Christ Heals the Paralytic Man
Verse 1 – After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Up to a year and a half may have passed after the last recorded festival, the Passover, when Jesus cleared the temple and met Nicodemus. The unnamed Jewish festival may have been the Feast of Tabernacles.
Verse 2 – Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.
Bethesda may mean, “house of mercy,” a fitting term given the desperate state of the people who lay there hoping for a miracle.
Verse 3 – In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of water.
Verse 4 – For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
Verse 5 – Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
We have no idea how long this man had laid at this pool, waiting for a miracle. But we do know he had something very wrong with his body, for 38 years. He was disabled in some way though and was too crippled to put himself in the pool.
Verse 6 – When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
I wonder what stood out about this one man? Out of all the sick people that were there , Jesus’ focus was on him. Did Jesus see something on the inside of this man that compelled His own heart to show mercy?
Verse 7 – The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming another steps down before me.”
This poor man was in a hopeless situation, no help in sight, even though he was trying his best to do something. I think about all these people, multitudes, waiting by that pool, and not one person would help this one man get into the pool. “Why? Because when some people, not all, are sick or hurting, their focus is only on themselves.
Verse 8 – Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
Verse 9 – And immediately the man was made well, took up his be, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
The Bible doesn’t record Jesus healing anyone else at that pool, only this man. Maybe the others were only looking for a one-time miracle, and then would go on their merry way and never give God a second thought.
Verse 10 – The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
This law that the Pharisees quoted to this man, was not a law of the Old Testament. This was just one of the rules that they had added to God’s laws, because the had added hundreds.
Verse 11 – He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ”
Verse 12 – Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’ ?”
Verse 13 – But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.
Verse 14 – Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more.
This man went to the temple to worship God and to show his gratitude. However, now he needed to know his sins were forgiven and who Jesus was.
Verse 15 – The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Verse 16 – For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
The rule became more important than the miracle. Watch out that you don’t limit God on how and through whom, He works your miracle.
Verse 17 – But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
If God stopped working on the Sabbath, nature would fall into chaos, and sin would overrun the world. Jesus was teaching that when the opportunity to do good presents itself, it should not be ignored even on the Sabbath. Yes, God rested on the seventh day, bu did not stop from doing good.
Verse 18 – Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
Verse 19 – Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I said to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
Verse 20 – “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
Verse 21 – “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.
You cannot say you love God, while ignoring the Son, they are One. The Pharisees were too full of hatred to believe the prophecies that God had been born in the flesh to save that which was lost. Their only concern was “working on the Sabbath.”
Verse 22 – “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,
Verse 23 – “that all should honor the son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
Jesus’ right to be honored, worshiped, is established and you can’t worship one without worshiping the other. He was trying to get the Pharisees to understand if they leave Him out of the worship, their worship was useless.
Verse 24 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Eternal life begins when we accept Jesus for who He is! At that moment new life begins in us through the power of the Holy Ghost. Jesus is the only way to the Father and the only way to eternal life!
Verse 25 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 – For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first.
Verse 26 – “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the son to have life in Himself,
Verse 27 – “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
God is the source and Creator of life, for there is no life apart from God, here or hereafter. We were once dead in our trespasses and sin, but because we believe in the Son, we have the gift of life living in us.
Verse 28 – “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice
Verse 29 – “and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
Verse 30 – “I can Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous , because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
The will of every Christian is to do the will of the Father. To be labeled a Christian is to be Christ-like, and Christ does the will of His Father. Not our will be done, but His!
Verse 31 – “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true.
According to Jewish law, no man was admitted a witness for himself, so neither was anything established by a single testimony. It was only established by two or three witnesses. So Christ meant that His testimony above, as a single witness, would not stand in a court, Him being human.
Verse 32 – “There is another who bears witness which He witnesses of Me is true.
Verse 33 – “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.
Verse 34 – “Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.
Verse 35 – “He was the burning and shinning lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
Jesus characterization of John the Baptist as a burning shinning lamp seems to echo Psalm 132:17 where God will set up a lamp for His anointed One.
Verse 36 – “But I have a greater witness than John’s ; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish – the very works that I do-bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.
The whole Gospel came when Christ came, and was published by Christ Jesus, and the law was entirely fulfilled by Him, and the work of salvation was finished by Him, and these bear witness to the truth of His deity, and divine Son-ship, for none but the Son of God could have done these things!
Verse 37 – “And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me,. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.
This verse seems to refer to when the law was given at Mount Sinai, for they did not hear God’s voice, nor did they see His form.
Verse 38 – “But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.
Don’t forget, Jesus is talking straight at the Pharisees.
Verse 39 – “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
Verse 40 – “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Verse 41 – “I do not receive honor from men.
The religious leaders knew what the Scriptures said, but failed to apply their words to their own lives. They knew the teachings, but failed to see the Messiah to whom the Scriptures pointed. They knew the rules, but refused to let the Son of God change their lives. A lot of people have “religion,” but do not have q relationship with Christ!
Verse 42 – “But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.
Verse 43 – “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.
Jesus predicted the “false Christ’s” that would come, them they would believe.
Verse 44 – “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?
Verse 45 – “Do not think that I shall accuse you – Moses, in whom you trust.
Verse 46 – “For if you believe Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.
Verse 47 – “But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
The Pharisees prided themselves on being the true followers of their ancestor Moses. They were trying to follow every one of his laws to the letter, and even adding some of their own. Jesus’ warning that Moses would accuse them stung them to furry. They didn’t think anyone had the authority to correct them. Watch out when yo can’t be corrected, because it will lead to a spirit of pride, which is a dangerous thing to possess.