Is there sin or sickness in your life that needs healing? It's not hard to see this world is broken and in need of healing, but how do we move from hurting to healed? This week, Timothy "TA" Ateek walks us through John 5:1-15 and shows us we need more than healing for our brokenness — we need the right view of the Healer.
What's up, Porch? How are we doing tonight? Hey, it's good to see you. If this is your first time ever with us at The Porch… Anyone here for the first time ever, just checking it out? Awesome. That's great. Glad you made it. Let me introduce myself. My name is Timothy Ateek, and I'm one of the teaching pastors here on Tuesday nights as well as on Sunday mornings at Watermark. I'm so glad you made it. Thanks for trusting us with your Tuesday evening. I know there are a lot of places you could be tonight, so we're grateful that you are spending tonight with us.
I want to say "Hello" to all of the Porch.Live locations that are watching right now. I am looking at you, Porch.Live Greater Lafayette, Porch.Live Fort Worth, and Porch.Live Indy. Hello. I hope you guys are doing great. Thanks for streaming along with us tonight. If you don't know what we are about here at The Porch, we exist to call any and every young adult to see Jesus and to surrender fully to life with him. So we hope Jesus comes into clear view for you this evening.
I'm going to start by sharing something with you that you're going to be like, "Why is he telling us this?" And I get it, but I'm going to share it anyway. Last night, my wife and I were getting in the car to go to a friend's house to watch the Rangers do something amazing to now be heading to the World Series, which is amazing, but as we were getting into the car, my wife's cell phone battery was almost dead. It was showing red on her screen.
So, as we were getting into the car, she was like, "Hey, do you have a plug in your car?" Then, at the same time, she answered her own question. I didn't need to answer it for her. She said, "Oh, wait. You don't even have plugs that work in your car." Here's the story behind that. At some point along the journey of me having my really sweet 2015 Hyundai Sonata, all of the fuses to each of the plugs in the car have gone out.
So, I have two circles, what we used to call cigarette lighters. I have two of those in the front, and both of those don't work, and then I have a USB plug, and that doesn't work, and then there's a cigarette lighter in the back, and that doesn't work either. It has been like that now for well over a year. I just live with it. My cell phone is at the point where… Somehow Apple magically knows when I'm up for an upgrade, and then the battery just tanks all of a sudden, which is kind of crazy. It's at that point to where my phone doesn't stay charged all day long.
So now when I'm going on a road trip, I have to think, "I don't have a way of charging my phone in the car," so sometimes I'll bring along that little cell phone charger or I'll have to plug it into my computer in the car. I have just decided that is how I'm going to operate. You're like, "Why are you telling us this? This is not even that interesting. This kind of sounds dumb, and it kind of sounds crazy."
As I'm telling it, I feel a little crazy in sharing it, because you might hear that and think to yourself, "That's totally fixable. Literally, all you need to do on the way home tonight is go to Walmart for five minutes, buy a new fuse, go plug it into the car, and you will have power again for your cell phone." Yet for over a year now, I have been figuring out workarounds for something that is easily fixable, and there is a solution.
I tell you that because I wonder if that is our story when it comes to lingering sin in our lives. You might hear that and be like, "Look. The sin in my life, the stuff I'm struggling with… I've tried to fix it. I've tried to get rid of it. So for you to equate my sin struggles to your little 2015 Hyundai Sonata problems… Those two things should never be mentioned in the same sentence."
But what I'm asking you to do is to see your sin issues from God's perspective, because when you see things through God's lens, just imagine what God thinks when he looks at your sin, knowing that Christ already conquered Satan, sin, and death on the cross. I wonder if God is looking at us and our sin struggles and the stuff we allow to linger in our lives, and I wonder if he's like, "There's a solution, and it's totally fixable!"
It is totally fixable, yet many of us go through life with workarounds. It's like, "Well, you know what? This is just the way it is. This is just, I guess, who I am and how it's always going to be, so I'm just going to kind of manage life and just deal with it." Tonight, we're going to continue in our series through the gospel of John. The gospel of John exists for us to see Jesus clearly.
