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Jesus Is God's Answer to Man's Disability

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2024 4:00 am

Jesus Is God's Answer to Man's Disability

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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April 5, 2024 4:00 am

One of the great questions of life is not what will happen to our bodies, but rather, do we have the inner strength God wants us to have? In this message, Adrian Rogers shares how the miracle of the healing of the paralytic recorded in John 5:1-9 reveals that Jesus is God’s answer to Man’s disability.

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Adrian Rogers was a motivator, an encourager, and a leader of the faith. He was also passionate about presenting scriptural application to everyday life circumstances, and you'll hear that in today's message.

Now, let's join Adrian Rogers. One of my friends that I've had in past years was a man named Paul Anderson. Paul Anderson was the strongest man in the world, literally. If you met Paul, you would meet a man five feet, ten and one half inches tall, not very tall, but he weighed 375 pounds. His neck measured 23 and one half inches around.

How'd you like to buy a shirt for a man like that? He had a 23 and a half inch neck, 22 and one half inch upper arms. His arms were like coconuts. Had a 50 inch chest, 35 inch thighs.

Many of you are not 35 inches around the waist. He was 35 inches around the thighs, 20 inches around the calves. I often heard Paul give his testimony and people would ask him, were you ever once a 97 pound weakling?

He said yes when I was four years old. Just a big man. Had incredible strength. Paul Anderson back in 1955 went to Moscow.

He was virtually unheard of. The Russians held all the titles and the major titles in weightlifting. Paul Anderson there bested them all and he astounded as he won the world championship in weightlifting and the Russian announcer said that he was a wonder of nature. Later on, Paul Anderson began to do feats of strength. On an occasion, he lifted 6,270 pounds off the ground with his back.

More than three tons. This man lifted that weight with his own body. He's in the Guinness World Book of Records and according to them, that is the greatest weight ever lifted by a human being. He was a stellar athlete and an even more stellar Christian. He had a kidney failure.

He died at 61 years of age and he wound down to the grave. Strongest man on earth, but he died. And if Jesus doesn't come, so are you going to die no matter how much strength you have. The Bible says in Isaiah chapter 40 and verse 30, even the ewes shall faint and be weary and the young men shall utterly fall.

That's us folks. All human strength will utterly, ultimately fail. But the Bible says, though our outward man perish, our inward man, the real man is renewed day by day by the Lord Jesus Christ. Our great problem, therefore, is not what is going to happen to our bodies, but the great question is this, do we have that inner strength that God wants us to have?

Now, this miracle that we're going to study tonight is going to tell us how to have that kind of strength. And I want you to open your Bibles, please, if you will, to John chapter 5. John chapter 5 verse 1, and after this, there was a feast of the Jews and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue, Bethesda. By the way, that means house of mercy, having five porches. And in these lay a great multitude of impotent folk. That means they had no strength. They were without power.

That's what the word impotent means, without power. A blind halt and withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool and troubled the water. Whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there which had an infirmity 30 and eight years. And when Jesus saw him lie and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, wilt thou be made whole?

The impotent man answered him, sir, 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. Jesus saith unto him, rise, take up thy bed and walk. And immediately the man was made whole and took up his bed and walked. And on the same day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, it is the Sabbath day. It is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, he that made me whole, the same said unto me, take up thy bed and walk. Then asked they him, what man is that which said unto thee, take up thy bed and walk. And he that was healed was not who he was, for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward, Jesus findeth him in the temple and said unto him, behold, thou art made whole, sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Now let me give you the background here. It takes place at a pool called the pool of Bethesda. And that literally means that the house of mercy, if you've been to Israel, as some of us have, is just right outside or right inside the sheep gate where Stephen was stoned.

And you go to this place, this pool, it is still there. Actually it's about 40 feet below street level now where this miracle took place. God, the Lord Jesus showed his mercy to this poor man who had been sick for 38 years. Now it was something like a health spa and all around on these porches are sick people.

Some of them with withered limbs, some of them were blind, some of them had maladies that perhaps you may be afflicted with, but only worse. They were there hoping for a miracle. And yearly when the water would bubble up, God in his mercy would perform a miracle and whoever stepped into the water would be healed. Now Jesus came there. It was on a feast day and he went to one particular man. There were many there, but Jesus chose one. This man had been waiting in line for 38 years.

