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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

John 5

 

 

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Introduction

The Healing Of The Lame Man
- John Five -

The healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda was a wonderful miracle. "Bethesda" is a real and exact location in Jerusalem. Sadly, as a result, of the miracle the Jews rejected Jesus and tried to kill Him. They could not deny that a great miracle had been performed. They were angry because Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath Day and that He made himself equal with God. Jesus said, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." Jesus healed a man who had an infirmity for thirty-eight years. He told the man to take up his bed and walk. During the turmoil Jesus just slipped away into the crowd. In healing the lame man Jesus told the people that He was only doing what God told Him to do. Later Jesus found the man in the Temple and told him, "Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." Jesus desired that this man and we also have a proper understanding of punishment for sins. God made His Son the judge of everyone. (John 5:22) There is a coming time when those who have done evil will be raised from the dead and be condemned. (John 5:28-29)

The message that Jesus gave to the Jew was that He worked and did things like the Father would do. He taught them that the Father was working through Him. Jesus wanted it understood that those who hear Him will live forever. "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." (John 5:25) Jesus explained that John was one who bore witness of Him that He is the Messiah. He said, "He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light." (John 5:35) Jesus now tells them that He has an even greater witness than John. "The Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me." (John 5:37) The Jews wanted to kill Him for claiming to be the Messiah.


Verses 1-13

The lame man healed at the pool -- John 5:1-13 : We read, "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches." (John 5:1-2) A multitude of hurting people was gathered around this pool. Many sick, blind, lame, and crippled people were lying close to the pool. We are told that at times an angel would "trouble" or stir up the waters. The first person who entered the pool when the waters were stirred up would be healed of their infirmaries. The lame man and many others were there desiring to be healed. The lame man had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw the man and realized that he had been crippled for such a long time, He asked him, "Do you want to be healed?" What about those of us who might be lost in sins? Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Do we want to be made spiritually whole? The man wanted to be made whole but he had no one to help him into the water. Jesus told the man to "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." Right then the man was healed. He picked up his bed and started walking around. This all took place on the Sabbath Day. The Jews witnessed the healing of the lame man, but they rebuked him for carrying his bed on the Sabbath. Sabbath keeping was a part of the Mosaic Law. (Exodus 16:23-29, Exodus 31:12-18) Jesus' question of Matthew 12:12 fits well this occasion also. "Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days." The self-righteous Jews asked the man why he was carrying his bed on the Sabbath. He responded, "The man who healed me told me to pick up my bed and walk." The man could not identify Jesus because He had slipped away into the multitude that was in the place.


Verses 14-18

Jesus is equal with God -- John 5:14-18 : After Jesus healed the man He went into the Temple and found the man. He told him, "You are now well. But do not sin anymore or something worse might happen to you." Jesus taught this man a forceful lesson about sin. A physical disease had come upon this man. Sin would bring upon him something far worse. There was no comparison between being lame for 38 years and spending eternity in hell. Likely the man did not have any ill intent but he told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. He possibly just wanted to give Jesus the credit for his healing. It was an astonishing miracle. The Jews sought to kill Jesus because (1) He had done the miracle on the Sabbath Day, and (2) Because He said "God was his Father, making himself equal with God." The Jews knew they were fake and they had to admit that Jesus was real. This irritated these hypocrites to no end. Even though these Jews were not doing right they were angry that Jesus had taken upon Himself the authority to tell someone carry his bed on the Sabbath. They had heard the message of Jesus and saw His miracle that proves Him to be the Messiah yet they refused the truth. Instead of obedience their response was to try to kill Jesus. Here Jesus faced the Jews saying, "My Father has never stopped working, and that is why I keep on working." (John 5:17) Jesus claimed Divinity and proved it by His message and miracles. How could these Jews so heartlessly reject Him?


Verses 19-30

The authority of the Son of God -- John 5:19-30 : In a lengthy reply to the Jews Jesus gave proof of His deity and ministry. Jesus declared that the Son can do nothing on His own. As the Son of God, Jesus did what He saw the Father do. Jesus had said that He was equal with God. Therefore, He could do nothing contrary to God. Jesus said, "The Father will show him even greater things, and you will be amazed. Just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants to." The Jews knew that only God could do these great miracles but in their self righteousness they still denied Jesus as the Christ. They were judging Jesus now, but He would be the one who would judge them at the final judgment. "The Father does not judge anyone, but he has made his Son the judge of everyone." Jesus proclaimed Himself to be equal with God. He deserved the same honor due the Father. "The Father wants all people to honor the Son as much as they honor him. When anyone refuses to honor the Son that is the same as refusing to honor the Father who sent him." The only way to avoid eternal condemnation and to receive eternal life is to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and to serve Him with all of your heart. There can be no spiritual and eternal life apart from Jesus Christ. Judgment is coming and only those who are faithful in Christ will be saved. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:28-29) Let us be like Jesus. He said, "I obey him, and I do not just try to please myself." It was a tragedy that Jesus was offering these Jews eternal life and they were rejecting Him. Sadly, the same tragedy is repeated among many in our day. Jesus offers eternal life to people and He is rejected.


Verses 31-47

A witness to Jesus -- John 5:31-47 : Jesus called the attention of the Jews to the fact that God the Father was His witness. John was a great witness but the things that the Father had given Him to do speak even stronger as prove that the Father sent Him. The miracles that Jesus performed were done in accordance with God the Father"s will and in His power. Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh. The Father who sent Jesus witnessed for Him, yet they refused to have faith in the one He sent. Their rejection of the one sent by God stands as proof that they did not really know God the Father. These Jews did not have God"s word abiding in them. They did not believed His message, because they refused to have faith in the one He sent. It is so heart breaking to reach out to the lost sharing with them the wonderful news of the Gospel and have it fall on deaf ears. It is bewildering to me to teach people how their sins can be forgiven and how they can go to heaven and spend eternity with God and have them ignore this truth and choose to remain lost. They love darkness rather than the light! It is always such a blessing when some do receive the salvation that is in Christ Jesus. Jesus was offering the love of God to these people and they rejected Him. They should have quickly received Him because they claimed the Old Testament Scriptures as the source of their faith. Jesus said those Scriptures testified of Him. Jesus said, "Moses wrote about me, and if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me. But if you do not believe what Moses wrote, how can you believe what I say?" The Jews had the word of God available to them to learn but they rejected God"s truth. We likewise have access to God"s Word. Let us learn about Jesus, receive and obey Him as the Son of God.

We must come to believe that Jesus is the one sent from God to bring salvation. "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me." To begin your Christian life hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of your sins (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ. "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27) After being washed in the blood of Jesus at baptism we must be among those who are blessed by serving as a faithful member of the one body or church of Christ.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on John 5:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/box/john-5.html. 2014.

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