Joh 5:1-9 KJV After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. (2) Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. (3) In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. (4) For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. (5) And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. (6) When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? (7) The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. (8) Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. (9) And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
I want us to focus our attention on verse 3 where the Word speaks of a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. If we interpreting this word multitude with the bible we can conclude that John was speaking of a group numbering 4000 or more.
Jesus fed the multitudes on two occasions that are recorded. Once he fed 4000 plus women and children and on another occasion it is reported that He fed 5000 plus women and children. In each report the people were classified as a multitude.
Now here in John chapter 5 we read of a great multitude of people at the pool of Bethesda. I believe because John used the term great to describe the size of the multitude, there could have been over 20,000 people surrounding that pool as they waited for the moving of the water by the angle of God. Here is an excellent example of people waiting for God to move. I gathered from reading the story that many of these people had been at this pool for years, probably many had died waiting for the angel to come down and stir the waters. We must remember that only the first one in was healed or delivered of their infirmity so the others had to continue their wait.
As I meditate on this story, I am reminded that the majority of this multitude were covenant people; people who had a covenant of healing with God. As descendants of Abraham they had a right to be healed anytime on any day. May I refer you to what Jesus said about the woman who was bent over with a spirit of infirmity recorded in Luke 13:11-16. Jesus said because she was a descendant of Abraham, she had a covenant right to be healed.
I can safely conclude that those Jews at the pool of Bethesda had a right to be healed anytime and anywhere because God is no respecter of persons. Do you remember the statement that God made concerning His covenant? He said that He would not break or alter it in Psa.89:34 and He is faithful to keep His word!
So here is my question. Why do we have such a great multitude of people, possessing the greatest health care coverage ever known by man, lying around a smelly pool waiting for a chance that would probably not come for many of them? Allow me to throw in this bit of information. Jesus had been in this area several times with great healing and miracle campaigns, yet when He visited this pool no one knew who He was.
Hosea 4:6 states that people are destroyed for two reason; lack of knowledge and rejection of knowledge. The knowledge I am sharing with you, if acted upon in faith will move you from waiting for a sovereign act of God to activating a move of God because of your faith in Him!
The healing and miracles performed by Jesus fall into three categories; Healing and miracles initiated by the Holy Spirit; Healing and miracles initiated by the Holy Spirit with a faith response; Healing and miracles initiated by the faith of individuals with a Holy Spirit response.
Why is this information important? The more we know about the operation of God the more we can exercise faith and cooperate with Him to bring to bear His power and grace upon our needs successfully. Jesus said to not know the ways or power of God would cause us to fail. (Matt.22:29) I have failed and I have seen others fail simply because there was something we did not know. Lack of knowledge causes destruction. (Hos.4:6)
If we fail to follow the methods Jesus used we will not get the same results that He received. It is the Lord’s will that we receive the same results He received in ministering to the sick and infirm, even to the raising of the dead! (Jn.14:12-14)
In this lesson we will look at the detailed accounts of healing and miracles outlined in the four gospels. These accounts give us more insight into the ministry of Jesus and how these miracles and healing took place. The details are given so that we can learn from them.
In the ministry of Jesus there were 6 healing and miracles initiated by the Holy Spirit: In these 6 accounts there is no mention of faith from the individuals or an implication of faith. The Holy Spirit just moved. These could come under the heading of sovereign acts of God. I am not saying that the only way you can receive from God is to wait for His sovereign move.
I remember reading accounts in K. Kulmann’s ministry where mockers would come to the meetings just to mock because they did not believe in divine healing. It is said that they testified that while they stood in line to get into the meeting they were healed by God. That, my friend, was a sovereign act.
Here are the 6 cases of healing, miracles or deliverance initiated by the Holy Spirit.
Heals the demoniac; Mar_1:23-26; Luk_4:33-36;
Raises the widow’s son to life; Luk_7:11-16;
Casts devils out of two men of Gadara; Mat_8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luk_8:26-39;
Heals the woman with the spirit of infirmity; Luk_13:10-17;
Cures a man with dropsy; Luk_14:1-6;
Heals the ear of Malchus; Luk_22:49-51
In the ministry of Jesus there were 4 healing and miracles initiated by the Holy Spirit with a faith response from those receiving the miracle or healing or deliverance: These people responded to the moving of the Spirit or to what Jesus, by the Spirit, told them to do. Many of us who have had need of healing, deliverance or a miracle miss our opportunity because we failed to respond to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Those who responded in faith received their need met. No matter how impossible it seemed at the time, they obeyed in faith and received. If you study these 4 accounts, you will learn how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit when He is moving. Here as in the first 6 accounts the people had to wait for the Holy Spirit to move.
Healing of the impotent man; John 5:1-16;
Restoring the withered hand; Mat_12:9-13; Mar_3:1-5; Luk_6:6-11;
Opens the eyes of a man born blind; John 9:1-7;
Raises Lazarus from the dead; John 11:1-46
Now we come to the 15 healing, miracles and deliverance detailed in the ministry of Jesus initiated by the faith of individuals with a Holy Spirit response. These accounts are unique in that there is no waiting on the moving of the Holy Spirit as in the previous 10 accounts. These individuals were in need so they used their faith to get the Holy Spirit to move for them and He did!
Let’s study these cases and observe how they used their faith to get their needs met. As we follow their examples in faith, we will be able to initiate a moving of the Spirit as they did!
