Freedom Church

ABIDE – Heads or Tails? – John 5:1-18 – (Russ Muse)

It’s important to ask yourself, “Why is the writer telling me this?” as you read Scripture.   

John has already shared accounts of the wedding at Cana and the healing of the official’s son. In both, we see the main players (disciples and official) taking one step at a time in their journey of faith.  He continues that theme with this story of Jesus healing the lameman by the pool of Bethesa.

From these details, we can see how he is showing us two sides of belief – something like the coin toss – Heads and Tails.

Heads – Incremental Journeys of Trust and Belief

  • Jesus asks the man, “Do you want to get well?” which may seem like an odd question.  Yet sometimes, we get comfortable in our familiar, limited places and need to assess whether we really are willing to step out in faith to become well. 
  • It is not good theology to believe that anyone who is sick is so because of sin.
  • The man has to learn to walk again. It takes time to restore our balance and grow in trust.
  • In doing this miracle on the Sabbath, not only is the man “working,” but Jesus is, AND He states “My Father is working…”  This would have been very provocative to the religious leaders.

Tails – Incremental Journeys of Distrust and Disbelief

  • Sadly, we also see how the religious leaders choose NOT to believe or place their trust in Jesus.
  • The unbelievers get increasingly hostile, to the point of wanting to kill Jesus.
  • Our world is also showing evidence of more hostility toward believers.
  • We need not be afraid!  At the right time, God will enlighten EVERYONE about Who He really is!


  1.  Where would you put yourself on a journey of faith? Progressively growing in belief and trust, or progressively moving toward disbelief/distrust?
  2. What do you think of Jesus’ question, “Do you want to be healed?  Is there any area of your life where Jesus is asking that of you?
  3. In what ways are you “learning to walk again” after a tough situation?
  4. Have you ever thought that someone is ill or hurt because of their own sinful choices? Do you think that is ever true?
  5. Are you ever afraid to share your faith because of the way society is currently viewing believers?

ABIDE – Heads or Tails? – John 5:1-18 – (Russ Muse)

Jesus heals the lame man

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