That is why we've titled this series Glory. The idea of glory is the infinite goodness of God being displayed in our lives. We want to behold the glory of Jesus Christ. That's why each week we've been looking at one aspect of Jesus. Tonight, John 5 is going to reveal to us Jesus the Healer, because there is a solution to whatever sin is beating you up right now.
There is a solution, and it is fixable, but in order for you to take ground and experience joy, life, and freedom, you will have to become acquainted with Jesus Christ as healer. So, my hope is that you're going to walk out of here with a new sense and an urgency in your heart, like, "How crazy would it be for me to go another day just with a workaround?" because there is a solution, and it is fixable. If you have a Bible, turn with me tonight to John, chapter 5.
As we walk through this text, I'm going to invite you to answer four questions when it comes to the sin in your life. Here they are. I'll go ahead and give them to you so that you will see them in the passage as we walk through. The first question is…What needs to be healed? What's broken in your life right now? What isn't working as it should? The second question is…Do you want to be healed? The third question is…How do you think you will be healed? Then the fourth question is…What's the goal of being healed?
So, that's the scene. Jesus goes to Jerusalem. Commentators kind of debate on what this place is, but what we do know is that Jesus shows up to this place. There is a pool there. The people who are gathering there are people who are in need of healing. We know that because, as we're going to find out later, there's a superstition around the waters that are there, and people believe those waters can heal them.
John, the author, tells us in the text that this is a gathering place for invalids. That's a general term that refers to people who are sick, weak, or powerless. John kind of gives us more insight into who is in attendance. He says there are blind people, there are lame people, and there are paralyzed people.
So, the picture we need to get is that this is a gathering of people who need healing because something in their lives isn't working right. Their eyes aren't working as they should. Their bodies are not working as they should, so they are in need of healing. Honestly, that's why they're there. They are there because they believe the pool can heal them.
Now, I just want to ask you this. As I was preparing for tonight, part of me wondered if this room right now and everyone watching online… Wherever you are, I wonder if this place isn't very different than the pool of Bethesda. What if this is a gathering of a bunch of people who are in need of healing? There is something in each of our lives that isn't working as it should.
So, I just want to ask you to take inventory of your own life. What in your life needs to be healed? What isn't working as it should? What in your life is broken? You might hear that word broken and think, "Nothing. This is the problem with Christianity. You want to put problems where there are no problems. I'm not a broken person." I just want to invite you to evaluate.
If the majority of your decisions every day, whether small or big, are driven by whether or not someone else will notice you, approve of you, or like you, in real life or on social media, can we agree that something needs healing? There's something broken about that. Your life is just a perpetual audition. It's like you're living in The Voice where you're wondering who it is who's going to say, "Yeah, yeah. I choose you." There's something that isn't right about that.
Or what about this? If you regularly lie, exaggerate, or tell half-truths about who you are, what you have, or what you've done to make yourself look better than you really are, can we agree that something might need healing there? Or if you only see the negative in yourself… You look in the mirror, and you only see your flaws. You look at your personality, and you only see what's undesirable. You look at your life and only see where you're failing. Can we agree something needs healing there?
If it doesn't take much for you to get angry… Sometimes you just wake up angry. Nothing even prompted it. You just wake up, and you are already at that point. And when you're angry, you're explosive or hurtful in the way you think or talk or act, and you're a little out of control. Can we agree that something might not be working as it should? Something might need healing. Or if you manipulate and use guys or girls, and you're numb to the fact that your actions and words cause hurt and pain in their lives, can't we agree there's something broken about that?
Or if you find yourself consistently doing things you don't want to do despite your best efforts, whether it's looking at porn or having too much to drink or using drugs or manipulating your diet in an unhealthy way or cutting yourself, can't we agree that something needs healing? You're like, "What's the point, dude? Just get to the point." I promise I didn't bring you here tonight to beat you over the head.
