John Chapter 5

Published Aug. 30, 2023, 12:46 p.m.

Chapter 4 Recap: Jesus meets the Samaritan woman.  She is transformed into an effective witness for Christ among the Samaritans.  Contrast with the meeting with Nicodemus:

Meeting with Nicodemus Meeting with Samaritan Woman
At Night Mid Day
In Secret In the Open
Jewish Samaritan
Nicodemus is Named She is Unnamed
High Social Standing Social Outcast
Wealthy Poor
Very Religious Worldly / Immoral
Jesus is blunt Jesus is tactful
Nicodemus approaches Jesus
Jesus approaches her
His Response: Her Response:
Confused Enlightened
Not testifying Testifying / Compelling

The Healing at the Pool

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] [b] One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”  8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

  1. Verse 4 is not in the oldest manuscripts.  May have been added to explain what people thought was happening.
    Bethesda means "House of Mercy"

  2. What parallels are there between Jesus healing the paralytic and Salvation? :

    Who approaches whom?  
    What condition was the man before Jesus?  
    What condition After?  
    Who does the work?  


  3. In what ways might we be like one waiting by the pool for a cure?

  4. The legalists find the healed man "violating the Sabbath".  What things are we likely to notice first about people who Jesus is (newliy) saving?

  5. The man is healed without yet knowing who Jesus is by name.  Any significance to that?  How does Jesus and the man get in contact with each other the second time?

The Authority of the Son

16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

  1. Jesus understands the Sabbath differently and better than the Jewish leaders.  Conservative leaders *tend* to add rules.  Liberal leaders *tend* to approve of sin (1 Corinthians 5: 1-2).  Which side do you tend to go to? Any circumstances where you go the other way?  Any actual examples of ways we add to / take away from God's word?  Why is it so hard to get it right?

  2. We find Jesus to be convincing, but the Jewish leaders didn't.  Why is that?  How might that situation apply to us?

  3. What Greek word for love do you suspect is used in verse 20 (eros, storge, agape, phileo)?   

24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. 28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

  1. How do the dead hear Jesus' voice?  Here is another time when Jesus speaks about "an hour" (time) is coming.

  2. Is anyone exempt from resurrection?  Knowing this, where can we find assurance that we are being saved "to live"?  (Acts 2:42-47I Cor. 1:18; 1 Cor 15; 2 Cor. 2:14-16)

  3. Anything that stands out in this passage?

  4. PREVIEW:  Jesus will tell us about 4 witnesses of him.  Take note!

Testimonies About Jesus

31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true. 33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. 36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study[c] the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God[d]? 45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

  1. Verse 31 could also be understood to have the phrase "You will say" in the middle.  The importance of multiple witnesses is biblical. Deut. 19:15;  Matt 18:16; 2 Cor 13:1;  1 Tim 5:19; Heb 10:28.  What are the four witnesses of Jesus?

  2. Which witnesses do we favor?  Which do we struggle to believe? 

  3. What Greek word for love do you suspect is used in verse 42 (eros, storge, agape, phileo)?   Are these things important or just intellectual curiosities?

  4. About whom does Jesus say they will accept a testimony?  Whose glory are they seeking?

  5. Who wrote the first 5 books of the Bible?  How do we know?  What would be the implication if those books were not from Moses?  (Documentary Hypothesis)

Interpretation Questions: 

  1. What seems to be the author's intent for these passages?

  2. Is there a principle or lesson that is communicated to the audience? If so, what is it?

  3. Would these principles or lessons be applied in the same way today as they would

    have for the original audience?

  4. Are these interpretations consistent with the theme, structure and purpose of the

    letter/book in which they are found?

  5. Are these interpretations consistent with other scripture?

Application Questions:

  1. What does the passage have to say about God's view of reality?

  2. How does this passage impact my intimacy with Him?

  3. How does this passage speak to the issues and attitudes of my heart?

  4. How does this passage impact my relationships with other people and with the natural


  5. What specific actions does God want me to take in response to this passage?


  1. John 5:2 Some manuscripts Bethzatha; other manuscripts Bethsaida
  2. John 5:4 Some manuscripts include here, wholly or in part, paralyzed—and they waited for the moving of the waters. From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.
  3. John 5:39 Or 39 Study
  4. John 5:44 Some early manuscripts the Only One
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  • Introduction to John's Gospel

  • John Chapter 1

  • John Chapter 2

  • John Chapter 3

  • John Chapter 4

  • John Chapter 5
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  • John Chapter 6

  • John Chapter 7 (and end of Ch.6)

  • John Chapter 8

  • John Chapters 9 and 10

  • John Chapter 10 and 11

  • John Chapter 12

  • End of John 12 and Chapter 13

  • John Chapter 14

  • John Chapter 15 and 16

  • John Chapter 17

  • John Selections from Ch. 18 and 19

  • John Chapter 20 and 21