14 Afterward Jesus *found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Let’s first remember who this guy was. I know we just read about him, but what we learn from the story thus far is that the man was “laid up” for 38 years! We don’t know how old the man was, so it’s hard to tell if he was inflicted since birth or if something happened to him at some point. Either way, 38 years is a long time to lay next to a spring hoping for some healing. There are three main points we can draw from just these two verses:
1) Jesus is our hope in hopeless situations
I wonder what happened between the moment the man walked away with his pallet and Jesus saw him again in the temple. We saw in verse 13 that the man was not able to point out Jesus in the crowd, but did he still tell others of his healing or did he just go about his day? Verse 14 here reveals that he was in the temple. Jesus reminds him that he had “become well.” In other words, he was saying, “don’t forget where you came from. You were once sick, but I made you well.” Once we start forgetting this, we begin once again towards the path of our own self righteousness, thinking everything we have overcome is of our own merit.
2) The result of our sin is worse than any physical affliction
I’ve heard many people talking about this story and taking Jesus’ words to mean that the man’s original affliction was the result of a sinful life. This isn’t verified in the bible. What is apparent, however, is that Jesus warns him that if he leads a sinful life from here on out, that the result will be far worse than 38 years of being an invalid laying next to a pool. I can already imagine some of you thinking, “well, he is human, so he will sin at some point, then what?” Yes, we are all human. Yes, we all sin. What exactly is sin, anyway? It is the attitude of our hearts which is detestable to God. As Jesus explained in His sermon on the mount, it isn’t even the action itself, it is the heart condition that causes the action in the first place. It’s not what we do, it’s why we do it. If someone honestly, yet accidentally runs over a kid: is that a sin? Did they intentionally set out to run it over? No. The evil in our hearts is what separates us from God. This very separation is what Jesus is warning about here. It is far worse than anything else we could imagine. Some of you are experiencing it right now.
3) In our healing, we should tell others of what He has done for us.
Some people might call this a “testimony.” In verse 15 we see that once Jesus reminded the man of the healing and the second chance he had been given, he “spread the word.” He told everyone of the healing power of Jesus. Why wouldn’t he? If someone discovers the cure to cancer, and after they cure the first person, don’t you think that person would refer any other cancer ridden people to that doctor? So too, those of us who have been healed of the cancerous condition known as sin should tell others of the good doctor who saved us from our own death.
Do you remember from where you have come in your journey? Maybe you have not yet experienced this second chance because you have not sought out the doctor who can heal you. Perhaps you have been searching for and using doctors your whole life for healing, but nothing yet has worked. There is One and only One who can truly heal your pain, the very pain you ignore today. Just ask.
If you have experienced this healing, tell anyone you know. You will be surprised how many people have been searching for Him.