John 5:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 5:8, NIV: "Then Jesus said to him, 'Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.'"

John 5:8, ESV: "Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”"

John 5:8, KJV: "Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk."

John 5:8, NASB: "Jesus *said to him, 'Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.'"

John 5:8, NLT: "Jesus told him, 'Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!'"

John 5:8, CSB: ""Get up," Jesus told him, "pick up your mat and walk.""

What does John 5:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In John 4:46–54, Jesus meets a man seeking a miracle. This official wanted healing for his son and was persistent in asking Jesus for it. Jesus granted the request, but made the man prove out his own faith by leaving without any proof that his request had been granted. Here, the man by the pool has made no requests of Jesus whatsoever. Even when Jesus asked (John 5:6), the invalid man does not say, "yes." Instead, he offers complaints about having no one to help him.

This makes Jesus' action in this verse all the more interesting. This is the third "sign" recorded in this Gospel by John, of only seven total. And yet, it's performed on a man who not only didn't ask for it, he might not have even wanted it! This healing is a display of Jesus' divine power, as well as a story-picture of our relationship to Him. Even when we don't seek Him, or seek what's best for us, God can reach down and act, even if we didn't really want Him to in the first place.

Jesus' command to "get up and walk" presents some cultural problems. This would have clearly shown that the man was completely and fully healed. However, this event is taking place on the Sabbath (John 5:9). According to the traditions of the Pharisees, carrying one's mat (or cot, or pallet) was a form of work, and all work was strictly forbidden on the Sabbath day.

Jesus is not making this request by accident. This is the phase of His ministry where He begins to deliberately provoke the hard hearts of the people. Several of Jesus' healings will take place on the Sabbath, seemingly to needle the cold-blooded religious leaders (Luke 4:31–37; 14:1–6; Matthew 12:9–14).