My goal in talking about very specific things is it is good for us to start by answering the question…What in your life needs to be healed? Because there's a solution. It is fixable. There is more life to be experienced. Over the years, God has had to reveal to me different big things in my life that are in need of healing, whether it's a battle with lust or bitterness or resentment residing in my heart or just an unhealthy need for people's approval. Those are all things that have been broken in my life and have needed healing and continued healing.
So, that's the scene. John paints a picture of this gathering place for a bunch of people who are in need of healing. Now, what John is going to do and what Jesus is going to do is zero in on one person in particular. Look at verse 5. "One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years." So, now the story goes from general to specific. Out of all of the people who are gathering around the pool, Jesus chooses one guy.
The text is very clear. He has been an invalid for 38 years. He has not been able to walk for 38 years. Now, here's what I want you to see. This is a story that is meant to drive us toward knowing Jesus as healer. The reason John mentions that he has been an invalid for 38 years is he wants us to feel the weight of this man's life, and he wants us to come to the conclusion that this guy has been in need of healing for 38 years.
I tell you that because if you want to gain some perspective, and if you want to feel a little bit crazy, just take a minute and think about how long something in your life has needed healing. I battled pornography from the summer before my freshman year in high school until the summer before my senior year in college. I lived in the grips of pornography for seven years. That's how long I was in need of healing from a deep battle with pornography.
I shared this at church on Sunday. There was a time, years ago, when I was actually an intern here at Watermark Community Church. This was back in 2005. Some of y'all are like, "I was 4 then." Okay. That's great. Back in 2005, I was interning here, and I had to step off of staff because of some really compromising decisions I had made, but I left bitter. There were a few people on the church staff that I left feeling hurt by.
What happened was that hurt transformed into bitterness, and that bitterness began to grow inside of my soul like a weed. It overtook everything healthy in me. This is what it looked like. I want you to think about this. I'm standing on the stage of Watermark now. There was a time when, when I would come to Dallas, I couldn't stand to drive past Watermark. To be on 635 and see Watermark, I literally felt nauseous.
There was a time when if I heard certain names of people who worked at Watermark, I would want ill for them. If something negative was said about them, I felt some gratification with it. That was a reality. I became the drama friend. Anytime I would be with some of my closest friends, they were hearing about my bitterness toward Watermark.
Do you know how long that bitterness raged in my life? Four years. For four years, that bitterness took over my soul like a weed. Then God finally, in his kindness, intervened, and he has done a miraculous work to not only restore those relationships to a point now where those are friends, but he has brought me back to Watermark. Healing had to take place.
I look back, and I feel a little crazy when I look back on that season. For four years, I allowed myself to be robbed of life. For four years, I needed healing and resisted it. With pornography, for seven years I missed out on life. I lived with something broken. Imagine if in my opening illustration with the outlets I was like, "Yeah, it has been like that for seven years." Wouldn't you be like, "Dude, just get a new car. Just buy a new car. Be done with it. It's time."
You'd be like, "This is so crazy. I'll go buy the fuses for you. Just point me to your car. I'll put them in it. It'll take me five minutes, and we'll be done with it." I just want to invite you. Just think. How long has something been broken? How long have you been missing out on life? How long have you been looking at porn? How long have you been auditioning for people's approval? How long have you been cutting yourself or starving yourself? That's how long you've been missing out on wholeness. That's how long you've needed healing.
Now, here's the thing. When we allow something to remain broken in our lives when there is a solution and it is fixable… When we allow it to move in and make itself at home, we begin believing, "This is just the way it is, and this is just who I am. I'm just an angry person. I'm just a lustful person. I'm just an insecure person. This is just who I am." That is a lie from the pit of hell, because you are a child of God, and what God says about you is way more significant than what our Enemy, the Devil, who is a liar, has to say to you about you.
So, here's what's going to happen. Jesus is going to interrupt this man's life with a question, and it's going to be the second question I want to invite you to answer. These are just Jesus' words. Look at what Jesus says in verse 6. "When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, 'Do you want to be healed?'"