At least he had been sick, paralyzed, and invalid for 38 years. I don't know how long really he had been there at the pool of Bethesda, but for a long time, waiting in line, trying to inch closer and closer to the water that he might be in the water, the first in the water, and to be healed. And Jesus asks him a profound but a very simple question. Do you want to be made whole? Wilt thou be made whole? That's a question not only was Jesus asking that man.

That's a question Jesus is asking you. Jesus is not merely in the healing business. He only healed one there.

The Bible says there were a great multitude there. Had Jesus been a great healer, he would have gone from place to place, from person to person and heal them all. But he just healed this one man. Because what he is doing here is a miracle with a message. He's teaching a greater spiritual truth. As a matter of fact, after he healed this one man, we're going to learn that Jesus just silently, almost stealthily slipped away.

Had he stayed there, they would have clamored after him. All of the people would have come to him to be healed, but he did not come as the great healer. He came as the Savior. And these miracles were given that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ and believing that we might have life through his name. And so I want you to learn again what I'm saying, that we need to go beyond miracles and onto Jesus.

We believe in miracles, but we trust in Jesus. G. Campbell Morgan was a great preacher and teacher of another year. G. Campbell Morgan said something very significant about the miracles of Jesus. G. Campbell Morgan said that every parable that Jesus taught was a miracle of instruction.

And every miracle that Jesus wrought was a parable of instruction. Now, he didn't mean that the miracles were not real, but that there is a miraculous message in the miracle. The very word for miracle here in the Gospel of John is the word sign. It means it has a significance.

The first four letters in the word significance are signs. These are miracles with a message. So Jesus didn't heal everybody that day, but Jesus healed this one man. And Jesus healed this one man to get a message across to all of those of us who feel that we need spiritual strength because spiritually, as we're going to see in a moment, by nature we are paralyzed and without strength in Christ, we have power for living. Jesus is God's answer to man's spiritual disability. Now, let me give you an example that will prove how this miracle is working. The physical healing is only temporary. It's not really all that important. You think it's important that you get healed.

I think it's important when I get sick that I get healed, but God probably doesn't think it's nearly as important as we think because God has a greater plan for us and a different plan for us. Do you remember, and this is not the same story that we're studying now, but in another place in the Gospels, there was a man who was brought to Jesus by four men carrying him on a stretcher. Do you remember that? And Jesus said to this man, son, your sins be forgiven. Now, when Jesus said that, people began to murmur and complain and to criticize. They said, in effect, just who does he think he is? Who is he to say to that man that his sin is forgiven? Only God can forgive sin.

They were right about that. Who does he think he is? And then Jesus said that you may know that the son of man hath power to forgive sin.

Sir, take up your bed and walk. Jesus healed him physically only to give a credibility to the spiritual miracle. Jesus did something that they could see so that they might understand and believe that which they could not see.

Do you understand the importance? The important thing to Jesus that day was not healing that man's body. The important thing was forgiving his sin.

The healing of the body only attested to the greater unseen spiritual miracle, and so it is with this man. And so we're going to learn three things tonight that will help us to have powerful living, that will help us to understand in the spiritual realm that Jesus Christ is God's answer for man's disability. Here's the first thing you must do if you would find the strength this man found so long ago. The first thing you must do is to validate your weakness. Validate your weakness. Admit that you're weak. Now look, if you will, in verse five.

And a certain man was there which had an infirmity 30 and eight years. This man really represents you and me without the Lord Jesus Christ. But you see, the problem many of us is we will not admit that we are spiritually paralyzed.

We will not validate our own weakness. But let me give you a verse of scripture to put in the margin. It's Romans chapter five and verse six.

Listen to it. The Bible says, for when we were yet with our strength, Christ died for the ungodly. The Bible describes every man without Christ as being without strength. He's just like this impotent man. That's what the word impotent means. He was without strength.

And therefore he becomes an illustration of every man, woman, boy and girl without the Lord Jesus. Now think with me as we're talking about validating your weakness. Think about the primary source of your weakness.

