River of Life Church
January 3, 2021
Main Scripture Reference(s)
John 5:1-6


January 3, 2021 / John 5:1-6



-We are entering a brand-new year.

-We have the option of leaving things behind.

-We can leave the negative, the discouraging, the disheartening, the depression behind.

Q-What areas do we really desire change in?

Spiritually– There is plenty of God.

Physically -We can make changes.

 (a dear lady in our church lost 100 pounds last year)

Mentally, Academically– We can be stimulated, and push

ourselves to learn new things.

Financially – We can choose better budgeting.

Emotionally -We can make better decisions.

What are you sick and tired of?

-If you keep doing what you did in 2020 will you be pleased with the results?

-If you keep praying the way you did in 2020 will you be happy where you are at?

2020 has been a journey. I am convinced Covid-19 is demonic!

-I also believe there is a tormenting spirit attached to it.

-The mental torment has been hard to describe even for people who have never caught the virus. -God’s presence is our strength!


POINT: The Definition of insanity= “If you do the same things, then you will receive different results.”-“If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always got.”



Text:  John 5:1-6

Vs.1 -After this, there was a Jewish feast, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

(Destroy the works of satan/Fulfill God’s will)

Vs. 2 – Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate

(Sheep Sacrifices) pool called Bethesda in Aramaic   (House of Mercy) which has five covered walkways (#5-Symbol of Grace)

Vs. 3 A great number of sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed people were lying in these walkways. (stuck and going nowhere, Paralyzed, Hopes, Dreams)

Vs. 4(Competing Mindset- Insecure)

Vs. 5-(Stuck for 38 years, Never too Late for God)

Vs. 6- When Jesus saw him (Jesus See’s you)

Lying there and when He realized that the man had been disabled a long time already, Jesus, “Do you want to become well?”   

*Stupid Question Not everyone is looking for a cure.   

*Many people will settle for feeling better, but not being well.

*Some enjoy the attention, and some don’t want to do the work.

*Many blame life on other people.

*God is in control, but “You can’t lean on a shovel and pray for a hole.”

*We must make the decision that we want a change.

-It is God’s will to heal. (Physical is connected to spiritual)

-Without a doubt, the physical is connected to the emotional.

However, your spiritual health is the most important thing.

*You cannot be at war with God and receive the benefits of God.

*You cannot violate the word of God and receive the will of God.

*The God of the natural is the God of the supernatural.

*The supernatural laws of God are without fail. They exist.

*They are real. They are available to whosoever will.

*Miracles happen when we meet God’s conditions for a miracle.

We shouldn’t be surprised when a miracle happens, but we are.

*Many have become accustomed to our prayers not being answered. We have begun to think. That’s just the way it is. 

Ps. 103:2-3 “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins

(Sinning is when you know you are sinning -How many know when you are sinning? The rest of you have a weakness in your cerebral cortex.) and heals all your diseases,”

*How many kinds of depression can God heal?

*How many kinds of family problems can God heal?

*How many kinds of addictions can God deliver from?

*How many diseases does God heal? All of them.

*We often categorize disease into sub-categories:

Like small ones, and large ones. Whatever it is………. God can take minister healing to it. 

POINT: God is the healer of all peoples for all times, past, present, and future.

  1. WHAT IS OUR EXCUSE? Vs. 6-7

This man at the Pool of Bethsaida was ill for 38 years.

Jesus said: “Do you want to be made well?”

That almost seems insensitive by a man that is called the GREAT PHYSICIAN, but Jesus knew that some people don’t want to be well. Some have become dependent on their illness.

It is their personality. They enjoy the attention – they enjoy the excuse.

A. Man Makes Excuses.

-The man never answers Jesus’ question.

-He does not say he wants to be well.

-He just has a list of excuses why he is the way he is

-I have been this way a long time! (Let me tell you why I am this way)

-I have nobody!

-Everyone else beats me in the water.

-Some have accepted their sickness as a way of life.