Jesus walks up. In just a moment, he assumes that the impossible is possible. If you're talking to a guy who hasn't walked in 38 years, and you ask him, "Do you want to be healed?" I would imagine that the answer is always "Yes," but when you switch into the spiritual realm, and you're talking about sin, it becomes a much more thoughtful question that requires a thoughtful answer.
Something you need to evaluate is when it comes to what needs healing in your life, you really need to evaluate if you want to be healed. Do you actually want to be healed? If your answer is "Yes," what you have to understand is if Jesus invades your life and goes to work on the thing that is broken in your life, two things are probably going to happen. First, Jesus will have to uproot that sin from your life, and sin can be really enjoyable.
The second thing you need to know is Jesus might ask you to make tough decisions in order to be done with that sin. So, let's just take those two issues. First is that Jesus is going to step in and do some uprooting in your life. I'll explain it this way. This is not a dating talk, and I'm not even really talking about relationships right now, although I'm going to use a relationship illustration to kind of take you where I want you to go.
I've counseled a lot of people over the years who have been in unhealthy dating relationships. I can sit down with a guy or a girl, and they can start unpacking their relationship, and as they're talking, it's so incredibly clear that their relationship is so packed full of drama and unhealth and impurity and insecurity. Someone is using the other, and one person is cheating on the other. It's just so unhealthy.
So, do you know what my encouragement is? "I think it's time to get out of the relationship. It is time to let this thing go. Why? Because this relationship is stealing from you." Yet there have been different times where I've encouraged them, "I think it's time to get out of the relationship," and they haven't taken the advice. Do you want to know why? Here are the exact words: "I just can't imagine my life without him in it." "I just can't imagine my life without her in it."
Do you know what's happening? They are afraid to let go of something that might be stealing from them, yet it's still giving them something. Maybe it's giving them companionship. Maybe it's giving them plans on the weekend. Maybe it's giving them the hope of getting married instead of still being single, so they're scared to let it go.
It's possible that this might be similar to your relationship with sin. If you were honest, you might say, "I just can't imagine my life without alcohol in it. What if people don't like the sober me? I just can't imagine my life without pornography in it. Where am I going to get a release from? I can't imagine my life without overspending. How boring will my life become if I can't eat out when I want to eat out and go on the trip when I want to go on the trip and wear what I want to wear? I don't know that I can imagine my life without this in it."
So, it's good to realize that you might not be ready to be healed yet because you still think your sin is giving you something you can't live without. Then the second thing that might happen is Jesus might ask you to make tough decisions in order for him to accomplish his healing in your life. I told you all that I wrestled with pornography for seven years. Do you know what finally happened? I reached a point in my life where I made the decision, "I'm willing to do whatever it takes to be done with pornography. I'll do whatever it takes."
Literally, I put myself in a place where there wasn't a 1 percent chance of me looking at porn. I just didn't have access to it, and that's what I needed in my life. I had to put myself in a position where… I didn't care how inconvenient it would be. If I had to go only to the public library to use the computers there to get on the Internet, it was worth it. That's the place that I got to.
Over the years, people have heard my story with porn, and they've been like, "Hey, can we get coffee? Let's sit down and talk about it." So I will sit with people, and I'm like, "Hey, let me just ask you. Are you at a place where you're willing to do whatever it takes to be done with porn, for Jesus to go to work and uproot it from your life?"
I begin to talk to them about some of the decisions I had to make, which were tough decisions. As I'm explaining it, they drop eye contact with me. They start looking around, and they're like, "Oh, shoot! There's not just a lever I can pull where it's like the porn lever is now turned off? Like, it's no longer a temptation. I can just carry my phone around, and it's not going to be a problem."
They totally disengage from the conversation. Why? Because they thought I was going to hand them freedom, like a freedom pill, where you just pop it, and it's like, "Okay. It worked. Well, that's over." What it shows me is, "Okay. You're not ready to be free yet." Please don't hear me saying it's all effort. I'm just saying Jesus gives us wisdom, and one of the ways Jesus moves and works in our lives is he calls us away from the habits and rhythms that naturally pull us back toward our sin.
