Joseph Prince - God's Healing For Long-Term Conditions
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. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 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?' 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.' Jesus said to him, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk.' And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, 'It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.' He answered them, 'He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.' Then they asked him, 'Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?' But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, 'See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.' The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
John chapter 5
Now, this is a beautiful story. Many of us are familiar with this story, but there are wonderful nuggets of truth on healing, on health, how to receive from the Lord. And also most importantly, we can see Jesus in his beauty glories, his excellencies, amen? Let's go back to this verse 1, "After this there was a feast of the Jews, Now, this feast is a feast of Pentecost.
Notice this phrase, "Feast of the Jews". It has become the feast of the Jews. In Leviticus 23 when God first mentioned the seven feasts of Israel, it is called the feasts of the Lord. It means it's the Lord's feast, the Lord's celebration day with his people, amen. They celebrate, there are seven feasts of Israel, but now it's become the feast of the Jews. It's become something that is their own feast. They're doing it for themselves and they're adding a lot of things into the feast, and it's become the feast of the Jews. So after this, there was a feast of the Jews, which is Pentecost in this context.
"And Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool", The sheep gate, by the way, is the gate by which the sheep enters into the temple for the sacrifice, all right? They enter by the sheep gate, okay? What a beautiful picture that Jesus, the lamb went through the sheep gate to find the lost sheep. And then this pool, there's a pool there, 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". Because and angel came down and stirred the water and the first one that stepped into the water after it was stirred was made well of whatever disease he had.
Now, this stirring of the water, back to verse 3 again. "In these lay a great multitude of sick people". I like the Old King James because the Old King James is more accurate in this verse when it comes to the Greek. The Greek actually says in the Old King James it says this, "In these lay a great multitude of impotent people, people without strength". In the Greek atanoia is the word, all right, ei is negate which is no strength, people with no strength, people who are diseased have no strength, impotent people. And there are three groups of impotent people.
So, let use the Old King James, okay? "In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind," the first category, "halt," second category, "withered", third category. And if you look at the New King James instead of withered it says, "paralyzed". Makes no sense because already you have lame in the center. Halt is lame and then you have paralyzed. Today we think of paralyzed as pertaining to the legs but back then is the word "withered," which means the withered hand, the hand. He cannot work with his hand, a withered hand, okay?
So, the Old King James is more accurate here so let's look at this, blind halt, withered. And this is a picture of humanity. This is a picture of mankind. The first one, they are blind. They are blind to God. They are blind in their hearts, blind in their minds, okay? The second one is they cannot walk. They cannot walk for God. They cannot walk in the Spirit, they cannot walk. And behind every physical, there is a spiritual meaning, all right, that God wants us to learn. Yes, God wants to heal you physically, but more important than that, God is after your spirit side because long before you got a sickness, all right, there's something happening in the spirit. You listening, people? And the answer in the spirit.
So, watch this like a leper is more than just a leper in the gospels. A leper represents sin. So, when Jesus cleansed the leper, it's his power to forgive sins. Are you listening, amen? So, when you're blind, you can't walk, you can't walk, you can't work. Withered means withered hand, right? And God put work last. The church put works first but revelation happens first. When you see right, you believe right. When you believe right, you walk right. When you walk right, you will work right. Back to John 5, okay praise God, so, they were waiting for the moving of the water. Verse 4, we know the angel comes down and whoever... see this verse 4 tells us that you need strength to partake of this healing. You need to be able to get up, okay? Watch this, watch this, number one, you must see the stirring of the water. But if you are blind, how to see?
Number two, whoever steps in first is not for everybody. Whoever steps in first will get well. Now, but if you are lame, how to step in? So, the whole idea here is a picture of the law. And don't forget, this angel coming down is a picture that the law was given, the Bible says, by the disposition of angels. When God gave the law, God gave the law by an angel through Moses to the people of Israel. Grace is direct. Are you listening? So, church, the whole picture of the stirring of the water is a picture of the law and there's Jewish people around there. All right, they must have strength to partake of the benefit. So, Jesus came, grace came.
Now watch this, "Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years". Then Jesus asked him, don't forget, Jesus asked him first. Jesus always initiates, man doesn't. "When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, Jesus asked him". So, Jesus knew that he's been like this for 38 years, Jesus knew. Jesus saw him lying and Jesus knew. And Jesus asked him, "Do you want to be made well"? "Do you want to be made well"? What a question, what a strange question. The guy is there near the water and obviously he's there, and Jesus knew he's been there for 38 years suffering with a condition for that long.
