5 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Many Bible historians have speculated as to which feast this would be. Only three of the seven feasts required travel, Passover, Weeks, and Tabernacles. Based on the prior chapter we can see the progression of the crops. They were only partially grown. Also, we could conclude from the patterns of the writings, that the Passover is spoken of in Chapter 14, that these would be the crops that are to be harvested in the season of Passover. This would then be the feast of Sukkot. Living in a tent for a week and socializing with all the followers of YHVH.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
- The authentic name of the pool was בית-חסדא (Beth Khisda or Beth Khasda), meaning the “house of mercy” in Aramaic. The main animal market where sacrificial sheep were bought and sold was located directly outside this gate in the Second Temple era. Before this pool became a place of healing, it was simply a water reservoir filled with collected rainwater used for cleaning purposes connected with the Temple.
- Perhaps the original name of the pool before it became a place of healing was the “Upper Pool” (הבריכה העליונה), as described in this passage: 2 Kings 18:17 “And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller’s field.”
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk*, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
- *G770 ἀσθενέω astheneo (as-the-ne’-ō) v. to be feeble (in any sense).
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.
*G2540 καιρός kairos (kai-ros’) n. a set or proper season (or time).
** G5015 ταράσσω tarasso (ta-ras’-sō) v. to stir or agitate (roil water).NOTE the 2nd definition here…
***G5199 ὑγιής hugies (hï-ǰiy-ees’) adj. 1. healthy, i.e. well (in body). 2. (figuratively) true (in doctrine). I believe it is this second definition that hits home when Jesus says he is “living water”. Living waters is always referred to as water in motion; rivers, streams, brooks, and fountains are all titles in scripture.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
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?
*G2621 κατάκειμαι katakeimai (ka-ta’-kei-mai) v. 1. to lie down. 2. (by implication) be sick. It is completely possible that Jesus had seen this man around town on several occasions. However, we were told that He was in Jerusalem for the feast, a pilgrimage feast. This means that there were thousands upon thousands in the city from a multitude of other cities and towns for the feast. It is most likely that Jesus’ knowledge of this mans infirmity is of the supernatural “knowing”.
7 The 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.
- This man was giving it all he had, he wanted so much to be made whole physically. You can almost hear the plea for help in his words. How desperate are you to be made whole? Personally, at one time I was 140 pounds overweight and I was struggling to live life. It took discipline and control to lose 115 in seven months and even more to keep ‘most’ of it off for more than 7 years.
- What is keeping you from living the fullest of life? Are you desperate yet? Are you desperate to know the One True God? Have you gotten to the point that you are willing to “gut it out” to know Him?
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
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.
*Make no mistake these are the Pharisees. You will not find a “law” against a person getting or being healed. Psalm 103:1-3 “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.”
Notice what happens first, God removes his iniquities! Who is ready to be healed? The “law” that was broken was a ruling designed by the Pharisees and can be found in their Talmud.
11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
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.
15 The man departed, and told the Jews (Pharisees) that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
- The anger growing in the Pharisees was from the contempt that Jesus had for the rules the Pharisees had created.
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. [What was done in the past He will do in the future.]
18 Therefore the Jews (Pharisees) sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the (their rules for) sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Hebrews have the tradition, as did many cultures, of carrying the fathers first name in combination to the sons given name. If a Ralph had a son and named him Arnold then the son would be known as Arnold-Ralph or Arnold Ben Ralph. Most likely it would have carried all the way back to one of the 12 tribe names. Arnold-Gad or Arnold ben Levi or something similar. Rights, privileges and property ownership all transferred to the next generation.
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.
This would have been readily understood in this generation as many were accustomed to taking on the fathers trade as their own. Jesus was a carpenter same as Joseph. His perception of life would have been (had not been God) shaped and molded by his father.
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
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.
25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, 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.
This should put to rest any notion of the dispensationalist and their claim to the end of the Torah. This tells us that all that died, even prior to the coming of Christ, are now, and have been in the same spiritual state as the living…. Dependent on Christ and his redemption.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment* also, because he is the Son of man**.
*G2920 κρίσις krisis (kriy’-sis) n. 1. decision (subjectively or objectively, for or against). 2. (by extension) a tribunal. 3. (by implication) justice (especially, divine law).
**Hebrews 2:18 “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “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:”
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.
- Revelation 20:5-6 “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
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.
31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
- If Jesus were to exalt his present state of being….that of a human shell …he lessens the glory of God. In His form He is purely on the earth to glorify God.
- Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
35 He was a burning* and a shining light**: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
*G2545 καίω kaio (kai’-ō) v. to set on fire, i.e. kindle or (by implication) consume. John 2:17 “His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
**Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”]
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.
- His resurrection will prove his divinity
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.
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
- Jesus is addressing a crowd of pious church go-ers that have acquiesced to the Pharisees teachings of the Talmud.
- 1 John 5:2-4 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”]
41 I receive not honour from men.
42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
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.
44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
- Romans 7:7 ”What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.
47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
- Because they are the same. See John 1:1.