So, you might hear all of that, and you might hear Jesus' question now in a different light. If he's looking at you, asking, "Do you want to be healed?" some of you might be honest and say, "At this point, not really." Others of you are like, "Yes. I want to be healed, because I see my sin clearly. The thing I thought was giving me life is stealing from me. It's worth it. Whatever Jesus asks me to do, whatever is necessary, I will do it."
Do you see his response? He's like, "Look, man. I do want to be healed, but the problem is I don't have anyone to help put me into the waters when the waters are stirred." Here's what you need to understand. There was this superstition at this point in time that, periodically, the waters would get stirred by some supernatural force, and the first person to get in the waters when they were supernaturally stirred would be healed.
Now, this guy's response is both wrong and right at the same time. What makes this guy's response wrong is that he believes something else will bring healing to his life besides Jesus. He believes the thing that will heal him is the pool that is supernaturally stirred periodically. Let me just tell you, when it comes to dealing with sin in your life, Jesus is the only one who has ever gone to war with sin and conquered it.
At the root of whatever your struggle is, there's sin there. There's a lie that is being believed there. Jesus Christ left heaven, came to earth, and went to the cross, and on that cross… Listen to the words of 1 John 3:8. It says, "The Son of God appeared to destroy the works of the Devil." That's why he came. He came to destroy the works of the Devil. He is the only one who has done that and succeeded. I tell you that just to say your greatest hope for finding healing and freedom from your sin is found in Jesus.
The thing that was right about this guy's response is he said, "I don't have anyone to help me into the waters." He believed it would require the help of others in order for him to experience healing. I think there's a lot of truth to this, because a lot of times, God will use his people to bring healing into the lives of his people. That's why James tells us in James 5:16, "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed."
God rarely will heal someone in isolation. Why? Because he loves you. That's why the Bible starts out… In the second chapter of the whole thing it says, "It is not good for man to be alone." Why? Because God values community. When you become a Christian, one of the most beautiful benefits of knowing Jesus Christ is not "It's just me and Jesus. We're just going to do our thing. I just need him, and he just wants me." No.
He invites you into the family of God to where now you have brothers and sisters in the faith. I don't even know some of your names, yet you're my brothers and sisters in Christ. We're in the same family. We can help one another out. We can encourage one another to look like children of God, to walk in freedom from sin. God uses his people to bring healing into the lives of his people.
I tell you that just to say maybe your first step is allowing yourself to be known and loved. Like, to call a friend tonight and say, "Man, I just need to let you know this thing is broken in my life, and I need help." Or maybe you're going to make a decision to show up to re:generation next Monday night. Re:generation is our recovery program for anyone who is wanting to break free from sin in their lives.
Look at how Jesus responds to this guy. Verse 8. This is kind of the climax of the story. "Jesus said to him, 'Get up…'" Can you imagine that? Anytime you read the Bible, anytime you read a story, especially in the Gospels, try to put yourself there. Try to see what we're reading. Try to visualize it. Try to hear it. Try to smell it. See it in color.
So, you have a guy who hasn't walked in 38 years, and Jesus looks at him and is like, "Hey, man, get up." That's a big deal. That's a moment of faith where you either are like, "No. We're not going to do that," or… Just imagine. He says, "'Get up, take up your bed, and walk.' And at once…" The text is very clear: "At once." Not over a long period of time. Not progressively. "And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked."
Can you imagine seeing how his legs respond to feeling something for the first time in 38 years? I don't know what he did when he hopped up. I would have loved to have been there. What was his first movement? But who brought the healing? It was Jesus Christ. When Jesus' life and this man's life collided, it changed everything. This guy felt feeling in his legs for the first time. This guy moved in certain ways that he had never moved before. This guy saw things from a perspective he had never seen from. He changed everything.
