Stop Sinning

Scripture: John 5:14, ‘Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”’


Observations: Jesus returns to Jerusalem to celebrate one of the three annual feasts (v1), and while there he goes to the pool of Bethesda and finds an invalid who had been there for 38 years (v2-5). Jesus asks him if he wants to be well (v6), and the man explains he can’t get into the pool when it is stirred (v7). In response Jesus tells him to pick up his mat and walk (v8). Later Jesus meets him again at the temple and says, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’ Literally it’s ‘See you have become well, stop sinning or you may become worse.’ Jesus hints that it may have been a specific sin that lead to his original condition, and now Jesus warns him to stop sinning or next time it could be worse. Jesus isn’t saying that his sin will definitely result in something worse, but that it is a distinct possibility. In a sense all illness is a result of sin, although not necessarily a specific sin, however, sometimes specific sin leads to specific illness, as may have been the case with this man.


Application: When Jesus says, ‘stop sinning or something worse may happen,’ it is as serious as it sounds. We need to take sin seriously. The fact that any sin we commit doesn’t result in illness, suffering and death is because of God’s grace, not because it’s not serious. God doesn’t ignore our sin, he chooses to overlook it. God doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t sometimes allow us to face the consequences of our sin. Maybe the things you are facing are directly due to certain sins in your life and God is confronting you and warning you to repent. Jesus’ words are just as pertinent for us. We too should ‘stop sinning or something worse may happen.’


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I know the things in my life that aren’t as they should be. I know the sins that I commit. Lord, I don’t want to do those things anymore. And so I ask that by Your grace and the power of Your Holy Spirit that I will sin no more. Lord, I desire that my life may be used to grow Your kingdom and bring You glory, so forgive my sins, protect me from the Evil One, uphold me in temptation, and preserve my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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