“Afterwards Jesus found him in the Temple and said to him, ‘Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.'” (John 5:14)
Jesus had previously healed this man, who had been sitting by the pool at Bethesda, and the Bible tells us that He later purposefully “found him” in the Temple to give him this admonition: “Do not sin anymore.” His warning is similar to the one He gave to the adulterous woman later in John 8, “Now go and sin no more.” It is a word that many of us need to hear today as well.
Jesus told this man: “Behold, you have become well; DO NOT SIN ANY MORE, so that nothing worse happens to you.” Sin, Jesus indicated, would bring “worse” consequences than what this man had experienced in his life so far. Sin was worse than that debilitating illness, and would bring upon him a punishment far worse than any sickness. So after being touched by Jesus, the Lord commanded him NOT TO SIN any more. He was take this issue of sin, and its consequences very seriously.
This contrasts greatly with the casual attitude that many take towards sin today. This was NOT a case of “just get touched by Jesus and go do whatever you want” which seems to be the philosophy of many “religious” people these days. No, if this man was serious about his relationship with the Lord — and about his own future — he would heed Jesus’ command to do his best to avoid sin from now on. Sin always hinders our relationship with God, and brings harmful consequences into our lives, and the lives of those we love. Those who are really serious about following Jesus will take seriously His warning to pursue holiness.
Unfortunately, verses like this from the lips of Jesus — those which commands us to repentance and holiness — are often overlooked in our modern, permissive age. But we overlook them to our detriment. Were Jesus speaking directly to some of us today, He would say exactly the same thing to us that He did to the man in the Temple that day: “Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”