There Is Nothing Worse
So let me set this one up because this verse is super cool. Jesus was just outside the Temple ground at the pool of Bethesda. And remember, he is there for a feast. This means Jerusalem is packed with people who have traveled for this feast. He walks by the pool and notices an invalid lying there who has been lame for 38 years. He heals him and commands him to take up his mat and walk. But because of the miracle, people crowd around this man. And we assume there is this big commotion. While all this is happening, Jesus slips away. Now this former who has been healed gets confronted by some religious legalists because he carries too much weight on the Sabbath. He defects to the man who healed him, but he has no idea his name.
Then, sometime later, the two meet again. This time on the Temple grounds. I would assume to offer a sacrifice for cleansing now that he has been healed. And here is what happens:
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.” — John 5:14
There is so much to learn about Jesus in these words. First, Jesus cares about our suffering, both physical and spiritual. Second, Jesus cares about the state of our relationship with God and the sin that impedes this. Third, Jesus cares about our character and the day-to-day choices we make. Fourth, Jesus cares about our future state and sins that could result in further harm or punishment.
And all these points are essential for us to understand. But it's that last one that sticks with me. Most Jews at this time believed that those born blind, lame, or paralyzed were invalids because of generational sin (a.k.a., the iniquity of their fathers). I assume many believed this man was in that state for some sin that preceded him. Jesus relieved him of the burden and suffering of someone else's sin. Now healed and cleansed, Jesus gives him a fair warning. To stop the cycle of perpetual sin and avoid passing on the penalty to himself or any future generation.
And this is the truth about sin. Sin does directly affect us. But often, we forget sin affects others as well. It affects our spouses, kids, relatives, coworkers, and many others. Think of sin like a train carrying deadly chemicals with bad breaks. You can only ride those breaks for so long until it derails. When it does, eventually, it spills out everywhere and onto everyone killing wildlife, shutting down businesses, reducing home values, and making people sick. And guess what. No one likes a person or company that does that. Do they?
Thus Jesus gives us all fair warning today.
“See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”
ASK THIS: What sin is it finally time to address?
DO THIS: Sin no more and declare this below.
PRAY THIS: Jesus, today is the last day I am ever going to _____________.
PLAY THIS: Goodness of God.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.