1 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 called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 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 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said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well!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.”
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.
Capture the big idea. God’s Word communicates big ideas. Periodically ask: What’s the big idea in this sentence, paragraph, or chapter?
Jesus is the Word made flesh. Jesus is incarnate deity. Jesus is the only Son of the Father, on a mission to save the world. Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem, the ancient city his ancestor David conquered, to celebrate a feast of which he is the fulfillment. Jesus is the one to whom everyone should look. He is the one who deserves the attention of all in Jerusalem. He has just healed the royal official’s son from a distance (4:46–54), having been recognized by the Samaritans as the Savior of the world (v. 42).
If we were Jesus, would we notice a man in his sickness? Would we take the trouble to speak to someone lying among the pillars, waiting for the waters to be moved? Would we bother with someone living in the vain hope of an ignorant superstition? We are far more like the lame man than like Jesus. We foolishly expect superstitions or popular beliefs to work. If Jesus happened by and saw the way we live, he would ask, “Is it satisfaction you seek? Are you looking for purpose and significance? Are you sitting by a pool, cherishing a false belief about angels doing something the Bible never says they do, eager to engage in some activity you have no reason to think will accomplish anything?” (1)
- What stood out?
- What was Jesus command to the healed man after He told him to get up and walk?
- Why were the Jews upset about Jesus working on the Sabbath?
- Why did the Jews have a problem with Jesus saying He is equal to the Father?
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.”
End in Prayer