- Healing at the Pool of Bethesda (5:1-16)
- The Glory of the Son of God – Equality with the Father (5:17-30)
- The Double Reason for the Lord’s Persecution by the Jews (vv.17-18)
- The Perfect Unity between the Son and the Father (vv.19-20)
- The Equality of the Son Illustrated by Two Issues (vv.21-23)
- Assurance to the Believer Regarding Life and Judgment (v.24)
- The Issues of Life-giving and Judgment belong to the Son (vv.25-29)
- The Son’s Dependence on the Father made Him a Proper Judge (v.30)
- A Fourfold Witness of the Son of God (5:31-40)
- Man’s Pride is the Root of Unbelief in God’s Testimony (5:41-47)
- In ch.3, a religious sinner is presented with the truth of new birth.
- In ch.4, a thirsty sinner is presented with a new object.
- In ch.5, a helpless sinner is presented with a new power.
Setting of the Miracle (vv.1-4)
4 For an angel descended at a certain season in the pool and troubled the water. Whoever therefore first went in after the troubling of the water became well, whatever disease he laboured under. v.4 The word “an angel” is used here, which implies that, in the legal system, man is at a distance from God. As Stephen said, the law was given “by the disposition of angels” (Acts 7:53). Another limitation with this pool was that only one person could be healed, and they had to be well enough to get down quickly into the water. How pathetic is this sight of a great crowd waiting for blessing that they could never get! Why did God limit it to one? Why did He make it so restrictive? I believe it is because their diseases came as a result of their disobedience (Ex. 15:26), and God intended this as a witness to the Jews to the fact that under law man was really powerless to help himself. Also, this pool exposed the true motives of man’s heart. All came to the pool for selfish reasons, and no one was happy when another got the blessing.
Healing of the Infirm Man on the Sabbath (vv.5-9)
|John 5||Acts 3|
|thirty and eight years||above 40 years of age|
|before the cross||after Pentecost|
|told to “sin no more”||walking, leaping, praising|
- His condition – the law makes self the object. “I have no man”… the result was a feeling of helplessness.
- Comparing with others – those who beat him stepping down into the water. The law encourages a spirit of competition with others. For thirty-eight years he had witnessed his neighbors loving themselves more than him.
Persecution by the Jews (vv.10-16)
The Double Reason for the Lord’s Persecution by the Jews (vv.17-18)
18 For this therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he had not only violated the sabbath, but also said that God was his own Father, making himself equal with God. v.18 The Jews found in the Lord’s response a much deeper object for their hatred; He “said that God was his own Father”. One of the striking claims of the enemies of Christ is that Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God, or equal with God. That is simply not true, and this verse is one of the great proofs of that. He directly confessed it (John 10:36). He acknowledged it in His discourse with the Jews (John 5:17-18). He acknowledged it in His discourse with the Blind man (John 9:35-37). He acknowledged it in His upper room discourse with the disciples (John 16:27-28). He affirmed it after Peter’s confession (Matt. 16:16-17). Lastly, He affirmed it in His response to Caiaphas (Matt. 26:63-64; Luke 22:70).
The Perfect Unity between the Son and the Father (vv.19-20)
The Equality of the Son Illustrated by Two Issues (vv.21-23)
Assurance to the Believer Regarding Life and Judgment (v.24)
- The issue of life – not only is the believer quickened by the Son of God, but he has eternal life as a present possession!
- The issue of judgment – the believer does not come into eternal judgment, but is passed out of our old condition of dead in sins (“out of death”) into life.
The Issues of Life-giving and Judgment belong to the Son (vv.25-29)
"Son of man" is a title Christ has in special connection with mankind; as either the rejected sufferer at the hands of mankind and on behalf of mankind as the one who assumes the responsibilities of the whole human race, or as exalted heir and head of all that God has purposed for mankind. The Old Testament spoke of a coming "Son of Man" that would reign over all creation and have an everlasting kingdom (Psalm 8:4-8; Daniel 7:13-14). But "Son of man" is a title Christ took in rejection as well as in glorification. The connection between the suffering and glory of the Son of man is beautiful.Read more…
|Those who…||Are characterized by practicing..||Go forth to the resurrection of…|
|Do not believe||Evil||Judgment|
The Son’s Dependence on the Father made Him a Proper Judge (v.30)
A Fourfold Witness of the Son of God (5:31-40)
- John the Baptist (vv.33-35)
- The Works that the Father Gave Him to Do (v.36)
- The Father Himself (vv.37-38)
- The Old Testament Scriptures (vv.39-40)
The Son would not Witness of Himself (vv.31-32)
1st Witness: John the Baptist (vv.33-35)
2nd Witness: The Works that the Father Gave Him to Do (v.36)
3rd Witness: The Father Himself (vv.37-38)
4th Witness: The Old Testament Scriptures (vv.39-40)
Man’s Pride is the Root of Unbelief in God’s Testimony (5:41-47)
Complete Devotion to God vs. Desire for Human Glory (vv.41-44)
- The negative test: Israel rejected the Christ (v.43a). God presented first the Man of obedience and righteousness; the man Christ Jesus… that One who perfectly displayed the Father; who brought God down to earth. He came in humility, dependence, and self-abnegation. But they didn’t want Him because He brought God too close for man’s comfort, and because His character was the very opposite of their own. The Jews rejected Christ.
- The positive test: Israel will receive Antichrist (v.43b). Another will come with the character of sin and self-will; one who “shall do according to his own will” (Dan. 11:16), the personification of lawlessness, the one who is the very opposite of truth and love, the “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3). The Jews will receive this Antichrist as their king under a strong delusion, because “as in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man” (Prov. 27:19), to their own destruction.