Signs and Works in John’s Gospel – John 5:1-9, 13-15
A – H – E – A – D
Anxiety of Affliction – v. 5 – For 38 years the man lay ill. That is a long time to keep an illness.
Hearsay hope – vs. 4, 7 – The man’s hope was a wish and a superstition. He hoped an angle would solve the problem. It was something to cling to. Do you cling to hopes that are hearsay?
Encounter – vs. 6-8 — Jesus met the man and offered him a blessing if he would have it. During a course in pastoral counseling students were warned that they must always ask the patient’s permission to pray, etc. Jesus wanted to know if the man wanted his help.
Admonition – vs. 8, 14 – Before they could conclude their conversation Jesus and the man parted. Later Jesus has a word of advice: “Go and sin no more.” Have you ever noticed how Jesus was not focused on the seedy past of people. Surely that is a lesson. He is about preparing people for heaven.
Divine divulgence – vs. 15, 17 – There was now no doubt about who did this. The man proclaims that it was Jesus.
Exemplary story: A dear friend who claims to be an Aunt by marriage has a favorite saying. “The past is history. The future is a mystery. The present is a gift. So, enjoy it.”
Jesus allowed the man to put sin and sickness behind him. He gave the man a gift for the present, and he gave the man a hope to cast off the uncertainties of the future.