Do You Want to Be Made Well
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: John 5 continues to develop the theme of belief and unbelief in relation to the person and work of Jesus by highlighting His healing ministry and controversy regarding His actions and claims. Jesus finds a man who has been paralyzed for 38 years and asks if he wants to be made well. The man does not answer the question directly, but Jesus heals him instantly. The Jewish leaders become involved when they question the man for carrying his mat on the Sabbath. The man is later confronted by Jesus and then informs the Jewish leaders that Jesus is the one who healed him. John indicates that the persecution of Jesus intensifies because He identifies Himself as the Son of God who is doing the works of God. Rather than back down, Jesus provides multiple reasons why they should believe in Him. Despite giving every outward indication that they are serious about following the Lord and waiting for the Messiah, it is evident that the Jewish leaders are hardened against Jesus regardless of what He does to prove His case. John thus instructs us on the deep-seated nature of unbelief and the cost of following Jesus.
01. The decision to follow Jesus requires a change of heart that cannot be produced on a human level; regeneration is no less a miracle than physical healing.
02. The decision to follow Jesus is one that will change your life for the better forever, but it comes at a great cost; be prepared to face conflict but rest assured that Christ is King.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Consider the plight of the man who was paralyzed for 38 years. What was your life like 38 years ago? How much has changed in the world since then? How does this miracle performed by Jesus after 38 years of suffering encourage us to persevere in hope and faith? See Genesis 21:1-7 and Isaiah 40:28-31 for further encouragement.
2. Given the situation that the man was in, why does Jesus ask if he wants to be healed? What kind of difficulties would the man face once he was healed? Do you think there are people who seem to be interested in Christ who hesitate to follow Jesus because it will create new difficulties for them? What does Jesus tell us in light of such difficulties? See Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, and 2 Timothy 3:12 for further insight.
3. How does this man’s reaction to being healed contrast with others who are healed in the Bible (see, for example, John 9)? Is there any sense of joy or gratitude evident in this text? Why is it proper to give thanks to the Lord for His mercies towards us? See Psalm 147 and Luke 17:11-19 for further instruction and encouragement to praise the Lord.
4. Why does Jesus confront the man in the temple? What does Jesus have in mind when He says “something worse” might happen to him because of his sin (verse 14)? What do you think people care about the most – living for this world or the world to come? How can you encourage people in your circle of contacts to care not only for their earthly life but also for their eternal life?
5. Count the number of ways that Jesus cites as proof that He is the Son of God in verses 19-47. Given these many occurrences, what accounts for the fact that the Jewish leaders still refused to acknowledge Him as Lord? Do you believe that when God changes our hearts to believe in Him, it is no less a miracle than healing the paralyzed man?
For Further Reading: Steven Lawson, It Will Cost You Everything: What it Takes to Follow Jesus (Christian Focus, 2021)