Where does your weakness come from? We'll go to verse 14. What was this man's problem? And afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple and said unto him, behold, thou art made whole, sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you. The primary source of this man's weakness was his sin. Now not everybody is sick because of sin, but this man was. And I think that's the reason that Jesus picked this man out. This man's sin and this man's weakness had a direct connection. And so after Jesus healed him, Jesus said, now don't sin again, lest something worse happen to you. The point is this, that the primary source of our weakness is sin. We're sinners by birth, sinners by nature, sinners by choice and sinners by practice.

The Bible says for all of sin and come short of the glory of God. But now here's something else I want you to see. Not only the primary source of your weakness, but I want you to see the paralyzing force of your weakness. Many of us do not realize that spiritually we are paralyzed. You may say, well, I'm not weak. I lift weights. I'm very strong. I'm not talking about physical weakness. You may say, well, I'm not weak.

I have a PhD. I'm not talking about intellectual weakness. You may say, I'm not weak.

I have a million dollars in the bank. I'm not talking about financial weakness. I'm talking about spiritual weakness that has paralyzed you. The Bible says for when we were yet without strength in due time, Christ died for the ungodly. Do you know what our weakness is? Our weakness is that we don't have the strength to be godly.

We're without strength. So Christ died for the ungodly. What is God's plan for me? What is God's plan for you? God's plan for all of us is that we'd be godly. We don't have the strength to be godly. I don't care how hard you try to be godly. You don't have what it takes to be godly. We are without strength when it comes to being godly.

You see, you may be strong to do as you want, but you're not strong to do as you ought. While we were yet without strength, Christ died for the ungodly. The primary source of our weakness is sin. The paralyzing force of our sin is that we cannot be what God would have us to be.

And now I want you to notice also the persistent course of your weakness. According to verses five and six, this man had been this way for 38 years. Can you imagine being paralyzed, impotent, debilitated, without strength for 38 years? What happens to a man when he's paralyzed for 38 years? His muscles begin to atrophy and to wither. Every year that this man was there, he was not getting better. He was getting worse. His muscle tissue was disintegrating. And so it is with a man, a woman, a boy, a girl without Christ.

The longer they live, the worse their condition. That's the reason that no man should put off giving his or her heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you need to be saved, you ought to be saved tonight because tomorrow you only have more sin to repent of and less time to repent him. You see, the primary force of his weakness was sin. The paralyzing force is that he cannot be godly.

And the persistent course is that it goes on and on and on, but down and down and down. Now, if you would have what this man had, what you must do is validate your weakness. You must say, God, you're right.

You're right. I am without strength. I'll lay my pride in the dust and I will admit my need. Now, here's the second thing. Not only must you validate your weakness, but you must activate your will. Look in verse six.

Look at it. When Jesus saw him lie and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, wilt thou be made whole? In modern English, will you be made whole?

Do you wish to be made whole? What is your will in this matter? Now, let me say to each of us that we must activate our own will. God will never coerce your will. If God were to coerce your will, if your relationship with him is forced, then you're no longer a man, you're a machine.

And God could have no fellowship with a machine. If you want to come to Christ, you may, but if you don't want to come to Christ, he'll not force you. The Bible says whosoever will may come, but if you don't want to come, there are not enough angels in heaven that God would allow one of them to drag you down the side.

But if you want to come, there are not enough demons in hell or out of hell or wherever they may be to keep you from coming. God has given you a will. And our Lord says to you, will you be made whole? Now, some theologians react about this matter of human beings having a free will. They think that when you talk about the free will of man, that somehow you negate the sovereignty of God. But both the sovereignty of God and the free will of man are both taught in the scripture. And Jesus spoke to this man and Jesus said, will you be made whole? And the fact that God respects human will does not negate or denigrate the sovereignty of God at all. And sometimes people build artificial arguments that ought not to be built. There's an old story about some preachers who were having a discussion over theology.

There was a room full of them. They got into a heated argument over the free will of man and the sovereignty of God. And there were some who were hyper-Calvinistic. And they said, nobody can choose God. God chooses them. And man doesn't have a will about this thing. God from eternity is predestined some for hell and some for heaven. And God is just sovereign over the whole matter. There were others who said, no, now wait a minute.

The Bible says whosoever will may come and the Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come repentance. And there got to be a heated argument. And after a while they separated into little holy hollows. Over here on this side were those who stood up for what they called the sovereignty of God. And over here on this side, there were those who stood up for what they call the free will of man. There was one preacher caught in the middle. He said, well, these fellas, when they talk, they sound so right.

