“Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”
John 5:1-23 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now in Jerusalem, by the Sheep Gate, there is a pool which in Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porticoes. 3 In these porticoes lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, limping, or paralyzed. 5 Now a man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 Jesus, upon seeing this man lying there and knowing that he had already been in that condition for a long time, said to him, “Do you want to get well?” 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.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” 9 Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.
Now it was a Sabbath on that day. 10 So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is a Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” 11 But he answered them, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Pick it up and walk’?” 13 But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place. 14 Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man went away, and informed the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on a Sabbath. 17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”
18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in the same way. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
In yesterday’s meditation we saw that signs and wonders; miracles are not meant just for our benefit, but rather they are meant to confirm the gospel, so that those who see might believe. In today’s text after Jesus healed the man at the pool of Bethesda, it says: Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” This again affirms that the miracle is not the ultimate blessing, but rather that we would believe and be redeemed from sin. In Matthew 16:26 Jesus says: “What good will it do a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul?” It is worse to die in sin and suffer its eternal consequences than to live in this life with some suffering but redeemed from sin. Our time in these imperfect bodies is merely a twinkling in the scheme of eternity. The promise of Revelation 21:3-4 is that: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 says: When this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?” In John 11:25 Jesus says: “I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies.” A sinner saved is truly the greatest miracle of all and the greatest testimony of the gospel.
In today’s text Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in the same way. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” If we too would only do what we see the Father doing, we surely would honor Jesus and not sin any more. In John 14:15-26 Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever; the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. After a little while, the world no longer is going to see Me, but you are going to see Me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I in you. The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him… If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him. The one who does not love Me does not follow My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while remaining with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.”
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit, that You have redeemed, restored and reconciled me by Your mercy and grace. Even more than preparing me to live with You in eternity, You have made me a suitable dwelling place for You here and now. May the miracle of Your indwelling Spirit, be a testimony to the world. Amen.