Pool of Bethesda

Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes.  In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up on the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.  A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “do you wish to get well?”  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.”  Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.”  Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. (John 5:2-9, NASB)

  • As we reflect on this passage it is important to recognize a few important points:
    • First, the man had been ill for 38 years.  Some of you have been grappling with this addiction for decades.
    • Second, Jesus recognized that the man had lost hope.  When he asked the man “do you wish to get well” the guy responded with excuses.
    • Third, Jesus provided the healing, but the man had to take the action.  He had to get up and walk.
  • As you begin this journey today, I have one question for you: “Do you want to get well?”
  • Up to this point you have been living off of excuses:
    • I deserve this.
    • If only she were more responsive to my needs.
    • I am overly sexual.  I can’t help myself.
    • Nothing is going to change so why bother trying?
  • Gentlemen, this is going to be the hardest thing you will ever do in your life.  But if you are committed to change and practice transparency and accountability this will be the most transformational event in your life next to salvation.
  • Don’t kid yourself.  This is going to take work.  As Dr. Ted likes to say, changes comes one miracle a day.  But from my experience, each day is progressively easier than the previous one.
  • We are looking for progress not perfection.  I know this grates against all of your type A performance mentalities but trying harder doesn’t work.
  • There will be setbacks.  I like to say that it took me ____ years to wade into this swamp.  I can’t expect to walk back out in 17 weeks.  That said, this time around there will be other men to pick you up and help carry you forward.  you are not alone!


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