But when these fellas talk, they sound so right also. So he didn't know which side to go to. So he said, well, I think I'll go to this side over here where these people who talk so much about the sovereignty of God, where they're having their little holy huddle, they saw him coming. And he said, why did you come over here?

Well, he said, I just wanted to, I came with my own free will. They said, you don't belong in this group, you go over there. So he went over here. And they said to him, why are you coming over here? Well, he said, they sent me over here. They said, you can't come over here unless you come of your own free will.

Those are the kinds of silly arguments that people get into. I want to tell you, dear friend, that God never made any man to go to hell. God never made any man to go to hell. The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

And whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, and whosoever will may come. Surely God is sovereign. God is sovereign enough to give a man a will without losing his own sovereignty. That's how sovereign God is.

God is a sovereign God. I heard about a little boy one time who was 10 years old. He heard a preacher preach. And that preacher said, God created some people to be damned to go to hell. God created some people to be saved and go to heaven. That little boy who was 10 years old said this, if God created me to go to hell, I want to go to hell.

Because anything that does what God created it to do is happy. You think about that. Hell would cease to exist if God created us for hell and hell for us. And the flames of hell would turn to the flames of glory because we'd be right in the center of the will of God.

Friend, listen. If you go to hell, you'll be an intruder. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. And the Lord says, will you be made whole? That's the question he asks. That's an interesting question. Because why would you say to a sick man, will you be made whole? The answer seems obvious.

It seems the question seems superfluous. But our Lord is teaching us a lesson here that he will not force himself upon any individual, but whosoever will may come. Now this man could never have said yes to Jesus, except Jesus had given the initiative. We love him because he first loves us. He will not force us our will, but he always enables our will. And we could never choose him if he had not first chosen us.

Thank God for that. But friend, the question is there, will you be made whole? Now Jesus didn't say, do you want to walk again? But he used a word that encapsulates fullness, wholeness, wholesomeness. Many people want the result of sin to race, but they don't want to be made whole. They don't want to truly really be a full person as God intended for them to be. But what must you do if you would have strength for living? You must validate your weakness. You must activate your will.

You must say, yes, Lord, I want you. One of the strangest stories that was ever told is a true story. It happened many years ago in 1829. George Wilson was sentenced in the state of Pennsylvania to be hanged for mail robbery and murder. But President Andrew Jackson, for whatever reason I know not, pardoned George Wilson and said, he is not to be hanged.

He's not to be put to death. They took that pardon to the governor of the state. And then they took that pardon from the governor on to the warden of the penitentiary where George Wilson was incarcerated. And finally, they delivered it to George Wilson and said, the president of the United States has pardoned you.

You will not hang. George Wilson said, I refuse the pardon. I will not accept the pardon.

I want to be hanged. They don't know what to do. I mean, here we've got a pardon, but now the prisoner will not accept the pardon. What do you do with a man who's been pardoned, supposed to be hanged by the neck until dead, and the man will not accept the pardon.

What do you do? Just take him to the door and shove him out of the prison anyway? They didn't know what to do. They debated it back and forth. It ended up in the Supreme Court of the United States of America. And the Supreme Court met and studied the matter.

And this is what they decided. And Chief Justice John Marshall said this, and I quote, a pardon is a piece of paper, the value of which depends upon its acceptance by the person implicated. If it is refused, it is no pardon.

As a result, George Wilson was hung by the neck until dead, even though a pardon had been offered. And you can sit in this auditorium tonight, die and go to hell when Jesus stretches out his arms and says, will you be made whole? Now that pardon is no good if it is not validated by you, if you will refuse it. So what must you do? What must you do? You must validate your weakness. You must activate your will.

Now here's the third thing. You must initiate your walk. You must initiate your walk. Now look if you will in verses seven through nine.

The impotent man answered him, sir, I have no man when the water is troubled to put me into the pool, but while I'm coming down, another steppeth down before me. Jesus said unto him, rise, take up thy bed and walk. And immediately the man was made whole and took up his bed and walked. And on the same day was the Sabbath.