-If some got well, they wouldn’t get attention anymore.

-If some got well, they may have to go to work (God forbid).

-If some got well, they may have to step off center stage, and they don’t want to do that.

B. Adam and Eve Made Excuses. (Genesis 3:1)

  -ADAM clearly blames his wife for his indiscretion against God.

  -EVE clearly blames the devil for her disobedience.

  -A large % of people still blame the evil one for decisions that they made.

-These thoughts will come to your mind. II Corinthians 10:4

C. Moses made Excuses. (Exodus 4:1, 10-14)

I’m not good enough. Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring them in?

I don’t have all the answers. Who do I tell them sent me?“I AM THAT I AM.”

People won’t believe me. Suppose they won’t believe me or listen to my voice?

I’m a terrible public speaker

-I’m not an eloquent speaker and I’m slow to speak.

-I’m not qualified. -Please send anyone but me!

***God took stuttering, speech impeded, untrusting, micro-manager who couldn’t speak well in public and made him the greatest miracle worker outside of Jesus.

  • Excuses and procrastination go hand and hand!

Excuses are similar to just deciding not to.

-Deciding to wait and see if life gets better is the same thing as not trusting God.    

-God doesn’t tell us to wait and see if everything normal before we serve God. God wants us to serve Him in the normal, the abnormal, the usual and the unusual, the natural and the supernatural.

-God has a word for you today. He is still the man that comes by your pool of uncertainty and says to you: “I HAVE A WORD.


-I’m not asking what is someone else’s word, but what is your word?

*The question is, “Do we want a God word or a man word?

Jesus destroyed 38 years of being paralyzed with just 7 words.

Vs. 8-9 “Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”

A TOUCH is referred to as: “To put a hand or finger, on or against something, so that you can feel it. To bring into contact with an object or a surface.” To alter slightly the appearance of a picture.”

(They touched their picture) To come into or be in contact with.

A light stroke, bring relief. To come close to, to come near: 

“A Touchdown” is referred to as the act or moment of an aircraft landing on a runway or 6 points scored in football.

Vs. 9 “And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.”

(When you get your focus on yourself and all the people who let you down/ put it on Jesus/ You will get well too.)

(Jesus turned his crutch into a trophy) (Pain/Testimony)


Moses, Daniel, Jeremiah, Zechariah, the Disciples……

“And the word of the Lord came unto me. “

-When the word comes…..you say…this is my word. God sent it to me… Jesus was speaking to one man…

A. Jesus gave a word to the man: “Do you want to be well?”

Jesus did not pay attention to the man’s complaints.

Jesus gave 3 Commands:

-Get up

-Take up your bed

-And walk.

Through-out scripture we see many references to people responding to the word:

Mark 10:13; Luke 5:13; Acts 19:12

B. The Man had to choose which word he would believe.

-He had 2 Choices

-Would he obey or would he listen to the same word he had for 38 years?   He acted in faith.

-He got up…

-He picked up his bed. Why?

(There are moments you have to pick up your stuff)

-He Walked.

  • Today there are people in here who need gentle stroking of the Lord’s presence.
  • Maybe you need a “touch-up.” You need to be refreshed.

ILLUS.: Often, when people get into the Lord’s presence, there is a sense of refreshing on them, and strength, that wasn’t there before.” 

You can see on their face the refreshing of the Lord. Acts 3:19

You and I can be touched by the atmosphere of this world.  

We can be touched by sickness; we can see sickness touch a family. It can leave a lasting impact. We can be touched by tragedy.

-We have all been touched by COVID-19.

My Bible records, “That Jesus was touched with the feeling of my infirmities.”

Only the touch of the Lord will truly satisfy us.

Only the touch of God will give us lasting joy, and lasting gladness.  Only BEING TOUCHED BY HIS PRESENCE WILL GIVE US FULLNESS OF JOY

Gen. 32:25-Jacob wrestled with n angel all night long, and was touched in the hollow of his thigh.

