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Book of John
Chapter 5

The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

John Chapter 5

(Words in red in the Scriptures are the words of Jesus)

Verse 1. "After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem."

The Jewish people traveled to Jerusalem at different times in the year for religious feasts. This one was the Passover and Jesus went there.

Verse 2. "Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes."

We saw the ruins of this pool of water last year. Five porches led into the water and it must have been very beautiful. The pool was next to a gate into Jerusalem called the "Sheep Gate."

Verse 3. "In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters;"

Just like today, many were sick, couldn’t see, were paralyzed, and had other problems with their bodies. People thought there was something special about the waters of the pool of Bethesda that might heal them, if they got into the water at the right time.

Verse 4. "for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted."

The people of that place believed an angel would cause the waters of the pool to ripple at a certain time. They thought the first person into the rippling water would be healed.

Verse 5. "A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years."

Among those waiting for the water to move, was a man who had been sick for 38-years.

Verse 6. "When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, 'Do you wish to get well?'"

Jesus saw the man, knew he had been sick for a long time, and asked him an interesting question: "Do you WANT to be healed?"

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.'"

The sick man did not answer Jesus’ question, but instead complained that others always got into the water faster than he did.

Verse 8. "Jesus said to him, 'Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.'"

The sick man was surprised when Jesus told him to "get up, pick up the pallet (cot or bed) you are lying on and walk!" As far as the man knew, he could NOT walk.

Verse 9. "Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day."

The man was surprised when Jesus told him to "Get up," because suddenly he COULD get up! He was HEALED and could walk for the first time in 38-years (see verse 5).

Verse 10. "So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, 'It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.'"

The religious leaders of the Jews felt that people should do NOTHING on the Sabbath (the day of rest – from Friday evening to Saturday evening). But the man was healed and was carrying his pallet (his bed) just like Jesus told him to.

Verse 11. "But he answered them, He who made me well was the one who said to me, 'Pick up your pallet and walk.'"

The man was afraid of the Jewish religious leaders and blamed Jesus for what he was doing (carrying his cot or "pallet" – verse 8).

Verse 12. "They asked him, Who is the man who said to you, 'Pick up your pallet and walk?'"

The religious leaders asked this man who was healed: "What was the name of the person who told you to carry your bed and walk?" They should have been happy the man was healed but they were not.

Verse 13. "But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place."

Jesus had not told the man His name. The area around the Pool of Bethesda was crowded and Jesus simply walked away into the crowd, right after the man was healed.

Verse 14. "Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, 'Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.'"

Jesus later found the healed man in the Jewish Temple and confronted him. Apparently the man’s injury of 38-years before (verse 5) had been caused by some bad thing he had done. Jesus told him, "Don’t do it again!"

Verse 15. "The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well."

Instead of thanking Jesus for healing him, the man went to the Jewish leaders and told on Him – saying the man who had healed him was Jesus.

Verse 16. "For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath."

Because of what the healed man had done (told on Jesus to the Jewish leaders), it brought trouble to our Lord. The Jewish leaders were angry. They should have been happy the man was healed, but instead they were angry that Jesus told the man to carry his bed on the Sabbath (day of rest).

Verse 17. "But He answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.'"

God WORKS to help people. God the Father sent God the Son to rescue you and me. You are being prayed for right now, by the Son of God. God the Holy Spirit is speaking to you right now. To love someone is to work to make life better for them. God is doing that for you.

Verse 18. "For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God."

Jesus has the answer to every question. The Jewish leaders wanted religion but they did not want God. Therefore, they hated Jesus, the Son of God, and wanted to kill Him. Jesus really is the Son of God, and He really is One with God the Father.

Verse 19. "Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.'"

Everything that Jesus did, pleased His Father. Jesus did not just run off and do things, but instead He obeyed the will of God the Father. We should also want to do the will of God. The best way to please Him is to love Jesus, God the Son.

Verse 20. "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel."

Jesus could "look" with the same Holy Spirit of God that is given to all who believe in Him. He could "see" what the Father wanted Him to do. Wonderful things were coming, for God always has something in store for us that is greater than we can imagine.

Verse 21. "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes."

To be dead is not the end. God the Father gives LIFE to the dead and so does God the Son. If you want to be ALIVE, then give your heart and life to Jesus Christ. You will always LIVE in Him.

Verse 22. "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,"

Most people want to be "good" and hope that God will think well of them. Jesus Christ is the Judge of everyone. If you want God to like you, trust in Jesus Christ. When you love Jesus Christ, you never have to be afraid of God.

Verse 23. "so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."

How do you "honor" God (show Him that you love Him)? - By loving His Son. If you give your heart and life to Jesus Christ, you honor the Father and show that you love Him.

