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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

John 5

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-18

The Third Miracle: The Healing at the Pool of Bethesda- The third miracle that John records in His Gospel is the healing of the lamb man by the Pool of Bethesda. John 5:1-18 is similar to John 2:12-22 in the fact that Jesus' miracles gave Jesus an opportunity to testify of His deity. Both John 2:12-22 and John 5:1-18 also show Jesus" rejection by the Jews in Jerusalem. This secondary theme of Jesus" rejection by the Jews is woven into the more dominant theme that Jesus is the Son of God, the "I Am."

How Jesus Ministered Healing to the Lame Man - When Jesus meets the impotent man who had been lame for thirty-eight years He asked him if he desired to be healed. Jesus was looking for this man's point of faith for healing. This man believed that he needed man's help in order to receive his healing. He also believed that he needed the angel and the stirring of the waters. This was his point of faith. Jesus then gives him a spoken word so that this man could refocus his faith in the Word of God. Jesus heard this man confess his desire to be healed and so He gave him a command to respond to. As this man obeyed the word he heard, not understanding that this was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, healing took place. What hope did the multitudes of others have who were lame and impotent lying nearby to witness this miracle? Marilyn Hickey said that the Lord spoke to her and said that it only took one miracle for them to see, and if they too would respond in faith to the words of Jesus, they too could receive their miracles. 163]

163] Marilyn Hickey, Today With Marilyn and Sarah (Englewood, Colorado: Marilyn Hickey Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Prophetic of Healing Pools Across the World - In his book Journey Into The Miraculous Todd Bentley gives to us a unique insight into the story of the pool of Bethesda. We know from the Scriptures that an angel came down a certain seasons and troubled the waters so that there was a healing anointing to all who touched these waters. Mr. Bentley was caught up in a vision over North America and he saw in the spirit small rain clouds pouring down healing rain over certain areas. When he asked the Holy Spirit what this means, the Lord said, "I am releasing the pools of Bethesda. This is the release of John 5:1-4." He then saw angels being sent from heaven upon this last day generation and there rose up many ministries and churches that ministered in this healing anointing. In some of these places, healing revivals broke out and spread like fire. The Lord told him that these miracles and healings are for those churches and ministries that will fervently cry out for the rain, like Elijah on the mountain in 1 Kings 18:41-46. 164]

164] Todd Bentley, Journey Into the Miraculous (Victoria, BC, Canada: Hemlock Printers, Ltd, 2003), 156.

John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 5:1Comments - The six feast sections of John's Gospel ( John 2:1 to John 11:54) have distinct transitional statements regarding Jesus journeying to a Jewish feast and retreating after manifesting Himself as the Son of God ( John 2:2; John 2:12; John 5:1; John 6:1; John 7:1-9; John 10:23). The seventh miracle of the Resurrection also begins with a similar statement of Jesus arriving at a feast ( John 11:55 to John 12:1).

John 5:1Comments- John 5:1 begins a new section of John's Gospel by referring to a third feast, with the first two being mentioned in John 2:1 and John 2:13. However, we are not told which particular feast is taking place in Jerusalem in this verse.

John 2:1, "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:"

John 2:13, "And the Jews" passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,"

John 5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

John 5:2 — "Now there is at Jerusalem" - Comments- In the Greek text, the name "Jerusalem" appears in the plural in John 5:2 while being written in the singular form in the previous verse ( John 5:1). Andreas J. Kösterberger offers the suggestion that the plural form refers to "the precincts of Jerusalem." 165] The city of Jerusalem is often written in the dual form in the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures, which scholars believe reflects the "two-fold" aspect of the ancient city, upper and lower city, or the eastern and western portions (TDNT). The only way to translate the Hebrew dual form of Jerusalem into Greek is to use the plural, which we find used in John 5:2.

165] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 177.

John 5:2 — "by the sheep market a pool" - Word Study on "the sheep market" - Strong says the Greek word προβατικό ς (G 4262) means, "relating to sheep, i.e. a gate through which they were led into Jerusalem." The English word "market" used in the KJV does not appear in the Greek text. Thus, most scholars and modern versions render this phrase "the sheep gate." This Greek word is only used once in the New Testament, being found in John 5:2.

