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John chapter 5

English Standard Version

30"I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41I do not receive glory from people. 42But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43I have come in my Father 's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"
New International Version

New American Standard Bible

Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

1After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. 10The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. 17But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
New King James Version

What does John chapter 5 mean?

Chapter 5 presents John's first record of Jesus directly confronting His enemies. Most of this passage is taken up by the words of Christ Himself, responding to Jewish critics. Many of John's recurring themes are found in this passage. Among these are the miraculous "signs" of Jesus, His claims of divinity, and the warped perspective of those who reject Him. This chapter also continues John's frequent use of contrast. So far, John has described Jesus attending a quiet, friendly wedding, followed by His aggressive clearing of the temple (John 2). This public debacle was followed by a one-on-one conversation with Nicodemus (John 3). After speaking with the educated, confident, respected Nicodemus, Jesus is next seen speaking with the unlearned, outcast Samaritan woman (John 4).

Jesus' miracles are also presented with a sense of contrast. When Jesus turned water into wine, it was practically a secret (John 2:9), and the couple who benefitted from it didn't even know it had happened. In the second "sign" John records, Jesus heals from a distance, for a man who went to great effort to seek out a miracle (John 4:46–54). Here, in chapter 5, Jesus will heal in person, for a man who apparently wasn't looking for anything specific.

The Bible gives us limited details on the conversation Jesus has with the crippled man. However, it's interesting to see the man's response when Jesus asks about healing. Rather than saying, "yes, I want to be healed," he makes excuses about nobody helping him into the water. Later, the same man pushes blame for his breaking of the Sabbath on Jesus. He never seems to express any gratitude to Christ. Maybe he'd given up hope. Maybe we're just not told every detail. However, some people revel in their afflictions as : a source of pity and emotional leverage against others. One wonders if the crippled man was in that category.

We should note that there were many, many other people looking for healing at the pool that day. Jesus did not heal every single one of them. This is a reminder that miracles were not the real purpose of His ministry. Nor are miracles the real purpose of our Christian lives. True miracles, the "signs" John records in this book, are extremely rare and unexpected events. This miracle is especially unforeseen because the man never asks for healing. He only complains that he gets no help (John 5:1–9).

When John uses the phrase "the Jews," he typically means the religious leadership of Jerusalem. In this case, these men of influence seem more upset that Jesus has disturbed the Sabbath than amazed at His miracle! They also object to Jesus' claiming to be equal to God (John 5:1–18). This will become a major accusation used against Him at His sham trial (Matthew 26:63–66).

Jesus' response in this chapter comes in two major parts. First, He describes the authority which He was given by God (John 5:19–29). In doing so, Jesus lays claim to many of the same rights, attributes, and abilities as God. Jesus claims equality with God in works (John 5:19), in love (John 5:20), in judgment (John 5:22), and in honor (John 5:23). He also points out that eternal life comes only to those who believe in Him (John 5:23–24). Jesus' words foreshadow the resurrection of Lazarus, as well as the final resurrection of all men (John 5:28–29).

In the second part of Jesus' response, He focuses on evidence (John 5:30–47). This is a crucial passage to turn to when dealing with accusations of "blind faith." Jesus never says, "believe Me because I said so." Nor does He appeal to mystery, or sincerity, or tradition. Rather, Jesus gives three specific lines of evidence which prove the truth of His claims. These are human witnesses (John 5:33), the miracles He is performing (John 5:36), and the written Scriptures (John 5:39). According to Jesus, these all point to Him as the fulfillment of prophecy.

Jesus closes this discussion with an interesting point. Namely, that those who won't accept the message of the written Word aren't going to come to faith, no matter what. The Pharisees had extensive knowledge of the Scriptures but rejected Jesus in favor of their own traditions (John 5:39–47). This echoes the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. There, Christ also points out that even miracles cannot convince those who reject the written words which God has given (Luke 16:27–31).
What is the Gospel?
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