Verse 24. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."

Jesus said it is true that if we HEAR Him and believe God the Father, we have life forever. Jesus is the Judge of everyone and He said that if we believe, we will not be judged. We are no longer "dead" but ALIVE in Christ Jesus.

Verse 25. "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."

There are two kinds of "dead". 1) Those whose bodies have died and 2) those who are dead to God (don't believe in Him). If we trust in Him now, we will live forever.

Verse 26. "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;"

All life is in God the Father. He has shared that life with God the Son. If you want to be ALIVE, then simply TRUST in God through Jesus Christ and you will be ALIVE - forever.

Verse 27. "and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man."

When Jesus came to earth He placed Himself under the authority of God the Father. He trusted in the Father, and has been made Judge of everyone, because He is not only the Son of God, but He also became the Son of Man. He was willing to become like us so we might be judged "Not Guilty" by God.

Verse 28. "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,"

At some time, all who are in graves all over the world will "hear" the voice of the Son of God. This might sound scary but it's not. Love Him, trust Him, and Jesus will keep you safe.

Verse 29. "and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."

Death is temporary. Bones are found that are hundreds, thousands of years old, and yet, 1,000 years is like a day to God. All will awaken from death. Those who trust in Jesus will awake and go to heaven. To the others He will be a Judge.

Verse 30. "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."

People are only human and judges make mistakes. Jesus is different than human judges because He listens to God the Father and does His will. He is fair and He loves You. Trust in Him. He will be fair with you.

Verse 31. "If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true."

Anybody can say anything about themselves and we don't know if it's true or not. Jesus knows that. We don't have to just listen to Him, because others have spoken about Him.

Verse 32. "There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true."

For example, Jesus was saying (see verse 31), there is someone else who said that you must believe that He is the Son of God. His listeners were wondering, "who is He talking about?"

Verse 33. "You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth."

These same people had listened to John the Baptist and he told them the truth about Jesus (who is the truth).

Verse 34. "But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved."

What Jesus told us is actually not from any person on earth - everything He said came from God. He came here to save us from our sins and to make us right with God.

Verse 35. "He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light."

The Jewish people, including many of the leaders, liked John the Baptist, who was like a "light" to them (he told them things they did not know). They listened to him and liked what they heard.

Verse 36. "But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish the very works that I do testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me."

Jesus Christ has more to tell us than John the Baptist did. John was just a man but Jesus is God. John did no miracles but Jesus was doing many. John the Baptist cannot save you, but Jesus can.

Verse 37. "And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form."

Before He was born into this world, Jesus, God the Son, was with God the Father in eternity. He saw Him and heard His words. The Father testified to the world by sending His Son. None of us have seen the Father or have heard Him. But we "hear" Jesus in the Bible, and He tells us about God the Father.

Verse 38. "You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent."

If we do not believe in Jesus Christ, God the Son, it proves that we do not believe in the word of God the Father. If we love God the Father, we will receive God the Son.

Verse 39. "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;"

The Jewish leaders read that part of the Bible called the Old Testament – a lot! They thought that by reading, they would live with God after death. But they missed the most important part, for the Old Testament is all about Jesus Christ.

Verse 40. "and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life."

The Jewish leaders wanted to be outwardly good men, but they were doing it the wrong way. They wanted to memorize rules and tell people how to live. First, they had to come alive themselves in Christ Jesus, but they would not do it.

Verse 41. "I do not receive glory from men;"

Jesus doesn't need any of us to tell about Him. He is just Who He Is – the Son of God, our Savior, who died for the sins of the world.

Verse 42. "but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves."

Most people have secrets and don't tell anybody about them. But Jesus knows you - completely. He knew those people just like He knows you. And He loves us anyway - He proved that by dying for us, that we might live.

Verse 43. "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him."

Most of us tend to believe the wrong people. First we must believe in Jesus, that He is the Son of God, and that He died for you and for me. Then He will help us to understand other people.

Verse 44. "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?"

It doesn't matter what people think of us. Some of them will like us, and others won't. But it does matter what God thinks of you. If you are going to be honored, let the honor come from God.

Verse 45. "Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope."

The Jewish leaders thought they were keeping the 10-commandments, given to the people of Israel through Moses. Actually, they were law-breakers who did not keep the law. They thought Moses would speak well of them at God's Judgment, but they were wrong. They needed Jesus.

Verse 46. "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me."

Moses wrote the first five Books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Those Books are full of "word pictures" that tell us of Jesus. If the Jewish leaders believed what Moses wrote, they would have received Jesus and been His disciples.

Verse 47. "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"

Jesus told the Jewish leaders that if they did not believe the words of Moses, and trust in what he wrote, how could they believe in Jesus?

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

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