In the message last Sunday we learned that Jesus healed

a man at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.  In our message

today we take note that this healing took place on the

sabbath day.  The Jewish leaders rose up against Jesus and

accused Him of breaking the sabbath.


I.  The man healed on the sabbath day


    V. 9, "And immediately the man was made whole, and took

up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the

sabbath."  Jesus healed this man who had been afflicted with

a disease for 38 years.  The disease was in its advanced

stage and had the man pretty much crippled up.  He must have

been able to get up out of bed and very slowly move about

because he was in the group who had gathered in the porches

by the pool and at the troubling of the waters he would

attempt to get in the pool.  However, it must have taken

great effort to get up at all and he must have moved very


    Jesus asked the man if he would like to be healed and

the man indicated that he would and that he would like for

somebody to assist him in getting into the pool so that he

could be healed.  In fact, he indicated that he would like

for Jesus to help him into the pool.  Instead, Jesus told

him to arise and take up his bed and walk --- and he did.

Immediately the man got up, took up his bed -- the little

pad that he lay on -- and walked.

    The latter part of verse 9 tells us that this took place

on the sabbath day.  This is partly what caused the Jewish

leaders to rise up in persecution against Jesus.  At least,

the Jewish leaders used the healing on the sabbath day as an

excuse to persecute Him.


II.  The man charged with breaking the law of the sabbath


    V. 10, "The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured,

It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry

thy bed."  Let me clarify a point.  The law of the sabbath

as set forth in the 20th chapter of the Book of Exodus did

not forbid the man to take up his bed and carry it.  What it

did forbid was working on the sabbath day.  At a later time

it was explained that this meant that they were not even to

gather sticks for fire and cook meals on the sabbath day.

They were to cook enough on the sixth day so that they would

have enough for the seventh.  Still later in the Book of

Jeremiah it was explained further that this meant that they

were not to carry burdens to the market places for sale on

the sabbath day.  But it was never intended to forbid the

menial tasks such as rolling up the pad on which a man could

sleep and moving it out of the way of other crippled people

who might stumble over it.  It was never intended to forbid

one from carrying it to a place of safety where it would not

be stolen.

    The Jewish leaders had gone to extremes concerning this

and several of the other laws.  They had added their own

interpretations of the laws which were not at all in

agreement with what God had in mind when He gave them.

    Nevertheless, this was a serious charge against the man

because breaking the law of the sabbath carried the death

penalty.  Even though he did not brake the law, the fact

that the Jewish leaders thought he did put him in danger of

being put to death.  What a revolting situation this was!

He had been afflicted with disease for 38 years and now that

he was made whole he faced the danger of being put to death

because he was accused of breaking the sabbath.

    If it had been against the law of the sabbath, Jesus

would surely have known it and He would not have commanded

the man to break the law of the sabbath.


III.  The man's explanation


    V. 11, "He answered them, He that made me whole, the

same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk."  Let me say

that the man was not trying to put the blame on his healer.

Rather, he was taking for granted that anyone who had the

power to instantaneously make him well, had done this by the

power of God.  He had further assumed that such a man of God

would have authority from God to tell him to carry his bed

on the sabbath.  He also assumed that he ought to obey a man

with that much authority.  I think we all ought to obey Him.

Don't you?


IV.  An inquiry about who had healed the man


    V. 12, "Then asked they him, What man is that which said

unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?"  Apparently the

Jewish leaders accepted the man's explanation of why he was

carrying his bed and decided not to hold him responsible for

what they considered to be a criminal offense.  Instead they

decided to hold the healer responsible because He was the

one who told the man to take up his bed on the sabbath day.

So they made inquiry who the healer might be.  They fully

intended to punish the healer for telling that man to carry

his bed on the sabbath day.  They must have had a pretty

good idea that Jesus was the healer.

    Now I want you to see something right here.  I want you

to see just how spiritually blind those men were.  The

prophets of old had foretold the coming of the Christ.  John

the Baptist had announced to the nation of Israel that Jesus

is the Christ.  Now a man is in their city who has healed

this man who had been afflicted for 38 years.  If they had

not been spiritually blind, they would not have been trying

to find out who He is in order to punish Him.  Rather they

would be trying to find out who He is so that they could

worship Him.  He surely must be the Christ.  Or, if He is

not the Christ, He would surely be able to tell them who the

Christ is.

