Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, Senior Pastor
Metropolitan AME Church
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Scripture Lesson, John 5:1-16 (The NIV Bible Translation): The Healing at the Pool 1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt contracted polio while on a family vacation. Throughout his life, he tried valiantly to find a cure to this crippling disease. He leaned of a myth about a pool in Warm Springs, GA where the Creek Indians came for healing. Roosevelt reportedly made 49 trips to the healing pools in Warm Springs; but they never healed him.
The scripture is about a man who suffered with a crippling disease for 38 years. Like the pool in Warm Springs, the pool of Bethesda was reputed to have mythological healing powers. People kept coming year after year, drawn by a myth that anyone getting in the pool after an angel had troubled the waters would be healed. I will speak today from the subject: “Live a Grateful Life”. The scripture provides three lessons on living a grateful life.
1. In life, it really pays to do all we can to make life better for someone else. You never know when it might be your turn to experience a challenge. No matter what you are going through, you can provide assistance to someone who is going through foreclosure; you can provide a simple meal for someone in need. God has put us in relationship with one another to give someone else the best of what we have been blessed with. Never think you have gotten so “big” that you can’t be an agent of God and help someone else. It pays to enhance the life of another. In the text, Jesus goes to celebrate at the Jewish feast; he brings new hope, new goals, new possibilities, new life into our human condition.
2. God still majors in miracles. Every time we get to our “red sea”, God parts the waters. For Daniel, he closed the lion’s jaws; for David, he guided the 5 smooth stones to topple the giant; for Mary, he brought the conception of the divine child. God STILL majors in miracles today – in medicine, science, politics, law – when life finds itself with no answers, God still majors in miracles. I believe there are some living, breathing miracles in here this morning. There are some people in here today who can testify that their life is a miracle – a testimony to God – because he stepped in and changed your course. As a boy, I was stricken with spinal meningitis; the doctors told my mother I’d be dead in three days. So every morning I wake up – it’s a miracle. In the scripture, the crippled man is miraculously healed; he doesn’t even know who healed him. Then Jesus revealed that it was him who had healed the man, telling him: “Pick up your bed, go back, and sin no more!” The man went back and told the Jewish leads that it was Jesus who had healed him. God still majors in miracles!
3. When you get your Blessing, live a grateful life. Jesus didn’t cure the man expecting to be acknowledged; Jesus just wanted the man to go back and live a grateful life before God. When you get your blessing, walk for God. When you get your blessing, live worthy for God. When the man found out that it was Jesus who had healed him, he was so overcome with gratitude that he raced back to tell the authorities that it was Jesus who had healed him. You never know where your blessing comes from; miraculous possibilities are just around the corner, so be grateful and live a grateful life. When you have an opportunity to give and to serve, when God opens a door for you by answering your prayer, go back and life a grateful life!
- Sermon Notes: Living a Marked Life
- Sermon Notes: When God Goes to Work in a Life
- Sermon Notes: Living Above Transition and Change
- Sermon Notes: Before You Give Up, Look Again
- Sermon Notes: I Just Can’t Help Myself!
Tags: Rev. Ronald E. Braxton