Grace Doing the Impossible

Gospel of John #14. An exposition of John 5:1-15. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, February 13, 2011.

He spoke and the world came into being.  He said, “Let there be…” and there was.  Powerful.  Awesome.  Majestic.  Sovereign.  The Mighty God, Ruler of heaven and earth.  God.  How do you picture Him?  When you think of God what image comes to your mind?  What does God look like?  Before you say, “That’s a dumb question” Jesus said, “If you’ve seen me you have seen the Father.”  John’s prologue says in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.  That word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1-4, 14).  If you want to know what God is like – look to Christ.  If you want to know how God would respond – look to Christ.  As you explore the Gospels a clear picture of God emerges.  He is indeed a God of love, mercy and grace.  One striking example is found in John chapter 5.

Text: John 5:1-15

Have you ever felt helpless?
Have you ever believed your circumstance was hopeless?
Have you ever felt like you were at the end of your rope?
Have you ever wanted to throw in the towel, give up, walk away?
If you have, take heart!
If that is you, rejoice.

You are just at the point where God typically steps in.  When we come to the end of ourselves, when we are desperate, when hope is gone – we become prime candidates for God’s amazing, transforming grace.  In our text we have the story of a man snatch from the valley of despair and brought to life.  Listen to the story of this nameless cripple and find hope in the midst of your dark world.

This encounter at the pool of Bethesda reminds us that…

Thesis: The ministry of Jesus reveals the heart of God in response to hurting humanity.

One of the great fallacies regarding the character of God is that He is a cosmic killjoy.  That He is the angry God of the big stick.  That He is stern and looking for an excuse to punish those who get out of line.  Often the God of the Old Testament is pitted against the God of the New Testament.  But He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Jesus the Son is one and the same with God the Father.  Both are righteous, holy and just.  Both are loving, compassionate and full of mercy.  Do you remember Jesus said, “I don’t do anything unless the Father tells me to do it.”  “My meat is to the do the will of my Father and to accomplish the work He sent me to do.”  So when you see Jesus responding in grace – that’s the response of God.   When you see Jesus weeping at the tomb of Lazarus those are the tears of God.  When you see Jesus walking in the midst of the weak and crippled that is the presence of God.

There are three things I want us to note in our text.

  1. Jesus, in love, walks in the midst of the hurting.  (5:1-6)
  2. Jesus, in mercy, touches the broken imparting life.  (5:6-9)
  3. Jesus, in grace, challenges the restored to a life of godliness.  (5:10-15)

The hurt of God in response to the hurting.
Walks in the midst of the hurting.
He touches the broken imparting life.
He challenges the restored to a life of godliness.

The response of love, mercy and grace.

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