Comments- We find a reference to such a sheep gate in Jerusalem in Nehemiah 3:1; Nehemiah 3:32; Nehemiah 12:39.

Nehemiah 3:1, "Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel."

John 5:2 — "which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda" - Word Study on "Bethesda" - The Greek name βηθεσδά (G 964) means, "house of kindness" (Strong), or "house of mercy" (BDAG). Strong says it is derived from two Hebrew words, בַּיִת (H 1004), which means, "house" (Strong), and חֶסֶד (H 2617), which means, "kindness" (Strong). This word is used one time in the New Testament, being found in John 5:2.

Comments - Although a number of variant readings to this name are found in ancient manuscripts, 166] the name βηθεσδά has the support of the majority of manuscripts. These variant readings could have arisen when copyists attempted to transliterate these Hebrew or Aramaic names into Greek.

166] Adam Clarke, John , in Adam Clarke"s Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on John 5:2.

John 5:2 — "having five porches" - Word Study on "porches" - Strong says the Greek word στοά (G 4745) means, "a colonnade, or interior piazza." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 4times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "porch 4."

Comments- That Isaiah , "five cloistered walks," as John Gill and others render it. 167] These covered areas would have been convenient for those who were sick and in need of shelter from the sun and rain.

167] John Gill, John , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on John 5:2.

John 5:3Comments- In John 5 :2 John tells us the name of a particular pool in Jerusalem called Bethesda, as well as its location and description. Most conservative scholars today follow early Church tradition, which tells us that John wrote his Gospel near the end of the first century, decades after Titus destroyed the city of Jerusalem in A.D 70. Tradition tells us that John was overseeing the churches of Asia Minor at this time, having departed from Jerusalem. This would explain why John takes the time to describe the pool, location, as well as its name to a largely Gentile readership in John 5:2.

John 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

John 5:4 For 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.

John 5:3-4Comments- Variant Readings- The words "waiting for the moving of the water. For 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," found in John 5:3-4 are missing from all ancient manuscripts dated prior to the fourth century. Thus, many scholars believe that this statement is a gloss that was added later to the text in an attempt to explain why these people gathered at the pool of Bethesda. This explains why many modern translations omit these words.

John 5:5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

John 5:6 When 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?

John 5:6 — "When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case" - Comments- In John 5:6 the Bible says that Jesus knew that this man had been a long time in his condition. He knew it by one of the gifts of the Spirit called "a word of knowledge." This is why Jesus is about to say to the Jewish leaders, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Song of Solomon , and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel." ( John 5:19-20) This healing served as a sign and a wonder to testify that Jesus was the Son of God, in order that the Jews might believe in Him.

John 5:7 The impotent man answered him, Sirach , I have no Prayer of Manasseh , when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

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

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

John 5:10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

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

John 5:12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?

John 5:13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.

John 5:13Comments- John tells us that on at least four occasions Jesus withdrew Himself away quietly in order to avoid a conflict with the Jews.

John 5:13, "And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place."

John 8:59, "Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."

John 10:39, "Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,"

John 12:36, "While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them."

Jesus knew that His time was not yet, and so He deliberately avoided them.

John 7:30, "Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come."

John 8:20, "These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come."

However, when His time had come, He willingly gave Himself over into the hands of man.

John 5:12-13Comments - The Ingratitude of the Lamb Man that was Healed- Note these insightful words from Sadhu Sundar Singh regarding the man that was healed at the pool of Bethesda. The fact that he did not remember Jesus' name reflected his ingratitude.

"There are many who are so wanting in gratitude that whatever blessings are bestowed upon them, even to the extent of miracles being performed for their benefit, they still remain dissatisfied and ungrateful. Such people can never be used for the service and blessing of others, but are like the man whom I healed after he had suffered for thirty-eight years from an incurable disease, for instead of being grateful and believing on Me he did not even trouble to remember My name (John v 12-13). From such people the world can hope for no blessing; it comes only from those who, like the poor widow, are ready to give up all they have, even all their living (Luke xxi 2-4)." 168]

168] Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master's Feet, translated by Arthur Parker (London: Fleming H. Revell Co, 1922) [on-line], accessed 26 October 2008, available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/singh/feet.html; Internet, "IV Service," section 2, part 7.