And he asked him the question, "Do you want to be made well"? Why? You know it's not as strange question as we think it is when you think of the fact that there are people get accustomed to their bondage, or to their sickness, or to their addiction, that for them that is normal. Look at this guy's answer, "The sick man answered him, 'Sir, I have no man.'" "Do you want to be made well"? "I have no man". What, man? What an answer. By the way, he didn't know who Jesus was, right? His eye is not on Jesus. Sometimes we know about Jesus and Jesus talks to us, but our eye is not on him. Even right now, Jesus is talking to you but your eye may not be on him. Your eye is on the means, the water. Don't put your eyes on means, put your eyes on the Lord. Can I have good amen? And he has his eyes on means on the water, the stirring of the water. Not only that, he has his eye on man, mankind. "Sir, I have no man. Other people have people to carry them. I have no man". His eye is not on the man from glory, his eye is on man. "I have no man".
Can I say something about healing? Sometimes healing is easier than we think. We complicate it. Then another thing is that his eye is also on himself. He says that, "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". So while he's scooting, all right, he can't walk, right? He's scooting. "While I'm coming, while I'm coming". In other words, his eye is on his action. "I can't scoot fast enough to go to the water". I'm gonna tell you something right now, this man does not know who Jesus is. The next words of Jesus with authority and power. "Jesus said to him, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk.'"
Now, in Hebrew, cumi, arise. Take up your bed and walk. Now watch this now, are you ready to be a debtor to grace"? Cumi, and with the words come to power. See, the law wants you to have the strength before you can keep the law before the law can bless you but grace, as he speaks, the power is there. Now, I'm not against motivational teachings and all that. I'm for it. Many of them are great people. Many of the great motivational speakers in the world today and in times past are Christians, are believers.
So, you know, far be it for me to even knock down motivational teaching but let me tell you this, motivational teaching is based on you must do these seven steps and then you will have the results that you are supposed to have. And if you don't have the results, don't blame me 'cause I gave you the steps, whereas grace is different. Grace, as grace speaks, the power is there. As you come and listen, even before you start applying, you get healed. That's why the power is just in the hearing, in the beholding, the power is there. A lot of people out there, they don't believe that. They don't believe that the power is just by beholding. They must find things to do in the sermon. You must give people things to do. My friend, the doing will come later, the work will come later. The revelation must come first. Their blinded eyes must see then they can walk, then they can work, amen?
So, Jesus says, "Rise, take up your bed, and walk". Why, take up your bed? By the way, you know he cannot rise, right? Thirty-eight years cannot rise but there's authority in the words. When you started acting upon his Word, power comes. Let me tell you this, one of the secrets of healing after you pray for God to heal you, I can't begin to tell you the number of times I had pain in my body, in my study. What I do is that I pray and I believe I receive. I still felt the pain and the next thing I do is like, what do normal people do when they're well? They exercise, amen?
So, I said pumping position down, and I start exercising, hallelujah. And I still felt the pain at first but something happens. More than once, I have received healing while I am exercising. It's like faith. It's like a fire, a spark that's on the powder keg of healing. When you act, poom, doesn't happen when you just pray. You say, "Father, heal me Father, heal me". All right, just take Communion and all that. It's what you do after that. You gotta rise and act like you are healed. Ask yourself, you've been asking God for healing, for healing, for healing. Some of you have been asking God to renew your youth like the eagles, but do you act young? Act young, act strong, act well and you will be well, amen, amen? Amen, come on, give him praise. Take a praise break, hallelujah. Praise the Lord, amen.
As he rose, he found the explosion happened, all right? Wow, he's well, amen? And then Jesus says, "Take up your bed". What does that mean, take up your bed? In other words, make no provision for relapses. So, the Bible says, "Immediately the man was made well, took up his bed. Notice, he became well when, after he took up his bed? No, when he rose up. After he was made well, then he took up his bed, notice that? So, the rise is where the action, the release happens, all right? Take up your bed and walk, and that day was the Sabbath. "The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, 'It's the Sabbath. It's not lawful for you to carry your bed.' He answered them, 'He who made me well.'" His emphasis is he made me well. What an answer. "He who made me well said to me, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk.'" He who made me well.
Now, he gave them the answer right, in case that they do not know that he was the one who was sick, now he tells them, "You want to know who said take up your bed and walk? The one who made me well". Then they will ask him, right, naturally, all right, "Who is the one who made you well," right? "Who is the man who said to you, take up your bed and walk"? You know, how cruel when you turn Christianity into a religion, grace is not in the picture. You don't care what God has done. "I don't care Joseph Prince has all these testimonies or not, doesn't agree my doctrine of taking up the bed and walking on the Sabbath". That's what they zero on.
