NLT Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition - Flipbook - Page 33
J ohn 5
Jesus Heals a Lame Man by a Pool (42)
Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2Inside the city,
near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda,* with five covered porches. 3Crowds
of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.* 5One of the men lying
there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him and knew he had been
ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
7“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the
water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
8Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
9Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!
But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10so the Jewish leaders objected. They said
to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you
to carry that sleeping mat!”
11But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
12“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.
13The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14But afterward Jesus
found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something
even worse may happen to you.” 15Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that
it was Jesus who had healed him.
Jesus Claims to Be the Son of God (43)
16So the Jewish leaders began harassing* Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. 17But
Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” 18So the Jewish leaders tried
all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God
his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.
Neh 3:1; 12:39
2 Pet 1:1
1 Jn 5:21
5:2 Other manuscripts read Beth-zatha; still others read Bethsaida.
5:3 Some manuscripts add an expanded
conclusion to verse 3 and all of verse 4: waiting for a certain movement of the water, 4for an angel of the Lord
came from time to time and stirred up the water. And the first person to step in after the water was stirred was
healed of whatever disease he had.
5:16 Or persecuting.
5:1 Three festivals (or “holy days”) required all Jewish males to come
to Jerusalem: (1) the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread, (2) the
Festival of Harvest (also called Pentecost or the Festival of Weeks), and
(3) the Festival of Shelters.
5:6 After 38 years, this man’s problem had become a way of life. No
one had ever helped him. It looked like he had no hope of ever being
healed. No matter how hopeless the situation seems or how trapped we
feel in our limitations, God ministers to our deepest needs. Don’t let a
problem or hardship cause you to lose hope. God may have special work
for you to do in spite of your condition, or even because of it. Many have
ministered effectively to hurting people because they have triumphed
over their own hurts.
Between John 4
and 5, Jesus ministered throughout
Galilee, especially in
Capernaum. He had
been calling certain
men to follow him,
but it wasn’t until
after this trip to
Jerusalem (5:1) that
he chose his 12 disciples from among
5:10 According to the Pharisees, carrying a mat on the Sabbath was work
and was therefore unlawful. It did not break an Old Testament law, but
it broke the Pharisees’ interpretation of God’s command to “remember
to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8). This was
just one of hundreds of rules the Pharisees had added to the Old Testament law, claiming their human-made rules were equal in authority to
5:10 A man who hadn’t walked for 38 years had been healed, but the
Pharisees were more concerned about their petty rules than the life and
health of a human being. The Jewish leaders witnessed both a mighty
miracle of healing and a petty rule broken. They threw the man and the
miracle aside as they focused their attention on the broken rule, because
to them the rule was most important. It is easy to get so caught up in our
rules and policies that we forget the needs of the people involved. Are
your guidelines for living God-made or human-made? Are they helping
people, or have they become needless stumbling blocks?
5:14 This man had been lame, or paralyzed, and suddenly he could
walk. This was a great miracle. But he needed an even greater miracle—to
have his sins forgiven. The man was delighted to be physically healed, but
he had to turn from his sins and seek God’s forgiveness to be spiritually
healed. God’s forgiveness is the greatest gift you will ever receive. Don’t
neglect his gracious offer.
5:17-47 Jesus was identifying himself with God, his Father. There could
be no doubt that he claimed to be God. Jesus does not leave us the option to believe in God while ignoring God’s Son (5:23). The Pharisees also
called God their Father, but they realized Jesus was claiming a unique
relationship with him. In response to Jesus’ claim, the Pharisees had two
choices: to believe him, which meant their whole way of life must change,
or to accuse him of blasphemy. They chose the second.
5:17 If God were to stop every kind of work on the Sabbath, nature would
fall into chaos, and sin would overrun the world. Genesis 2:2 says that
God rested on the seventh day, but this doesn’t mean he stopped doing
good. Jesus was saying that when the opportunity to do good presents
itself, we should not ignore it, even on the Sabbath.