John 5:14 Afterward 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.

John 5:14 — "sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee" - Comments- Often when people are healed during revivals and crusades, an individual will lose that miraculous healing. This verse in John 5:14 tells us the reason why a person can lose his healing afterwards. These spirits of infirmity can return after being cast out if a person gives place to it by sin. Jesus teaches us in Luke 11:14-26 that when a demon returns to the house in which he was cast out, he will bring seven other demons more powerful than himself in an attempt to keep control of this abode.

John 5:15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

John 5:15Comments- Within each of the six feast sections is found a miracle that testifies of Jesus' deity. We find six of these miracles ending with a statement that many believed in Him because of these miracles ( John 2:11; John 4:53-54; John 5:15; John 6:14; John 9:38; John 11:45). The seventh miracle ends with a similar statement ( John 20:29).

John 2:11, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."

John 4:53-54, "So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee."

John 6:14, "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world."

John 9:38, "And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him."

John 11:45, "Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him."

John 20:29, "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

John 5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

John 5:17Comments- Jesus obeyed His Heavenly Father when He operated in the gifts of the Spirit. Within the context of this passage of Scripture, Jesus healed a lame man. Unfortunately, Jesus was now being persecuted for His obedience to the Father.

John 5:18 Therefore 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.

John 5:18Comments- The Jewish leaders had passed judgment upon Jesus Christ, accusing and condemning Him of two crimes: He had broken the Sabbath by healing the lame Prayer of Manasseh , and He has blasphemed God by equating Himself with God when He called God His Father.


Verses 1-47

The Third Miracle (Justification) (The Four-Fold Testimony: Jesus Testifies that All Witnesses Justify His Claim as the One who Brings Salvation to Mankind) - The emphasis of John 5:1-47 is Jesus' testimony of His justification by God the Father as the Son of God, and of man's justification through faith in Him. At the third feast of the Jews Jesus heals the man at the Pool of Bethesda ( John 5:1-18). The healing of the lame man testifies of Jesus' justification by God when He publically calls God His Father. With this third miracle, Jesus had an opportunity to declare to the Jews His deity through His own testimony as well as the four-fold testimonies of John the Baptist, His works, God the Father, and the Scriptures ( John 5:19-47). In first major confrontation with the Jewish leaders about this miracle, He calls for men to believe in Him as the Son of God by testifying of Himself, and through the four-fold testimony of John the Baptist, of His miracles, of the Father, and of the Old Testament Scriptures. These testimonies reveal man's need for justification through faith in Him, which is the underlying theme of John 5:1-47. It is through God the Father we have been given the four-fold testimonies by which man must believe unto salvation. Our response to this third miracle is to believe the four-fold witness of Jesus' divinity as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. If we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we will embrace this four-fold testimony that justifies His divinity.

Outline- Here is a suggested outline:

1. The Third Miracle (Healing at the Pool of Bethesda) — John 5:1-18

2. Jesus Testifies of Himself — John 5:19-30

3. Jesus Gives the Jews Four Witnesses of Himself — John 5:31-47

a) Testimony of John the Baptist — John 5:32-35

b) Testimony of His Works — John 5:36

c) Testimony of the Father — John 5:37-38

d) Testimony of the Scriptures — John 5:39-47

The Difference in Jesus' Miracles in Judea Compared to Galilee - It is important to understand that Jesus wrought miracles in His Galilean ministry primarily by the faith of His hearers; but in Jerusalem and Judea, He often operated in demonstration of the Spirit and of power by the gifts of the Spirit. This is because He was in the midst of the doubting Jewish leaders, who had no faith to believe His words. This is why He is about to tell the Jews, "and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel." ( John 5:20), and "these things I say, that ye might be saved." ( John 5:34) In other words, if these doubting Jews would not believe His words, then perhaps they would believe in Him because of His miracles. Oh, how God loves all people and makes provision for all to believe.