Now, I don't believe that this man knew what they were trying to fetch out of him. These people knew it was Jesus. They probably suspected it was Jesus. The word has got around but he probably thought they wanted to find the answer. Okay, I need to go through this. "And then the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place". Now, Jesus had withdrawn. Next verse, "Afterwards Jesus found him in the temple". I love where Jesus found him. Jesus found him in the temple. Probably for 38 years, he has not been able to go to the temple and now the man is there probably to offer a thank offering, a thank offering to the Lord so he was at the temple, and the Jesus found him there.
Now, listen, Jesus said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you". Now, I want to share something like this. I can't let you go without me sharing something like this because you might have the wrong impression that when you sin, something bad will happen to you and all that. Number one, he's not referring to that find of sin. After you're saved, how many realize that we still sin here and there. We don't want to sin, we're not interested in sinning. We're interested in serving the Lord, glorifying him with our lives, but listen, we still sin, right? Anything that's not of faith is sin.
So if that's the definition then what, we all sin, right? Anything is not of faith is sin. To him who knows what to do right and do with it not, to him it is sin. But is that what he's referring to? Because you don't have the translation or picture, you will think all the time, worst thing is coming, worst thing is coming, worst thing is coming. No, no, listen to what I'm saying. The word "no more" is something that he did in the past. The word "no more" in the Greek is meketi which is no longer. Sin, the sin you did last time, no longer.
Now, sometimes when someone is suffering, I've read this. You know, you can check this online and all that. You can check with doctors also. STD, sexually transmitted diseases can affect your feet. So, when Jesus tell him, all right, in other words, "Don't go to the brothel anymore. You used to do that 38 years ago, stop doing that. You understand that? Lest a worse thing happen to you". If I tell a person who's smoking all the time and he had lung cancer and we prayed for him, he got healed, completely healed, verified by the doctor. We know of cases like this, right? Then we tell him, "Hey, smoke no longer, can you understand that? Lest a worst thing happen to you". It's a specific thing, hamartano refers to a verb, a specific act that this guy knows of.
So, don't think like any sin, worst thing will happen. No, no, no, listen, we're all forgiven of our sins, all right? Some sins will have consequences, all right, and some of the consequences you cannot reverse. So, be wise, understand, you know, where it's coming from.
Let me bring this to a close. "The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well". Now, he didn't know their intention. They thought they wanted to find out the identity. All right, he went to them. Notice his emphasis again. He didn't say, "Oh, the one who told me to take up my bed". That means he had a bad reason but no, he's very pure in this heart. He went and said, "Hey, the one who made me well". Again, the emphasis, "He made me well". The one who made me well, y'all finding out who is it? It's Jesus.
Look at the reason. "For this reason, the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill him because he had done these things on the Sabbath". Drop down, "Jesus answered them, 'My Father has been working until now, and I have been working. Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God". Look up here, I'm gonna close with this. "My Father is working, therefore I'm working". But why is the Father working and why is he working on the Sabbath?
Let me tell you a very sad story. God's dream was shattered because God gave man a free choice. When God made man creation, the morning stars sang together, God made everything well and then man sinned against God. Now, watch this, when man sinned against God, God's Sabbath which he rested, it's a Sabbath of creation. God made everything and God rested, not because he was tired, because creation was finished and God saw everything that he made. It was good. When God made man, God said it was very good and God rested. So, the Sabbath, which is on Saturday, the Jewish people unto today celebrate Saturday as their Sabbath. It's actually the rest of creation, but creation was disrupted. Man fell and because man fell, God started working again towards man's redemption. God has been working ever since.
And then Jesus came and cried, "It is finished", and he rose from the dead, not on the Saturday, but on the first day of the week, on a Sunday. Sunday is a rest that celebrates redemption, not Sabbath for creation. In creation, man has to work the first six days and on Saturday, they rest. But in redemption, you enter into rest first and then you can work, hallelujah! That's why we celebrate Sunday. It's there in the Bible upon the first day of the week, they gathered together. Jesus appeared after he rose from the dead to one Sunday to another Sunday to another Sunday.
There's a purpose for that. We are now in redemption. We're no more in creation. A lot of people are going back to creation to redeem their bodies. They're going back to creation, back to Eden's diet, but Eden has fallen, even the good food, organic food and all that, they're all robbed of their nutrition today. Unless God blesses in redemption, nothing avails. But we don't put our trust in creation. We put our trust in redemption, amen? Give Jesus the praise, amen. Hallelujah!