Now this guy had no reason to be lying by the pool of Bethesda, so he just changed this guy's entire routine, all of his rhythms. His life was completely changed. Yet we're talking about Jesus healing our souls. I want to stand up here before you and say it really works. Jesus is healer. I know the healing power of Jesus Christ over pornography. I stand up here tonight and testify that he ransomed me from it. He broke me free from it.
I know the healing power of Jesus Christ over bitterness. The fact that I even walked into this building tonight is the grace of God in my life. He stripped out the bitterness of my soul, and I call those people friends. I have watched the healing power of Jesus Christ in so many different people's lives. I remember a guy coming up to me and showing me the scars on his arms from cutting himself, and he talked about how he has experienced the healing power of Jesus Christ over his life from the self-hate he was living in.
I've seen the healing power of Jesus over alcohol and drugs. I've witnessed it over and over again. If you want to know the answer to how you will be healed, here's the answer: Jesus Christ. Period. Healing is found in Jesus Christ. That can be true for you. Don't look at me like, "Well, of course. You're a pastor, so you're going to have those stories of healing, because you've got some special connection to God." No.
I'm just another child of God. I'm just another kid in the family. There is nothing more special about me than you. In fact, I still have my own things in my life that I need healing from, yet in those areas of my life I can say, "No. The reason I'll seek healing in other areas of my life now is because I've known Jesus to be healer in the past." You can know him as healer too.
"Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, 'It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.' But he answered them, 'The man who healed me, that man said to me, "Take up your bed, and walk."' They asked him, 'Who is the man who said to you, "Take up your bed and walk"?'
Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, 'See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.' The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus…"
Isn't that weird? This guy has been healed, and they're like, "Who healed you?" He's like, "I don't know." That's kind of red flag number one. If a guy heals you, like, common courtesy… "Hey, man. What's your name? Jesus? Jesus, thank you. I don't know if you know this. I haven't been able to walk in 38 years, and now because of you I can. So, Jesus, thank you." That's all it takes. Learn a name.
Do you know the second thing that's concerning? The Jews come to him and are like, "Who was it?" and he's like, "I don't know." Jesus finds him, and he's like, "Well, I'm Jesus," and he's like, "Good. Now I have a name," and he goes back to the Jews. He's like, "I've got a name for you. It was Jesus," and that's what prompted them to start persecuting Jesus. How weird that this guy's life was radically changed by Jesus, yet he didn't know Jesus or have a sense of any allegiance to Jesus. I look at this, and here's my conclusion: he wanted healing, but he didn't want the healer.
So, the question I'm asking is…What is the goal of being healed? Be honest with yourself. Is your goal simply so you don't feel like a failure anymore? Is the goal so you will just feel like you're crushing life more? Like, you're realizing some of your habits are getting in the way of you really getting to where you want to be professionally, so you're like, "You know what? I just need to clean some things up so I can crush life better."
Is the goal just that you can feel better, like, you're in a better place to get married? What is it? What I want you to understand is Jesus is not a means to an end; he is the end. Let me talk very personally, because if that's where you are, if you're like, "Oh man! Okay. I feel convicted. I want the healing. I don't know about the healer. I just want the healing…" Here has been my experience. I get it. I understand.
The time that I worked at Watermark and had to step off staff, it was due to sin in my own life, and everything… I mean, I lost my job. Everything kind of came crumbling down in my world. So I got on a plane and left the country. At first, I just wanted God to do a lot of healing really quickly so I would be in a good place to date again. I wanted to just be in a good place to where I could date and get married to someone, honestly.
That's me being honest, saying I wanted the healing more than the healer. But what happened when I left the country was, every day, I began to give myself over to the Lord. All I could do every day was just spend time, a lot of time, listening to God through his Word, and then I'd open up my journal every day. I'd just pour my heart out to the Lord in prayers. I would write to friends at home, telling them what God was doing in my life.