    I want you to also see what a terrible predicament the

common people of Israel were in.  The spiritual leaders of

this nation were spiritual blind and Jesus has said that if

the blind lead the blind, they will both fall into the


    V. 13, "And he that was healed ewish leaders had decided to drop

the charges against the man.  If they had not dropped the

charges this man would not have been permitted to enter the


    But they had dropped the charges and the first thing he

did after he got healed was to come to the temple to worship

God and praise God for such blessings on his life.  He had

been crippled for such a long time.  Now, finally, he was

healed!  How grateful to God he must have been and he came

to the temple to express his gratitude to God.

    So it should be in our own lives.  We, of course, do not

go to the Jewish temple to worship.  We go to a New

Testament church.  But our God has been so good to us and

has blessed us with such great blessings that it should

cause us to want to go to the house of God to worship Him

and praise Him for His goodness to us.  In fact, there

should be no trouble getting us into the house of God Sunday

after Sunday.  This is especially so with those of us who

have been saved by God's marvelous grace.

    (V. 14), "...and said unto him, Behold, thou art made

whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee."

From this statement we learn that the thing which had caused

this man's illness in the first place was some sin in his

life.  It was not just that he was a sinner.  All men were

sinners and not all men had this disease.  This man had done

some particular sin that had brought this disease upon him.

Thirty eight years ago this man had caused this disease to

come upon himself by some sin.

    What Jesus is saying to him now is, "Do not make that

same mistake again.  Do not do that same sin again.  Look

what it did to the last time.  Your punishment may be worse

next time."  Likewise, he should seek not to be guilty of

some other sin that might bring the punishment of God upon



VI.  The man telling that it was Jesus who healed him


    V. 15, "The man departed, and told the Jews that it was

Jesus, which had made him whole."  This statement has been a

puzzle to Bible students down through the years.  The

question is:  Why would he go back to the Jewish leaders and

implicate Jesus personally in this matter.  He should have

known that they would now seek out Jesus and seek to punish

Him for what they considered was a crime on his part.  Why

did he not just drop the matter and go his merry way?

    I am not sure that I can answer that question.  However,

I can suggest some possible answers.  It could have been

that he was afraid that they still might decide to press

charges against him for sabbath breaking and that was a

death penalty.  So he could have simply been afraid not to

tell them who his healer is now that he has found out.

    Or, it could have been that he would assume, as he had

done, that anyone who could heal him in such a wondrous way

was a man from God and that they would assume that he had

God's approval in telling him to take up his bed and walk.

In other words, he may have thought that they would surely

not press any charges against such a man of God.

    But whatever may have been his thinking, he did go to

the Jewish authorities and be identified Jesus as the man

who had healed him and who told him to take up his bed on

the sabbath day.


VII.  The Jews persecution of Jesus and what this text means

      to us


    V. 16, "And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and

sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the

sabbath day."  The Jewish leaders, in their spiritual

blindness, failed to recognize that Jesus is the Christ.

They failed to consider that he might be a special messenger

from God.  They simply assumed that since He is the one who

told the man to take up his bed on the sabbath day that He,

Himself, has broken the sabbath day and is worthy of death.

Their eyes were blind to any other consideration.

Therefore, they sought to find a way whereby they could

bring charges against Him as a sabbath breaker and have Him

executed as a sabbath breaker.

    This is a decision which would grow into the greatest

kind of hatred for Jesus.  It is a decision that would grow

into determination.  They would soon devote themselves

almost exclusively to the task of bringing about the death

of Jesus.   They would not be successful in their efforts to

kill Jesus at this time, but they would never give up until

Jesus was put to death.

    Let me point out to you that God did not cause those men

to hate Jesus, but He could and would use their hatred to

eventually bring about the death of Jesus.  You see that is

how much God loved lost sinners.  God knew that there was no

other way whereby lost sinners could be saved.  He loved us

enough to allow His Son Jesus, His only Begotten Son, to be

hated and persecuted and finally to be crucified in order

that we might be saved.

    Today because of God's great love, I am saved by the

grace of God and on my way to heaven.  So it is with all of

you who have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation.  So

today I preach the gospel message to all who are still lost

and headed for a Devil's hell.  I call upon each one of you

to turn to Jesus Christ and call upon Him for the salvation

of your soul.  We want you to be saved.  God in heaven wants

you to be saved.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, wants to

save you.  He will save you if you call upon Him and trust

Him to save your soul.

    Today I also call upon each of you who are saved to love

the Lord and to show your gratitude to Him by living your

life for His glory.  I ask you to dedicate your life to

serving Him who died for you.



    Who will come and trust the Lord Jesus Christ for

salvation?  What person who is saved will come and unite

with this church to serve the Lord?