John 5:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 5:9, NIV: "At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,"

John 5:9, ESV: "And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath."

John 5:9, KJV: "And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath."

John 5:9, NASB: "Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was a Sabbath on that day."

John 5:9, NLT: "Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath,"

John 5:9, CSB: "Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat, and started to walk.Now that day was the Sabbath,"

What does John 5:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Whether or not this man was seeking healing, whether or not he expected to be healed, and whether or not he wanted to be healed, that is exactly what happened. In prior verses, Jesus seems to be questioning the man's interest in being made whole (John 5:6). The man's answer was not exactly passionate, suggesting that he had either given up hope or gotten comfortable inspiring pity from others (John 5:7). Of all the invalid people there, Jesus chose to approach and heal this one particular man (John 5:8).

The Greek of this verse describes the healing as happening kai eutheōs, literally meaning "right away" or "at once." Whether this was a split second, or a matter of a few seconds, we cannot be sure. It certainly was not an extended process. Jesus told a man crippled for thirty-eight years to walk, and he got right up and walked!

This is one of the signs of a "true miracle:" instantaneous effects. Many false teachers, faith healers, and other frauds attempt to claim miraculous healing. Usually, those effects are—according to the con artist—slow to complete or minor at first. What's recorded here is a "true miracle," meant to prove a particular point (John 20:30–31). This is likely one reason Jesus chose a man who had been completely crippled for nearly four decades. When that man instantly walked in response to Jesus' command, it left no doubt that what happened was a miracle. Not a trick, a show, or an illusion—this was the power of God.

That, of course, makes the reaction of the local religious leaders all the more disappointing. Rather than being in awe of the miracle, they will be offended that Jesus is violating their traditions regarding the Sabbath. Given that Jesus often argued with the Pharisees over the Sabbath (Luke 13:10–17; Matthew 12:1–8), there's good reason to think He is purposefully provoking the hard hearts of these men by His actions.