The sick man of John 5 believed that the occasional stirring of the Pool of Bethesda was his only hope of being whole again. Thirty-eight years later, on the Sabbath before the Passover Feast, a Galilean walked up to him and asked, “Do you want to get well?” What else did he know to do but repeat his failures to date: ‘By the time I get to the water, someone else has gotten the blessing.’ So, Jesus quietly healed him, told him to pick up his mat and go. If what happened next was a scene from a black and white movie, the guy with his mat on his shoulder would be viewed in living colour—obvious to all. When confronted for ‘working on the Sabbath,’ he told them all that had happened. When Jesus meet him later, he told him to “stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” At which he went and told the Jews that it was Jesus who healed him. The Jews persecuted Jesus for doing miracles on the Sabbath, but their thoughts turned homicidal when Jesus began insisting that he was only doing what God does because it is impossible for him to do otherwise. They got the point! Jesus was making himself equal with God (v.18). The healed bed-carrying man was the object lesson (a witness)—turned platform—for Jesus to state the obvious: “for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me” (v.36). The very Messiah that they were seeking in the scriptures (v.39) was standing before them. Selfish religion had blinded them. Thus, The Law of Moses (another witness) became their condemning judge (v.47). Unbelief reigned in their hearts. Salvation was offered back in verse 24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” The witnesses still stand!
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