Heals the nobleman’s son; Joh_4:46-54;
Heals Peter’s mother-in-law; Mat_8:14-17; Mar_1:29-31; Luk_4:38-39;
Cleanses the leper; Mat_8:1-4; Mar_1:40-45; Luk_5:12-16;
Heals the paralytic; Mat_9:1-8; Mar_2:1-12; Luk_5:17-26;
Restores the centurion’s servant; Mat_8:5-13; Luk_7:1-10;
Raises from the dead the daughter of Jairus; Mat_9:18-19; Mat_9:23-26; Mar_5:22-24; Mar_5:35-43; Luk_8:41-42; Luk_8:49-56;
Cures the woman with the issue of blood; Mat_9:20-22; Mar_5:25-34; Luk_8:43-48;
Restores two blind men to sight; Mat_9:27-31;
Heals a demoniac; Mat_9:32-33;
Heals the daughter of the Syrophenician woman; Mat_15:21-28; Mar_7:24-30;
Restores one deaf and dumb; Mar_7:31-37;
Restores a blind man; Mar_8:22-26;
Restores lunatic child; Mat_17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luk_9:37-43;
Restores ten lepers; Luk_17:11-19;
Restores two blind men near Jericho; Mat_20:29-34; Mar_10:46-52; Luk_18:35-43
Heb.13:8 states that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! This means that the method He used to heal and work miracles yesterday will be identical today and forever!
Out of the 20 cases we have observed, more than half were initiated by the faith of the individual or someone close to them. This tells me that the people’s faith moved God more than God moved on His own! Since we have proven this to be true then waiting on God to heal, deliver or work a miracle may be a waste of precious time when you can initiate a move from Him by exercising your faith! God is pleased more when we exercise faith in Him than when we sit and wait for a Divine move.
There are times when we are told to wait on the Lord but not when it comes to receiving healing, deliverance or miracles. Therefore we should endeavor to develop our faith and keep it strong and ready to receive as needed. Mar 11:22 AMP. says “and Jesus, replying, said to them, “Have faith in God.” [constantly].
The first miracle I personally experienced a complete restoration of a stroke victim. This man had been paralyzed from head to toe for approximately six months. He was not saved and I had just received the fullness of the Spirit the night before this miracle took place. This man did not ask for prayer yet I heard the voice of God say, “Go lay your hands on him and I will heal him.” So you see this was initiated by the Spirit and not me. I obeyed the voice of God and went to the man’s house and told him what I was instructed to do. With his permission I obeyed God and within two hours the man was completely healed of 80% of his paralysis. The other 20% was gone within 2 weeks. During that time this man received Jesus and the fullness of the Spirit!
I believe this falls in the category of healing and miracles initiated by the Spirit followed by a faith response. Shortly after this incident I came across a member of my church with the same problem. I told her of the man God had healed. As I prayed in fear and she in hope nothing happened. You see we were not operating in faith and the Spirit had not initiated this endeavor. If the Spirit does not initiate a move then to receive, someone must move in faith. It was the will of God for this dear saint to be delivered as the man was but our lack of knowledge and faith stopped the will of God from coming to pass.
Some people would say that if it was God’s will for her to be healed then she would have been healed. Wrong! The bible teaches that it is God’s will for all to be saved but all are not. Why? The answer is that we are free moral agents with a will to choose. As free moral agents we have to submit our will to God in order for His will to come to pass! Since that event I have learned how to resist fear and operate in faith. As a result I began to see many suffering from strokes delivered.
There was this miracle that took place early one morning in the 7/11 store. This lady was working behind the counter and when she turned to wait on me I saw that she had suffered a stroke which had affected her face and peripheral vision. I told her what I had learned about her condition and what Jesus could do to deliver her from this problem if we prayed in faith. She agreed and we prayed in faith across the counter at the 7/11 store at 5 o’clock in the morning. As we began to praise God for the answer to our prayer the paralysis disappeared in about 5 minutes.
Here we have a miracle taking place initiated by faith with the Spirit responding! In 30 plus years I have seen more healings, miracles and deliverances as a result of people engaging their faith in God than those sovereign acts of God. As a matter of fact God gives us promises in His Word that guarantees a move of the Spirit if we act on these promises in faith. Here are a few to get you started;
Joh 14:12-14 KJV Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (13) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Joh 15:7 CEV Stay joined to me and let my teachings become part of you. Then you can pray for whatever you want, and your prayer will be answered.
Joh.16:23-24 MKJV And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, Whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give you. (24) Before now you have asked nothing in My name; ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Mar 11:24 AMP For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
Act 1:8 KJV But ye shall receive power(miraculous ability), after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Before I close this article I would like to share another testimony that will help prove my case. Several years ago I was teaching a course on Signs and Wonders. I called it “Keys to Releasing God’s Miracle and Healing Power.” In our third session I was told of a woman whose son had been in a coma for four years. They had prayed and waited and prayed and waited to no avail. That boy was probably on every prayer chain in town and some chains in other towns. They were praying and hoping for a divine move of God.
The doctors were convinced that she should take him off all life support and let him die. I met this woman and shared these promises with her. I told her to build her faith on the teaching I had given her. Then in the power of the Holy Spirit lay her hands on her son and command him to wake up in the name of Jesus! In faith she did and the boy woke up instantly! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!
She initiated the moving of the Spirit by her faith in what she was taught, the WORD of GOD. Let’s welcome those sovereign acts of God. They are awesome! Yet when it comes to getting our needs met, no matter what they are, we can get the Holy Spirit to move with our faith in Him anywhere and anytime!