-Another miracle is recounted by John as he continues his narrative of the gospel of Christ Jesus. After the healing of the government official’s son in Capernaum (see John 4:46-54), there was a feast of the Jews in Jerusalem, and Jesus went up to fulfill the requirements of the Law of Moses. There was in Jerusalem at this time, by the sheep gate in the northern portion of the city, a place called Bethesda (House of Mercy), where they took care of the sick and infirmed. It had five porticoes, and remains of it still exist today in the Holy City. Some ancient texts include the last part of verse three through verse four, and some omit it. But, this passage states that when the waters moved, an angel of the LORD would come down at certain seasons in that moving water with the first into it receiving healing from whatever disease afflicted them. There was a man there who had been ill for 38 years, when Jesus entered the scene. Jesus saw him lying on the ground and knowing he had been in that condition for a long time asked him, “Do you wish to get well?” This might seem like a ridiculous question, but Jesus, being All-Wise, never makes a mistake. He wanted the man to decide for himself if he truly wanted healing from this Messiah. The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Then, Jesus commanded him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately, the Bible tells us, the man was completely healed after nearly 40 years of being a paraplegic. He began to walk around; I’m sure to his own amazement (John 5:1-9a).
-Now, it was the Sabbath Day when this all happened, so the religious Jews were condemning the man that was breaking their man-made traditions by carrying his pallet on this holy day, which Jesus had commanded him to do. These legalistic individuals now wanted to know who told him to do that, but the man was unaware of who He was. Jesus, on His part, had slipped away into the throng of people there undetected and unnoticed. Afterwards, Jesus found this man in the Temple. He approached him and told him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” For this conversation, the man knew that it was Jesus who healed him, and he reported to the Jews information as they had requested. This began a persecution of the Savior because the Jews felt like their Sabbath laws were being broken by this misfit. Nevermind, that He totally healed a man that was crippled for nearly four decades. When Jesus maintained, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working,” the Jews became enraged to the point of wanting to kill Him because He was not only breaking their Sabbath, but He was calling God His own Father, thus making Himself equal with the LORD (John 5:9b-18). Jesus had a sophisticated response for their accusations:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true. You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish--the very works that I do--testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 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 you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words (John 5:19-47)?"
-*Application*- Jesus claimed to be God’s Son and then supported His claim with His actions. He was completely in tune with the Father to give us an example of how we can conduct our lives being filled with His Spirit in communion. What we see Him doing, we must follow and abide in that power, even if the world does not get it or understand.
Verses to Memorize: John 5:14, 39