Within this context, we can understand why Jesus healed the man at the pool Bethesda. In John 5:6 the Bible says that Jesus knew that this man had been a long time in his condition. He knew this by one of the gifts of the Spirit called "a word of knowledge." This is why Jesus is about to say to the Jewish leaders, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Song of Solomon , and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel." ( John 5:19-20) Thus, Jesus was performing a miracle for those who doubted Him so that they, too, would believe and be saved.


Verses 19-47

Jesus' Testimony to the Jews: the Four-Fold Witness of His Deity - The story of the healing of the man at the Pool of Bethesda brings a challenge from the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem as to Jesus' authority to work miracles on the Sabbath. Therefore, in John 5:19-47 Jesus Christ replies to this challenge from the Jewish leaders by testifying of the four-fold witness to His deity that gives Him the authority over the Sabbath, and allows Him to call God His Father. Within this four-fold testimony Jesus declares that the Jewish leaders had rejected John the Baptist' testimony of Christ, that they had rejected the witness of His miracles, that they had rejected the voice of the Father from heaven at His baptism, and that they had rejected the testimony of the Scriptures concerning the Messiah. Jesus places the most emphasis on the testimony of Scriptures, since this is the area that the Jews spent the most time searching. Therefore, with each witness, He condemns the Jews; thus, vindicating Himself, and condemning the Jews.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Testifies of Himself — John 5:19-31

2. Testimony of John the Baptist — John 5:32-35

3. Testimony of His Works — John 5:36

4. Testimony of the Father — John 5:37-38

5. Testimony of the Scriptures — John 5:39-47

John 5:19-31 — Jesus Testifies of Himself - John 5:19-31 give us Jesus' defense of His authority to heal on the Sabbath based on His Sonship with the Father. Since the Jews were rejecting His own testimony, Jesus gives them four additional testimonies to support His claim to divinity in the passage that follows ( John 5:32-47).

The Father Has Given Jesus the Authority to Judge All Things - Within the passage of the testimony of the Jesus to the Jews, He uses the word "judgment" five times [the verb κρί νω (G 2919) once, and the noun κρί σις (G 2920) four times] as the means by which mankind will understand His Sonship with God the Father. All judgment has been given unto Jesus Christ by His Heavenly Father. Within the context of this passage, the word "judgment" refers to all forms by which Jesus will judge mankind, but especially the event of the Great White Throne Judgment, which is clearly referred to in John 5:29.

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 5:19Comments- Jesus is now faced with an accusation by the Jews that He has declared Himself to be equal with God, which accusation was true. Jesus Christ had spent a lot of time talking about God being His "Father." Jesus will now testify to the Jewish leaders about His deity ( John 5:19-30), followed by four witnesses beside Himself to prove that this claim are true and that He is the Son of God ( John 5:31-47). In this discourse, He will tell them about the testimonies of John the Baptist, of His works and miracles, of the Father and of the Old Testament Scriptures.

John 5:20 For the Father loveth the Song of Solomon , and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

John 5:20 — "and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel." - Comments- Jesus told the Pharisees in John 5:20 that the Father would work miracles through Him so that they may marvel. Thus, miracles are for the unbelievers as a witness to the truth that is being preached. See:

John 6:14, "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world."

As we examine Mark's Gospel, which emphasizes the proclamation of the Gospel with signs following, we find many verses where the people marveled or feared after witnessing the miracles of Jesus Christ ( Mark 1:22; Mark 1:27; Mark 2:12; Mark 4:41; Mark 5:15; Mark 5:20; Mark 5:42; Mark 6:2; Mark 6:6; Mark 6:51; Mark 7:37).

John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

John 5:21Comments- Within the context of this discourse, Jesus is talking about a spiritual rebirth for those who believe in Him ( John 5:24-29.)

John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no Prayer of Manasseh , but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

John 5:23 That all men should honour the Song of Solomon , even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 5:24 — "shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" - Comments- One morning the Lord led me to make a confession of my sinfulness in having judged others. He quickened to me Romans 2:1-3. After acknowledging my sins, the Lord quickened to me this verse in John 5:24.

Romans 2:1-3, "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O Prayer of Manasseh , whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O Prayer of Manasseh , that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?"

