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The Healing of the Lame Man (John 5)

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John 5

Jesus heals a lame man
After these things there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a crowd of those who were sick, blind, lame, paralysed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and disturbed the water. Whoever was first to step into the pool, after the waters were disturbed, was healed of whatever disease he had. 5 One man there had been ill for thirty eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, knowing he had been there a long time, he said to him: Would you be made whole? 7 The sick man answered him: Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed. As I approach someone else steps in front of me. 8 Jesus said to him: Arise, take up your bed and walk. 9 And straightway the man was made whole and took up his bed and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day.
   10 So the Jews said to him who had been cured: It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed. 11 But he answered them: He that made me whole, the same said to me: Take up your bed and walk. 12 They asked him: Who is the man that said to you: Take up your bed and walk? 13 But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place 14 Afterwards, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him: Look, you are made whole. Sin no more, lest a worse thing befall you. 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him whole.

Jesus comments upon His relationship with God
   16 And for this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them: My Father works even until now and therefore I also work. 18 For this cause the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath law, but he called God his own Father, making himself seem like God.
   19 Jesus therefore answered and said to them: Truly, truly, I say to you: The Son can do nothing of himself but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever works He does, these the Son does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all things that Himself does; and greater works than these will He show him, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he will. 22 For neither does the Father judge anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that does not honour the Son does not honour the Father that sent him.
   24 Truly, truly, I say to you: He that hears my word and believes Him that sent me has eternal life, and comes not into condemnation, but has passed out of death into life. 25 Truly, truly, I say to you: The hour comes and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given the Son life in himself.
   27 And He has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is a Son of Man. 28 Marvel not at this! For the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, 29 and shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is righteous, because I seek not my own will, but the will of Him that sent me.
   31 If I testify of myself, my witness is not true. 32 It is another that testifies of me; and I know that the witness which He testifies of me is true. 33 You asked John the Baptist, and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man; but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was the lamp that burns and shines, and you were willing to rejoice for a period in his light. 36 But the witness which I have is greater than that of John. For the works which the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I do, testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father that sent me, He has testified of me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape. 38 And you do not have His word dwelling in you, for you do not believe the one whom He has sent. 39 You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of me; 40 but you will not come to me, so that you may have life.
   41 I receive not glory from men. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I come in my Father's Name, and you do not accept me. If another shall come in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe, you who accept praise from each other, but do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one that accuses you, Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me. For he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe my words?


5:2 There is- Jerusalem was destroyed in AD70. The present tense indicates that John’s Gospel was written before AD70- not generations after the events, as wrongly claimed by Bible critics.

5:8 Jesus didn’t criticize the man for believing in a myth about an Angel touching water. Instead, Jesus focused the man upon the simple reality- that God alone through His Son can heal. We need to be patient with those who have wrong understandings and believe groundless myths; and gently re-focus them upon the simple truths of the Gospel.

5:13 Some of those Jesus cured didn’t have any faith in Jesus- this man didn’t even know Jesus’ Name. This shows what it means to really be able to do miracles by the Holy Spirit- even ignorant unbelievers could be healed. This contrasts with the false claims of many ‘faith healers’ in Christian churches today, who claim they have Holy Spirit gifts, but can only claim to heal those who have faith.

5:18,19 Jesus answers their misunderstanding that He was claiming equality with God by making some statements that for all time end any question about whether Jesus is equal with God. He states clearly that He can do nothing of Himself, His power is only from God and not of Himself; and His will is not that of His Father (v. 30).

5:24 We have eternal life in the sense that we can live now the kind of life which we will eternally live in God’s Kingdom. We will die, be unconscious, but be raised to stand before Jesus at His return, and by His grace live eternally in God’s Kingdom on earth.

5:27 Because the Lord Jesus had our human nature He is therefore qualified to be our judge at the last day.

5:29 We receive eternal life at the resurrection, when Jesus returns. We don’t have immortality naturally within ourselves, in the form of some ‘immortal soul’. This isn’t a Biblical idea. The resurrection is very important in the process of salvation. Therefore it’s also important to identify ourselves with the death and resurrection of Jesus through baptism, so that we too will literally be resurrected and share in His eternal life at His return.

5:37 God sent Jesus. He that sends is superior to and different from Him that is sent (Jn. 13:16). Jesus isn’t God.

5:39,40 It’s possible to read the Bible a lot but never truly come to Jesus. To study the Bible but not have the living word / voice of God abiding in us (v. 38). We should be Christ-centric more than Bible-centric.

5:43 Jesus as God’s Son carried His Father’s Name. The Name of God is essentially His attributes and character; and Jesus showed these to perfection. But we shouldn’t misunderstand this to mean that Jesus is God Himself in person, just because He carries His Father’s Name.