Initiate your walk. Now remember that the purpose of this miracle is to teach a greater spiritual miracle. Not that Jesus can heal a paralyzed man, but that Jesus can save a soul and give you spiritual power to be godly. Let me give you again that verse that teaches that John 20 verses 30 and 31 and many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book, but these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that believing you might have life through his name. John did not write the gospel of John that paralyzed people might be healed. He wrote the gospel of John that lost people might be saved. Not that we would receive physical strength like Paul Anderson said, but that we would receive supernatural strength from above that believing in Jesus that we could walk in vitality, liberty and victory day by day. Now, Jesus said to this man, rise, take up your bed and walk. Keep that in mind because you must initiate your walk. If you were to go to all of the Bible for the most crystal clear verses that teach salvation, you would have to go to Ephesians 2 verses 8, 9 and 10.

Isn't that true? For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. Those are three marvelous verses and they're built around three prepositions by, through and unto.

Now listen very carefully. I want you to take this verse in just a moment and we are going to apply it to what Jesus said to this man when he said, rise, take up your bed and walk. First of all, how was this man delivered? By grace. There was nothing he could do.

He's paralyzed. The Bible says immediately he was made whole. Salvation is by the sheer grace of God, by the sheer grace of God.

It is by grace. Had you and I been standing there and heard the Lord Jesus Christ say this to this man, rise, take up your bed and walk. We might have said it's not right to taunt him that way. It's not right to torment him that way. How can you tell a paralyzed man to get up?

If he could get up, he would have gotten up a long time ago. So why do you tell him to do that? That's impossible. And because it's impossible, it's unreasonable. And because it's impossible and unreasonable, it's unfair.

But while we're talking, the man is standing up. Now let me tell you what Christianity is. Christianity is the impossible, the unreasonable and Jesus Christ. I mean, Jesus does the impossible. He does the unreasonable, but it's possible with him.

With him, all things are possible. He says to a paralyzed man, rise. And that's what he says to every sinner. I will save you supernaturally. I will transform you. It is by grace.

But it's through faith. He says, take up your bed. Now, why would that man take up his bed? He'd been waiting in line year after year after year. Our Lord says, take that up, get it out of here. You don't need it anymore. And it wasn't a four poster bed like you sleep in.

It was a pallet, a soft blanket that he slept on. Take it up, get it out of here. Suppose you want to see playoff games and you want to get a ticket. And let's suppose they had a certain number of tickets and you're standing in line.

Let's suppose you've been there now for a day and a half. You've got your thermos bottle and your sandwiches and your little sleeping bag and you're in line waiting and waiting and waiting to get a Super Bowl ticket. And then suppose a buddy says to you, hey, hey, man, I got two tickets right down front, best tickets available.

I've got them. Come on, let's go. Now, would you get out of line? Yes, if you believed him. Yes, if you believed him. Now, if you didn't believe him, you used to have been waiting in line this much time.

I'm not going to get out of this line. You see, Jesus says, look, it is by grace, but it's through faith. You just obey me.

You just trust me. And here's a man who, who is putting his, his faith into action. Remember what we told you that faith is belief with legs on it. Now, so this man, it is by grace through faith unto good works. Jesus says, rise, take up your bed and walk. And the Greek verb literally is not talking about punctiliar action where you just take a step.

It means walk and just keep on walking. Now, was this man healed because he walked or did he walk because he's healed? He walks because he's healed. You're not saved by doing good works. You're saved unto good works.

It is by grace through faith unto good works. You live the Christian life not in order to be saved, but because you're saved. I don't want to insult your intelligence, but Jesus did not say to this man, walk, take up your bed and rise.

He couldn't walk until he was up. And you cannot live the Christian life until you receive the Christian life. The Bible says, as you receive the Lord Jesus, so walk in him. And if you'll understand that you're saved by grace, through faith, unto good works, you will receive the strength to live supernaturally. Your body will get sick and die, but though your outward man perish, your inward man will be renewed day by day. Jesus did not come as the great healer. He came as the great teacher. And listen to me again, you need to go beyond miracles and on to Jesus. Believe in miracles, but trust in Jesus. If you would like to learn more about how you can know Jesus or deepen your relationship with him, simply click the Discover Jesus link on our website, lwf.org. For a copy of this message or additional resources, visit our online store at lwf.org or call 1-800-274-5683. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-02 10:38:40 / 2024-05-02 10:50:49 / 12

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