It is a wonderful experience to be healed, delivered, or restored to a fully functioning body or soul, especially when the debilitation had been a direct result of personal sin. There is nothing quite like having to live life in a tragic condition that is a daily reminder of past choices gone wrong.
After being healed and restored to normal, many say that the past suffering seems like it was just a bad dream. The new life has new dimensions of freedom that haven’t been known for a long time, or if ever.
There can be a temptation to go wild, doing things that should not be done. The new found health has opened the door to a whole new world of excitement, and some decide to “party” in the wrong way, by re-entering into a pattern of sinning.
This is a very real gamble. This principle is taught by Jesus when He healed and warned such a man. He had been disabled (an invalid) for 38 years:
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked…
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.’”
~ John 5:8-14
In today’s setting this same story might be about a disabled Christian that was healed, Jesus then crossed paths with him at a church. While in the church, Jesus gave him a stern warning to “stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
“Something worse may happen” is a statement of statistical probability, a distinct possibility, a gamble. When we sin we are rolling the dice, gambling with the entry or return of things like sickness, bondage, or mental illness. Sin is not without a destructive, disabling, or painful effect, either now or later, in this life or in eternity.
Ultimately the gamble of sin is not about “if” bad stuff might happen, but more like “when” bad stuff might happen. The wages of sin will be required, this is a certainty. The gamble is just “when” the pain will begin, in this life or in eternity.
The pinnacle of the advice that Jesus gave the man is in the phrase, “stop sinning.” This is the only way to avoid the gamble of sin.
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