Rev. James Yonkers, pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Danville, IL, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study John 5:1-18.
When Jesus travels up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish feasts, He goes to the pool of Bethesda. There were many who were disabled at the pool, hoping to be the first one into the water after it was stirred. When Jesus engages a man who has been unable to walk for thirty-eight years, the man seems to think that perhaps Jesus will help him into the water. Jesus redirects his attention from the water to Himself when He commands the man to get up, take his bed, and walk. The man does, but the Jewish leaders are more interested in why the man is carrying his bed on the Sabbath than in finding out how he was healed. As they begin to investigate Jesus, they think that He is breaking the Sabbath and consider His claims about God to be blasphemy, and so they desire to kill Him, even as He begins to teach them the truth.
“The Word Made Flesh” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. John. The disciple whom Jesus loved wrote his Gospel account as an eyewitness to Jesus’ life and ministry. As we read the Word of God recorded by St. John, the Holy Spirit works in us so that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and so have life by faith in His name.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
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The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath
5 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic[a] called Bethesda,[b] which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.[c] 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews[d] said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
Jesus Is Equal with God
18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
- John 5:2 Or Hebrew
- John 5:2 Some manuscripts Bethsaida
- John 5:3 Some manuscripts insert, wholly or in part, waiting for the moving of the water; 4for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred the water: whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had
- John 5:10 The Greek word Ioudaioi refers specifically here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, who opposed Jesus in that time; also verses 15, 16, 18
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org