II Kings 13:21 -They threw a body in a cave, and the body touched the bones of Elisha, and the dead man came back to life.

Matthew 8:15    – He (Jesus) touched her, and the fever left her.

Matthew 9:29   -He (Jesus) touched their eyes, and they were made perfectly whole.

Matthew 14:36

Matthew 17:7

The word of God is…..Do you want to be made well?

-The touch of the Lord always produces a change.

-The touch of the Lord always produces faith. 

-It increases our ability to trust God.

-It increases our awareness of God’s sovereignty, His strength.

ILLUS.: When your back is against the wall, and you don’t know what to do. Just a touch of the Lord to your spirit, makes you arise and have faith. When circumstances are discouraging, “the touch and encouragement of the Lord is a very present help in the time of trouble.”

When you get touched by the hand of the Lord, you go from being cast down to being lifted up.

-When you get touched by the Lord, you go from being full of fear, full of faith.

-When you get touched by the Lord, you go from being full of sadness to being full of gladness.

That is what the touch of God will do for you.

The devil would like to discourage you away from the touch of God. He doesn’t want you to pray, He doesn’t want you to come into His presence. He doesn’t want you to have the joy of the Lord.

ILLUS.: I have determined  

He will try to get you discouraged. He will try to get you in a place of weakness. The Bible calls him, the enemy of the Lord.

He attempts to intimidate you away from the touch of God.  

He is trying to beat you down so much, so you won’t receive the touch from the Lord.

When you get the touch of the Lord, you feel like you can win, you can have victory, you can make it.

Jesus’ said, “I have come to destroy the works of the devil.”

This dirty dog has broken up more homes, this low down mongrel has deceived more lives; this is the pig that takes the blush out of young faces.

The devil shows you a beautiful picture, not the FALLING DOWN DRUNKARD, but the picture of the a guy with a tennis racket in one hand and a beer in the other. He doesn’t show the marriage being broke up because of Adultery, he will show you the good times, and hide the bad times.

-Satan will put a mask on sin and hide it.

He doesn’t show the diseased man in the hospital, whose mind has been eaten away by immoral sin, but instead, he shows a life of joy.

A lie from the Father of Lies.

Satan is doing everything in his power, to keep us away from the TOUCH OF THE LORD ON OUR LIFE.

Satan is doing everything in His power to scare us away from SALVATION, HOLY SPIRIT, HEALING, & the 2nd COMING.


-A lack of faith.

A. Everyone has been given Faith.

Romans 12:3; Hebrews 11:1, 6; Matthew 17:20(Mustard Seed)

  • The Walls of Jericho
  • The Woman with the issue of blood
  • Abraham & Sarah.

Vs. 10-(Doesn’t fit my doctrine/ belief System -God is not obligated.

Vs. 11-Not everyone will be happy.

Vs. 13-(Jesus not looking for a crowd but was interested in making a disciple).

Vs. 14- Think about my goodness in your life) Don’t sin anymore, lest anything worse happens to you.” 

           (Disciple you and challenge you/ Life Transformation)

2. Faith acted on produces Revelation. Vs. 15 (Revelation of Jesus)

2 Corinthians 5:17

  • The 12 spies.

There are those in our midst that tell us today…that healing is not for our generation. It is for a different generation.

They believe that miracles are myths. If we believe that…then we are myth-erable.

The bible records, “I am the Lord thy God that heals….”

I am here to tell you that I believe in divine healing. Not because I preach it but because the Bible says it!

“Deliverance from sickness is provided in the atonement and is the privilege of all believers.”

I believe in progressive revelation. Not that the Bible is incomplete, but that God is continuing to reveal more and more about Himself.

There are miracles being done today:

I want to share some with you from my own family

  1. My wife Bonnie-Had eye ulcers was diagnosed to be blind at 18.
  2. God healed our son at birth.
  3. God healed my rotator cuff tear.
  4. God has healed my Celiac.

-I am just crazy enough to believe that He will keep on healing me!


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