John 5:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 5:11, NIV: "But he replied, 'The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.' '"

John 5:11, ESV: "But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’”"

John 5:11, KJV: "He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk."

John 5:11, NASB: "But he answered them, 'He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.’'"

John 5:11, NLT: "But he replied, 'The man who healed me told me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.''"

John 5:11, CSB: "He replied, "The man who made me well told me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.' ""

What does John 5:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In prior verses, Jesus went to the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. This area was near the temple and would have provided ample shade. The Bible describes "a multitude" of disabled people gathered there (John 5:3). Jesus selected one man, crippled for nearly forty years, and asked the man if he wanted to be healed. Somewhat surprisingly, the man offers some form of complaint, or excuse, rather than saying, "yes" (John 5:5–7).

After Jesus heals him, the man continues this strange pattern of "passing the buck." Jesus instructed the man to pick up the bed he was laying on and to walk with it (John 5:8). According to the local religious leaders, this was a violation of the commandment not to work on the Sabbath (John 5:10). In response, the man simply points to Jesus—whose name he does not even know—and says, in essence, "but someone told me to do it!"

The local religious leaders have every right to question this man. As with their investigation of John the Baptist (John 1:19), it is part of their responsibility to safeguard the truth. However, upcoming verses will show that these men are not sincere. Their offense over Jesus breaking their Sabbath tradition will override any joy they might have had over the miracle itself. In particular, note that in the next verse (John 5:12), their response is not to ask, "who healed you," but "who told you to take up your bed and walk?" Their focus is entirely on their tradition, not the power of God!