Jesus heals a man at the pool of Bethesda. He calls God his Father. His work is the resurrection. People reject him because they do not believe the Bible.
VERSE 1. After these things, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
VERSE 2. Now in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, “Bethesda”, having five porches.
VERSE 3. In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water;
VERSE 4. for an angel went down at certain times into the pool and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had.
had been sick for thirty-eight years. That was a very long time to wait for a cure!
VERSE 6. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to be made well?”
Do you want to be made well? This is a strange question. Of course he would like to be made well.
But the Lord Jesus asks people what they want. He gives them the choice.
VERSE 7. The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, another steps down before me.”
VERSE 8. Jesus said to him, “Arise, take up your mat, and walk.”
VERSE 9. Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day.
VERSE 10. So the Jews said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat.”
VERSE 11. He answered them, “He who made me well, the same said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’”
VERSE 12. Then they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your mat and walk’?”
VERSE 13. But he who was healed didn’t know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place.
VERSE 14. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”
Jesus found him in the temple. The Lord had searched for this man.
Sin no more. Did this man suffer because he had sinned?
In our day, do people suffer because they had sinned?
If we see somebody who is suffering, should we assume they are a sinner?
If somebody does not suffer, does that mean they are free from sin?
VERSE 15. The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
VERSE 16. For this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because he did these things on the Sabbath.
sought to kill him. Even at this early moment in the earthly life of the Lord Jesus, his opposition is very intense.
My Father is still working. Some people have the idea that God the Father created the universe. And then with the job finished, went away.
However, this verse shows that God the Father is continually at work, creative and active, throughout the history of the universe.
That is sometimes called creatio continua, which means “continual creation.” We are made new, moment-by-moment. The universe is being made new, moment-by-moment.
VERSE 18. For this cause therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
making himself equal with God. Is there anywhere in the four gospels where the Lord Jesus Christ says, “I am God?” Here are the verses we have found »
VERSE 19. Jesus therefore answered them, “Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise.
whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise. What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels.
VERSE 20. For the Father has affection for the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
NLT translation. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished.
VERSE 21. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires.
the Father. It is God the Father who raises the dead:
raises. The Greek word is ἐγείρει (“egeirei”). It means to waken, to arouse, to raise up.
the dead. The Greek word is νεκροὺς (“nekrous”). It means dead, lifeless, subject to death, mortal, a dead body, a corpse.
and gives them life. The Greek word is ζωοποιεῖ (“zōopoiei”). It means to make alive.
This idea that God the Father raises the dead is supported by Paul:
Romans 8:11. But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Preachers and commenters usually say it is Jesus who raises the dead. They sometimes couple that claim with an exclusive assertion that only Christians will be resurrected. Or at least have a good resurrection.
But this verse says it is God the Father who raises the dead. This is far better for non-Christians. They too will be resurrected.
the Son also gives life to whom he desires. What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels.
We Christians often talk about who is “saved” and who is “not” saved. However, we are not the decider. Jesus Christ is. He can give eternal life to anyone he wants to.
VERSE 22. For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son,
VERSE 23. that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him.
VERSE 24. “Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
Most certainly I tell you. Jesus really wants us to accept the teachings he reveals to us in this verse.
he who hears my word. When you read the Bible, you are “hearing” the word of Jesus Christ.
and believes him who sent me. Do you believe?
has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment. Many Christians are uncertain about whether they have eternal life or not. Also, they feel certain that after their death, they will face a frightening judgment.
However, Jesus spells out some very clear benefits in store for who hear his word and believe. They will gain eternal life and will not be condemned. But there is more …
passed out of death into life. Such a person has crossed over from eternal death to eternal life.
VERSE 25. Most certainly I tell you, the hour comes, and now is, when the dead will hear the Son of God’s voice; and those who hear will live.
VERSE 26. For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself.
VERSE 27. He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man.
VERSE 28. Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice,
all who are in the tombs will hear his voice. This includes everyone who has ever died.
VERSE 29. and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
those who have done good, to the resurrection of life. This verse can open up some very perplexing questions:
- Is a favorable destiny in eternity based on our own doing of good deeds?
- What role, if any, does faith in Jesus Christ play in our eternal destiny?
- Is the entire Christian movement merely a way of tricking us into doing good deeds?
What insight might James chapter 2 shed on these questions?
James 2:17. Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself.
VERSE 30. I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don’t seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me.
I don’t seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me. What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels.
VERSE 31. “If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid.
VERSE 32. It is another who testifies about me. I know that the testimony which he testifies about me is true.
VERSE 33. You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth.
VERSE 34. But the testimony which I receive is not from man. However, I say these things that you may be saved.
VERSE 35. He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
the burning and shining lamp. John the Baptist burned for Jesus Christ. His faith shone like a lamp, lighting up the world. With his zeal, he pointed people not to himself but to Jesus Christ! Do you burn for Jesus Christ?
When the Holy Spirit is in your life, you will have FIRE. Are you on fire for the LORD God? If not, how can you get on fire? Read more »
VERSE 36. But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John, for the works which the Father gave me to accomplish, the very works that I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me.
VERSE 37. The Father himself, who sent me, has testified about me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form.
VERSE 38. You don’t have his word living in you; because you don’t believe him whom he sent.
VERSE 39. “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me.
You search the Scriptures. Many of us Christians diligently study the Scriptures. Is it wrong for us to do so? It depends on why we are doing it.
because you think that in them you have eternal life. The Scriptures are not magic. The Bible is not our savior. It does not grant us eternal life. Only Jesus Christ is our savior.
these are they which testify about me. The Bible testifies to Jesus Christ. If we study the Scriptures to learn more about Jesus Christ, that is great!
VERSE 41. I don’t receive glory from men.
VERSE 42. But I know you, that you don’t have God’s love in yourselves.
VERSE 43. I have come in my Father’s name, and you don’t receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.
VERSE 44. How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God?
VERSE 45. “Don’t think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope.
if you believed Moses. The word “Moses” is a convenient way of referring to the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. The Lord’s hearers in this verse would have believed in the Torah.
you would believe me. For the person who believes in the Torah, it can be a natural progression to believe in Jesus. Why is this?
for he wrote about me. At face value, the Torah tells the narrative of the Hebrew people. But at a deeper level, it tells about the Messiah. Those who would have explored the Torah at a deeper level would encounter these predictions about the Messiah.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.