Scripture Reference- Note a similar verse:

1 John 3:14, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death."

John 5:24Comments- Paul described this same experience of passing from death unto life as described in John 5:24 by saying, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:" ( Colossians 1:13)

John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now Isaiah , when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

John 5:25 — "The hour is coming" - Comments- Throughout the Gospel of John Jesus uses the phrase "the hour" to refer to His resurrection and ascension to the Father. In John 5:25; John 5:28-29 He uses it in reference to the resurrection of the saints.

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

John 5:28, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,"

Ezekiel 37:5, "Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:"

John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

John 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

John 5:27Comments- The greatest testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is the fact that He will judge the world at the Great White Throne Judgment.

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

John 5:29 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 5:29Comments- Paul the apostle speaks of the resurrection of the saints, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16)

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

John 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

John 5:31Comments- After testifying of Himself, and His relationship with God the Father, Jesus prepares to give the Jews four additional witnesses of His deity. Jesus is not saying in John 5:31 that His testimony lacks truth. Rather, since in a court of law one witness is not valid, He does not expect the Pharisees to receive His testimony standing alone. He then proceeds to give them four other witnesses stating that He is the Son of God ( John 5:32), that of John the Baptist ( John 5:33-47), His miracles ( John 5:36), that of the Heavenly Father ( John 5:37-38) and the Old Testament Scriptures ( John 5:39-40). Therefore, Jesus is not saying that His words are false, but that they are not a valid witness by themselves. He will later say in John 8:14 that His testimony is true.

John 8:14, "Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go."

John 5:32-35 — The Testimony of John the Baptist - John 5:31-35 gives us Jesus' defense of His authority to heal on the Sabbath based on the testimony of John the Baptist.

John 5:32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

John 5:33 Ye sent unto John , and he bare witness unto the truth.

John 5:34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

John 5:34 — "I do not receive testimony from man" - Scripture Reference- Note:

Galatians 1:1, "Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by Prayer of Manasseh , but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)"

John 5:35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

John 5:36 — The Testimony of Jesus' Works- John 5:36 gives us Jesus' defense of His authority to heal on the Sabbath based on the testimony of His works, which were His miracles.

John 5:36 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.

John 5:36Comments- The miracles recorded in John 4-5 are the witnesses of Jesus" divinity that He refers to in this verse.

John 5:37-38 — The Testimony of the Father - In John 5:37-38 Jesus gives the Jews a third witness as to His deity, that of God the Father.

John 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

John 5:37 — "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me" - Comments- The Father spoke from heaven at the water baptism of Jesus:

Matthew 3:17, "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Song of Solomon , in whom I am well pleased."

The Father also spoke from heaven on the Mount of Transfiguration:

Matthew 17:5, "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Song of Solomon , in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."

The Jews did not acknowledge this voice, nor did they see God when He spoke, as Jesus says in John 5:37

John 5:38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

John 5:39-47 — The Testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures- John 5:39-47 gives us Jesus' defense of His authority to heal on the Sabbath and call God His Father based upon the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

John 5:39Comments - Jesus demonstrated the Christocentric message of the Old Testament when talking with the two on the road to Emmaus ( Luke 24:13-35). While walking with these two disciples, Jesus explained how He fulfilled all of the prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures ( Luke 24:25-27).

Luke 24:25-27, "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."

Peter makes a similar statement of the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures in Acts 3:24 when preaching in the Temple.

Acts 3:24, "Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days."

John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

John 5:39-40Comments - The Deception of the Pharisees Regarding the Scriptures- In John 5:39 Jesus told the Pharisees to search the Scriptures. They had been deceived into thinking that life and peace and happiness could be found by following rigid rules and traditions, such as rituals of washings and Sabbath day rests. The purpose of the Scriptures was to point mankind to Christ wherein dwells life, but they were not coming to Jesus so that they might have this life. Thus, the Old Testament is the foreknowledge of the coming of Christ Jesus.

The nation of Israel had been given the special covenant with God and had been given the divine oracles of God in order to serve Him as a testimony to other nations who had forsaken God. Instead, Israel had missed its purpose and gone the ways of a fallen race.

