John 5.14 records, after this Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “Look, you have become well. Don’t sin any more, lest anything worse happen to you.”
What could be worse than being paralyzed for 38 years? What could be worse than living in a prison while watching everyone else around you enjoy freedom? Jesus found this prisoner and asked him if he wanted to get well.
The man’s response reflected hopelessness at such a prospect. Jesus, because He is God and therefore unlimited in power or potential, reached down and removed the barriers that kept this man a prisoner inside his own body. The healed paralytic has no idea who his healer is but later Jesus finds him to warn him about a greater evil that could befall his life.
What could be worse than 38 years confined by paralysis? Eternity confined to hell. The warning Jesus gives the healed man is the warning all of us must heed lest something worse befall us. Unless we are born again Jesus said earlier, we shall never live with God in eternal dwellings. To get to where God lives we must live as God intends.
God came to live among us as one of us, Jesus the Savior, so that we can know what God requires and have an example for how God expects us to live. Sin is disobeying God. Sin is ignoring God. Sin is our natural state resulting in an eternal state of separation from God unless corrected by God through Jesus the Savior. That place where God sends all those who wanted nothing to do with Him will be a place of eternal torment and misery.
The prison of hell will last forever and be far worse than any prison our bodies can make for us today. Jesus, God, invites us all to stop sinning so that we can enjoy a different destiny. The first sin to stop, the only sin really that will preclude us from God, is the sin of denying Jesus as the God Who alone can takes us to heaven.
Sin is denying that Jesus is God made man so that the sin of man could be punished by a Man. Sin is denying that God as man rose from the dead proving He is life and that He alone can give life to all He chooses. As Jesus desired and accomplished the healing of the paralytic so He desires and has made possible the healing of our distance from God so that we can live forever with Him as God.
Like the paralytic, we must respond to Jesus’ desire to heal us affirmatively and then follow Him completely so that nothing worse befalls us.