice the approach of Jesus towards the man who was in his state for thirty-eight (38) years. Jesus approached him by asking him a question. “Wilt thou be made whole?” Jesus wanted to find out what was the condition of his mind. Jesus knew as alluded in the text, that he had been there for a very long time. So this lets me know that Jesus was watching him and inquired about him.
Special Point: This information known by Jesus was a sign that Jesus knew that something beyond this man’s seemingly challenges, caused him to be in the situation that he was in for that length of time.
Jesus pried on him, however, to get a response from him. Maybe to get the man to speak from his mouth his challenges that would open the man own understanding of his backward state or condition.
If the truth is told, your problem isn’t what you think it is! Jesus got the man to confess his problem and as a result, the man saw his real problem.
Special Point: Sometimes in order to see it, it has to be confessed!
Special Point: Before confession, your challenge has to be addressed! If your challenge isn’t addressed, you will stay in that state and accept it as a condition that is beyond fixable. Thirty-eight (38) years could’ve been longer if Jesus didn’t address the situation and got the man to confess. So the question is, “DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WHOLE?” In modern vernacular, “ARE YOU TIRED OF BEING IN THAT STATE?”
Special Point: What Jesus did worked! It caused the man to pour out his heart. His response was, “I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.”
By this man’s confession of the heart, Jesus saw what was going on in his mind. The problem wasn’t the man’s condition, BUT HIS MINDSET. He had a mental challenge! The sad reality however behind this man’s condition was PEOPLE. He depended on people to do for him what he eventually could’ve done for himself.
Special Point: Your problem might not be people, but it could be a wide variety of things such as, the lack of money, non employment, the lack of a father in one’s life, abuse whether physical or emotional, fear, insecurity, a lack of companionship, depression, and the list can go on and one. But mental illness is an internal disorder that plagues an individual from progressing further in life. It keeps an individual trap within that mental state. That individual cannot see further past where they presently are. They eventually accept the sad false reality of where they presently are.
Special Point: Who or what is your problem? Who or what is causing you to stay in your state of despair. Your disparity is causing your lingering problem and the possibilities of exploration. Your disparity is causing you not to walk! Not to be able to explore new and enjoyable possibilities.
Another word for disparity is imbalance. One minute your up and the next minute your down. One minute you think you can do it and the next time around you think you can’t.
Special Point: The scripture said that this man had an infirmity. The scripture didn’t specifically address the real problem behind this man’s condition. You had to really read into the text to find out his real problem. This brings me to a point: “Some people don’t really have challenges like they are portraying. If you really probe at them, their challenges are internal. It’s a mental disorder.” When a mental disorder lingers and not addressed, a person becomes resign to that mental state which then becomes a problem and in the eyes of others, it becomes an infirmity or disability. But the real problem is mental.
The man’s infirmity as the text portrays, WAS HIS BED! This man, in other words, wasn’t supposed to be where he was. He placed himself in the position of the great multitude of impotent folk, the blind, halt, withered who were waiting for the moving of the water. His mind told him that was where he was supposed to be. He accepted a false reality. One year turned into two years and two years turned into three, and three multiplied and turned into thirty-eight (38). He could’ve gotten up but he couldn’t get up. He could’ve started but couldn’t finish. Verse 7 (KJV) states, while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.” Verse 7 (NIV) states, “While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Special Point: I believe he wanted to be in that position. It wasn’t coincident that others were being made whole except this man. Everyone was being made whole except him! Maybe it was because he wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place. He didn’t need to step into the pool to be made whole, He needed someone to address is condition and TO CHALLENGE HIM.
Jesus did just that! Jesus addressed his condition and then challenged him. Jesus addressed the man’s condition not by elaborating on the problem but by challenging him to do what he had already been doing but this time TO TAKE UP AND WALK IT OUT! Jesus made this man see that where he was, just lying on that bed, he wasn’t supposed to be there so long. He just needed a push. His MIND debilitated or crippled his will to progress further beyond where he was. He was by the pool but couldn’t make it in the pool.
Special Point: Some of you are right there to your breakthrough but your mind is telling you that you can’t go further. Your mind has crippled your will to succeed. Your mind has crippled your will to move beyond where you are presently in life. But Jesus today is commanding your spirit TO NOT STOP HERE but keep on walking. Walking takes you closer to your destiny. Standing still keeps you stuck in your present and will hinder you from exploring new possibilities. Walking allows you to see that you don’t need what you think you need to be better. The man thought he needed the pool, but what he really needed, was a shift in mindset.
When Jesus got the man to shift in mindset by seeing his own problem, Jesus then commanded the man to Rise, take up his bed, and walk. Verse 9 says that the man was immediately made whole (he came to his senses), and took up his bed (his infirmity, his challenge) and walked.
Special Point: The man’s challenge was his bed! This is true because Jesus said to him, Rise, take up thy bed and walk.”