Illustration- One morning, December 30, 2000, the Lord quickened John 5:39-40 to me as I awoke. I had been doing a lot of Bible studies over the past week, and very little prayer. The Lord showed me that the phrase "Search the Scriptures," refers to Bible Study and the phrase "come to Me," refers to prayer. The Lord was showing me that I must spend time in prayer as well as Bible study, so that I would not develop that patterns that the Pharisees developed.

John 5:41 I receive not honour from men.

John 5:42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

John 5:43 I am come in my Father"s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

John 5:43 — "I am come in my Father's name" - Comments- Jesus came in the name and authority of His Heavenly Father. We come in the name of Jesus, with His authority. A man's wife comes in her husband's name.

Illustration- When a wife comes of the bank to sign a cheque, she signs it in the name of her husband, because that name has been given to her to use his authority any time she needs it.

Scripture Reference- Note also:

1 Corinthians 11:3, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."

John 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

John 5:44Comments- People are either seeking fame or faith, fame by pleasing men, or faith by pleasing God. A person cannot seek both at the same time.

John 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

John 5:46Comments- The writings of Moses include the first five books of the Old Testament, called the Pentateuch. In them are found a number of passages that refer to the Messiah. Jesus tells the two on the road to Emmaus that He is found throughout the Old Testament. Philip and Paul the apostle also mentioned that Jesus the Messiah is found in the Law of Moses and the prophets ( John 1:45, Acts 26:22). Jesus is first mentioned as the "seed of woman", a reference to Christ's incarnation and virgin birth. Jesus is the seed of Abraham through which all nations will be blessed, a reference to the grafting in of the Gentiles ( Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 18:18; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 28:14). For Jacob Jesus is Shiloh, the sceptre and lawgiver of Judah, a reference to Jesus' office as King of Kings and Lord of Lords ( Genesis 49:10). Balaam said Jesus was the Star out of Jacob and the Sceptre out of Israel, referring to Jesus' Jewish blood and His office as King of the Jews ( Numbers 24:17). Moses declared that Jesus would be a prophet like himself, referring to Christ's Coming to lead Israel and the Church into their promised land of Heaven, and of His prophetic earthly ministry in proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven ( Deuteronomy 18:15; Deuteronomy 18:18-19). The fiery serpent in the wilderness was figurative of Jesus being lifted up in the preaching of the Gospel ( Numbers 21:8-9). Jesus became the cursed one hanging upon the tree, referring to His Crucifixion redeem all mankind ( Deuteronomy 21:23, Galatians 3:13-14). Jesus is High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, referring to His present-day ministry as our Great High Priest ( Hebrews 7:1-28). The articles and ministry of the Tabernacle in the wilderness testify of the fullness of Christ's work of redemption for mankind ( Hebrews 8:1 to Hebrews 10:18). Paul explains that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law ( Romans 10:4). (This list is taken from The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.)

Luke 24:27, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."

John 1:45, "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

Acts 26:22, "Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:"

Genesis 3:15, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

Genesis 12:1-3, "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father"s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Genesis 18:18, "Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?"

Genesis 22:18, "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."

Genesis 28:14, "And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

Genesis 49:10, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."

Numbers 21:8-9, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any Prayer of Manasseh , when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."

Numbers 24:17, "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth."

Deuteronomy 18:15, "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;"

Deuteronomy 18:18-19, "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."

Deuteronomy 21:23, "His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance."

Galatians 3:13-14, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Romans 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."

John 5:47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

John 5:47Comments- Jesus was not telling the Jews in John 5:47 that they had to understand the full revelation of Christ in the Old Testament in order to believe the words of Moses or Jesus. In Galatians 3:19-29 Paul explains how the Law served as our "schoolmaster" leading us to Christ. The Law reveals man's sinful nature by his failure to fulfill its requirements and man's need of a redeemer. If the Jews would have acknowledged their failure in fulfilling the principles of the Law, then they would have been looking for the Messiah. This is the testimony of the Scriptures that Jesus discusses in John 5:39-47.

 


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These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on John 5:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/john-5.html. 2013.

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