Jesus Healing the Lame Man ~ Object Lesson

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Jesus healing


  • To tell events of Jesus healing the lame man at the pool {John 5:1-18}
  • To recognize that the Sabbath was made for man
  • To claim that Jesus has power over sickness

Materials: Inductive Bible Study Form; bowl of water; 1 volunteer

Geography: Jerusalem

Background: There was a wedding in Cana. Mary, Jesus’ mother, Jesus and His disciples were at the wedding feast. Jesus turned the water into wine. Then He went back to Cana. A royal official came to Jesus. This official begged Jesus to come with him and heal his sick son, for he was close to death. Jesus did not go with the official. Instead, Jesus told the man, “Go, your son lives.” The official’s servants met him on the way home and told him that his son was well.

Main Events of Jesus Healing the Lame Man:

{Choose a volunteer. Have him come up front and sit on the floor. Designate the child as “lame”. Put the bowl of water a short distance away, but far enough that he cannot reach it. Explain that IF the water moves, he must somehow get to the bowl and put his hand in the water before the water is still again. But he cannot use his legs. Gently shake the bowl. Allow the child to attempt to get to you. Make sure the water is till quickly.} So sorry!! You can’t see to reach the water before it is still again! I guess you won’t get healed this time. Let’s see what Jesus did.

Jesus left Cana and went back to Jerusalem for a feast. While there, Jesus went near the pool of Bethesda. Legend had it that if the waters were stirred up, then the first person into the pool would be healed. Therefore, many people with different ailments would sit for extended periods of time waiting for the waters to be stirred. Archeologists think they have found this pool, and it must have been thought to have healing powers because the Romans built baths on top of this ritual pool.

Jesus walked by the pool and noticed a lame man. He had been lame for 38 years. Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to be healed?” The man responded that yes, he did want to be healed, but that no one would help him into the pool when it stirred. Someone would always get there ahead of him. Jesus replied, “Take up your bed and walk.” The man did just as Jesus said.

This happened on the Sabbath and some Jewish religious leaders saw the man carrying his bed. This was against the rules of the Sabbath. Carrying something is considered work, and a good Jew did not work on the Sabbath. The leaders asked the man if he realized that carrying the bed was unlawful. The man replied, “The man who healed me said to pick up the bed and walk. And so I did.” They then asked who it was who healed him. The former lame man did not know because Jesus had withdrawn back into the crowds.

Jesus found the former lame man in the temple and said, “See you are well! Do not sin any more, so nothing worse will happen to you.” Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it had been Jesus who healed him. After this the Leaders persecuted Jesus because He had done things on the Sabbath. Jesus responded back to them by saying, “My Father is working, so I am working.” And so the Jews wanted to seek out a way to kill Jesus because He called God His Father. Jesus had made Himself equal with God.

Life Application of Jesus Healing the Lame Man:

{Hold up the bowl of water.} Where did the healing come from, the water? or Jesus? [Jesus] Jesus has power of disease and sickness. What is neat about this event is that the lame man did not ask for healing. We don’t even know if he believed in Jesus or knew who He was. But Jesus healed him anyway. And the scriptures tell us that Jesus knew the man had been lame for 38 years. Isn’t nice to know that God knows how long you have suffered?

Jesus was perfect, so He did not do anything wrong by healing on the Sabbath as the Jewish Leaders claim. The Jewish Leaders had so many laws that they tried to regulate and enforce, that they themselves could not keep them all. But they were quick to point out the failures of others and ignore their own. In another conversation Jesus pointed out that the Sabbath was made for man. Those Ten Commandments were given to man. God didn’t need them. Man needs them. When people realize that they cannot follow the law perfectly, then they understand that they need a Savior. There is nothing we can do to earn a right relationship with God, or salvation. That lame man did nothing to earn his healing. Jesus chose to heal the man because He loved him, and that is why Jesus offers salvation to you today: He loves you!

What types of things do people attempt to do to earn their way to God? Will it work? Why, or why not?

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