Afterward, Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches.
3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”
11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.
13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.
John 5: 1-13
Thoughts On This Section Of John 5
First off, you know that you’re stuck in your ways when a miraculous sign appears in front of you, and you complain about someone not following your rules. It amazes me in John 5 that they’d get mad at someone who healed another from a lifelong illness.
This man had been lame for years, waiting by the pool for someone to come help him, and nobody did. That is until Jesus came walking by.
How To Really Make An Impact?
John 5 Teaches us to be like Jesus when we go to the store, the gym, or just outside. We need to keep our eyes open and find the needs of others as we live our lives. Most of the miracles in John 5 state that someone was sitting somewhere and Jesus came walking by.
It all seems simple, doesn’t it?
Notice I didn’t put any rules on that statement. Our goal as followers of Christ should be to help everyone that God brings into our lives.
I fail that a lot, and you probably do too. Keep going, that’s where grace and mercy come in.
The 2nd Thing I Noticed
In John 5 vs. 14 Jesus sees the guy again and calls him out. This may seem kinda harsh, but it’s got truth in it.
God may heal you on this planet. In fact, I pray that he does. However, if you don’t stop sinning, something a lot worse will happen to you.
You’ll wind up in hell.
And that’s a whole lot worse. Jesus was blunt and spoke the truth, he wasn’t religious. In fact, he told the man to pick up his mat and walk. this happened on the sabbath and was contrary to Jewish tradition.
What Does John 5 Teach us?
16 So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. 17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” 18 So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, but he also called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.
19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished.
21 For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. 22 In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, 23 so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.
Honoring The Son Will Honor The Father
24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
25 “And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. 26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. 27 And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man.
28 Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, 29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. 30 I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.
John 5: 24-30
The Meaning of John 5
…there’s a lot to unwrap here. I doubt that I’ll be able to scratch the truth and knowledge of John 5. But I’m going to try.
At the beginning of these verses, the seeds of murder started to grow in the Pharisee’s hearts. This is after Jesus declares himself the Son of God.
He offended their tradition and was overthrowing their power and beliefs.
These are the problems that stem from Religion. Instead of focusing on the relationship with Jesus and reconnecting with God. People begin focusing on the rules, regulations, and rituals.
This doesn’t have to be religious either. Many people in America today are suffering from religious fervor in science or social justice.
Many of these things are dangerous because the rituals and feelings of superiority can blind you to the truth in front of you.
Rituals Will Blind You From The Truth
Take heart though, many of these people are misguided, and their passions just need to be refocused on something true.
Paul (Or Saul at the time) had a religious passion to save the Jewish faith. In the book of Acts, he’s on his way to Damascus, and he’s going to imprison and kill Christians.
However, on the way, Jesus meets him and transforms his life forever. This man wrote more books of the Bible than anyone else and traveled the known world spreading the gospel and story of Jesus.
Don’t count passion and fervor out. Passion is what drives people to do great things. However, it’s hard for regular people to change passionate people. Our job may be to pray and let God guide us.
John 5 The Significance Of Witnesses In Jewish Law
31 “If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid. 32 But someone else is also testifying about me, and I assure you that everything he says about me is true. 33 In fact, you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true. 34 Of course, I have no need of human witnesses, but I say these things so you might be saved.
35 John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message. 36 But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, 38 and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you.
John 5: 31-38
John 5 Searching The Scriptures
39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.
41 “Your approval means nothing to me, 42 because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. 43 For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. 44 No wonder you can’t believe it! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God.
45 “Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. 46 If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. 47 But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”
John 5: 39-47
John 5: If You Reject Jesus, You’re Rejecting God.
In the Jewish faith, there were laws about witnesses. One witness wasn’t enough. You needed two. Keep in mind I’m not a scholar, but I think Jesus is referring to this rule in the Jewish court system.
My favorite verse here in John 5 is when Jesus says you search the scriptures for eternal life, but they’re pointing to me.
He’s stating that he’s right in front of them, and they don’t see it. I wrote another blog post on the topic of Jesus being the way, but it blows my mind that they were so caught up in themselves that they didn’t see him in front of them.
It reminds me of today. We live in a world that is falling into lawlessness. Evil people run free, and the truth varies depending on the person.
I’ll make this statement, there is no truth outside of Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. It’s why we need to study the Bible and pray daily.
Also, remember, the Bible is NOT God, and should never be elevated towards the 4th member of the Trinity. It’s a tool that you can use to help you on the path toward God.
My Thoughts On John 5
These are my thoughts on John 5. You may or may not agree with them, and that’s fine. What I do believe is that Jesus died for the world, and he rose again defeating sin and death.
In order to be with him for eternity, we need to:
Ask For Forgiveness
Believe God Raised Jesus From The Dead.
Understand That Jesus is The Son Of God
Change From Our Sinful Ways.
#4 is the forgotten one, but remember what Jesus said. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. The blood Jesus shed doesn’t give you free rein to sin. Instead, it gives you grace and mercy to live your best life with him.
The life God has for you is far better than the life you’ll experience without him. He created you and placed every desire in your heart. This means he knows you better than you do.
Give him a chance, you’ll be surprised.
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Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport.
While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.