John 5

John 5

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The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

Jesus Is Equal with God

This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

The Authority of the Son

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

Witnesses to Jesus

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

(ESV)


John 5 Commentary

by Hank Workman

For 38 years the man wanted to be healed.  He had joined many others who gathered around a pool of water in Bethesda day in day out who believed when the waters were stirred by an angel God would bring healing to those who got in.  Being an invalid he could not get into the water in time.  He had no one to help him move toward the waters.  The man’s situation was hopeless.

Throughout scripture, there are many unusual occasions where healing took place.  There’s the purified pot of stew, the healing of Naaman by dipping himself in the Jordan River, there’s the healing of the man who touched the bones of Elisha.  There is the story of people being healed from simply having the shadow of Peter fall upon them and even healings that took place from having handkerchiefs of Paul’s being placed upon them. Healings have been recorded throughout in many unexpected and unusual ways.

This story though has simply the power of Jesus who encounters the man.

What is interesting here is Jesus simply stopped and asked him a question, “Do you want to get well?”  The question seems redundant really.  But Jesus knew that not every sick person truly wants to get well or be healed.  And this is something to consider.  There are many times we are in situations that are harmful or we are indeed not well both physically or emotionally and I believe the same question resonates today – Do you want to be healed?  Do you want to be made better and whole?

These questions draw a line in the sand for us as many times we become comfortable or used to our state and routine.  We cling to our past offenses that have been done to us.  There are so many people today who are those “Look at my wounds” type.  They cling to their past wounds or hurts.  It becomes a mark of who they are as it’s usually sprinkled throughout their conversations.  To give up such a stance would be a sacrifice of themselves as it’s what’s defined them.  And let’s be honest, we’re surrounded by those who are “Look at my wounds” type of people.  For them to actually embrace the healing of Jesus in their lives from their past for instance, would require they move on from it.  Some simply are not willing to do so.

And yet the freedom found in Jesus is always found with our own surrender of ourselves.  This involves our past as well.  It requires a sacrifice of our past and our own will as we bring our identity to His.  And much like Jesus standing at the pool that day He poses the same question, “Do you want to get well?”


John 5 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Bearing witness to yourself is not reliable in court. Jesus didn’t need to provide witnesses for His authority, but in His grace, He would.

John the Baptist

John’s lamp testified to Jesus but he was rejected by the religious elite. Notice, he is described as the lamp. Jesus was the light that would fill that lamp, but John was merely a vessel that carried His message. On the other hand, the sinners and outcasts accepted John’s testimony because they had a simple faith rooted in mercy and compassion. This is what the prophets had clamored over for so many years in Israel’s past. They placed their rules and rituals over mercy, compassion, and justice.

The Miracles

Jesus’ miracles validated He was sent by God. Once again, the religious elite sought a powerful Messiah who would take the world by force. Jesus did show up powerfully, but He showed up in relationships doing simple things that the religious leaders had rejected. He came with compassion, forgiveness, mercy, and love. These were “smaller things” to the religious leaders. The primary issue was their oppression by Rome and that affected how they perceived the facts in front of them. The theme is similar to John the Baptist, but even more condemning because they were literally witnessing miracles done before their eyes and choosing to reject the authoritative nature of them.

The Word

Now Jesus turns His attention to the most condemning witness for the religious elite. They were experts of the Scriptures, but they were hypocritical and self-righteous – not saved. Jesus’ insulting words cut to their core.

Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope.  46  For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, because he wrote about Me.  47  But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

John 5:45-47 HCSB

Their foundation was on the Old Testament law, but even the law and the prophets of old testified to Jesus. They all pointed to a Savior who would come and do the things Jesus was currently doing. The Pharisees missed it.

I believe there are lots of people who are sitting in churches today and missing it. Many have created their own version of what will save them and view the Bible and Jesus as fitting that narrative. They make up their minds about what they believe ahead of time instead of just reading the Scriptures with an open mind and letting the Bible speak for itself. When you read the Word cover to cover is it obvious to the theologian and the child that Jesus saves.

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