In the midst of wanting healing, do you know what happened? I found the healer in a way I never had before, and I came home more in love with Jesus than I had ever loved him. I began to see Jesus more clearly than I had ever seen him in my life. I realized that the goal in dealing with my sin wasn't the healing; it was the healer. It was just to be with Jesus more. It was to see Jesus more.
In Matthew 5:8, Jesus says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." That's why we want Jesus to uproot sin from our lives. That's why we want him to purify our hearts. Why? So that we'll see God. But here's the reality. When you're not seeing God clearly, you fall into sin, and the reason you choose sin over God is because you're not seeing God clearly.
What's happening is you're hydrating yourself with saltwater. It looks like the answer, but it's not the answer. This shift has to come where you begin to take a step of faith, where you begin to believe, just possibly, that Jesus can satisfy you in a way your sin can't, that he's actually better than your sin is.
That's a step of faith where you can't see Jesus that clearly, but you take a step of faith where you say, "Look, Jesus. I don't just want healing; I want the healer. I want to know you more, because I believe that in you is life. You are the Bread of Life. You're the only one who can truly satisfy the deepest longings of my soul. So, Jesus, would you come, and would you satisfy me?"
I just want to end tonight by saying if you're here tonight, and you don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ, here's what I want you to understand. The reason things in your life are broken is because your relationship with God is broken. The guy in this story… It shows us what makes Christianity and what makes Jesus so great.
Did you think about the fact that Jesus sought this one guy out? There were a lot of people who needed to be healed, but he came up to this one guy. It's possible that Jesus brought you here tonight because he is singling you out. He is coming after you, because he wants to do a significant work in your life.
What's different between us and this guy is we aren't just paralyzed by sin; we are dead in our sin. That's what the Bible says: we are dead in our sin. A dead person is incapable of doing anything that would be pleasing to God. We can't make ourselves right with God. Yet his question to you tonight is, "Do you want to be healed?" Do you want a real relationship with Jesus Christ where he can forgive all of your sins and make you right with your Maker?
See, this guy thought something else could heal him, and you can take that posture too. You can say, "You know what? I'm just going to try harder. I'm going to do better. I'll just find my own way and find my own spirituality." But let's be clear. Only Jesus could heal that guy, and only Jesus can heal your relationship with God. Your relationship with God is broken.
That man's life was changed, but when you put your faith in Jesus Christ, where you come to a place where you say, "Jesus, I want you to be my Savior," he doesn't just change your life; he makes your life new. That's what's on the table for you tonight: complete forgiveness, complete newness, a right relationship with God.
So, I'm going to ask you to respond tonight however you want to respond. If you don't know Jesus, and you want to begin a relationship with Jesus, then talk to him tonight. Pray to him. Invite him into your life. If there's something broken in your life, and you want to pray with someone, there are going to be people down front. We'll be down front. We'd love to talk to you. If we can counsel you, we'd love to do that. If we can pray for you, we want to do that.
Maybe you just sit in your seat as we sing and say, "God, I'm finally at a point where I want to be healed." Maybe you text a friend and say, "Man, I've got to talk. Can we talk about what's going on?" Or maybe you make a decision right now you're going to come to re:gen next Monday. But let's take a step.
Then I'm just going to say this. This is a little bit different, but some people here tonight… You read this story about Jesus physically healing this guy, and you're like, "Man, I wish Jesus would still heal physically today." If you'd like someone to pray over you for physical healing, I don't know what Jesus is doing in your life, but we'd love to pray for you as well. Let me close us in prayer.
Lord Jesus, I pray that you would come and have your way. Do a work in our lives. I pray that our hearts would be soft toward you, God. Would you show us what in our lives is in need of healing, Lord? I pray that we would sense you asking us the question tonight, "Do you want to be healed?" and I pray that the desire of our hearts would be "Yes." I pray that we would realize that healing is found in you, Lord Jesus, and I pray that the ultimate goal would be to get you, more of you, God. May we see you in a way that we've never seen you. We love you. We respond to you now. In Jesus' name, amen.