Do You Want To Be Healed? John 5:1-18

About this Episode

Do You Want To Be Healed? John 5:1-18 is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast.

Today in our reading of John 5 we start out with the first verse saying an “After This” statement. Whenever we see this statement at the beginning of a verse in the bible, it makes us want to ask out loud, After what? Then we read the previous chapter to give ourselves context to what we will be reading next, just in case we missed something.

We will see that the last verse in chapter 4 says, “This was Jesus’ second miracle in Cana”. The first one was when he turned water into wine and then the second one was the healing of the Noblemen’s son. Both miracles were somewhat private in nature.

The miracle that Jesus performs in John 5 is not a private event, but a public one, and it was performed on the Sabbath day that incites the religious leaders. We also notice that he left Cana and is now in the City of Jerusalem, for what we would assume is to celebrate a festival. This chapter starts the beginning of the persecutions that Jesus will face for the rest of His ministry.

John 5:1-15 is the story of Jesus healing the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda. Did you know that at the St Annes Church of Jerusalem they have a deep excavation there which they claim is the Pool of Bethesda? There are probably listeners today listening to us that have probably been there to see it.

The Hebrew name “Bethesda” has been spelled in various ways and has been given different meanings. Some say it means house of mercy, or house of grace but others say it means place of the two outpourings. With that said Archeologists believe that there is enough evidence to suggest this place is real and served the community in ancient times.

Read John 5:1-15

The pool is situated near the northeast corner of the Old City, close to the sheep gate that we read about in Neh 3:1. Perhaps John saw some spiritual significance to this location, for he had already told his readers that Jesus was the Lamb of God in 1:29

We believe the main reason Jesus went to this pool was to heal a man and use the miracle as the basis for a message to the people. He had a plan all along and the miracle illustrated what He will say later in Vs 24 “if they hear His word and believe in Him they will have everlasting life.”

Vs 3 and 4 in the ESV version that we just read have removed much of what is in other Manuscripts. In NKJV it reads in vs 3 “In these lay, a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, [b]paralyzed, [c]waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.” THE ESV “removed waiting for the moving of the water.” And all of vs 4 “For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.”

Modern translators claim that the verse isn’t in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts and that it was a later scribal addition. Thus, they say that they are not removing anything from the Bible. Rather, others added these words in. They were not part of what John originally wrote.

The question is, “why would anybody especially a sick man remain in one place for so many years if nothing special was occurring there?” I mean Vs 7 makes no sense without the added scribal add on, when it says “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 step down before me.”

I think it’s wisest for us to accept the fact that something extraordinary kept all those people with disabilities at the pool, hoping for a cure.

John described these people as invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. Jesus referencing in vs 14 that it was sin that caused this upon their life. But this is one of the main reasons why he came to earth to right the wrongs, to restore hope. We see this as a prophecy being fulfilled from

Isa 35:3-6 says Strengthen the [a]weak hands, And make firm the [b]feeble knees. 4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.

Had the religious leaders known their own scripture they would have recognized their redeemer, but they were spiritually blind.

Another keen insight, Jesus did not heal all of them, he only healed one man. In John 17:6 Jesus said to the Father “I have [c]manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.

In another observation in verse 6, Jesus asked him directly “Do you want to be healed?” You think he would have said yes, but instead he began to give excuses.

Jesus healed the man with a spoken word, in spite of Him not really answering Jesus yes or no. He then commanded him to do what he could not do, pick up his mat and walk. That action by the man was the fulfillment of the power that God gave him.

The miracle would not have caused a problem normally, but because it was on the Sabbath, it did. Jesus knew this would happen; he wanted the attention of the Jewish leaders. When we get to John 9 we will see that Jesus deliberately heals a blind man on the Sabbath. Why was he wanting to pick a fight?

The bible does not say if this man became a follower of Jesus, in fact, he didn’t even know who Jesus was until later. It does seem strange that John does not show that this man sought a closer relationship with Jesus. But could He have left this out to show us that there are many that have been healed by Jesus that are not seeking a closer relationship with him?

Let’s read vs 16-18 and notice how the Jewish leaders did not prosecute the man who was healed, even though he had broken the law, but they did begin to persecute Jesus.

Read John 5:16-18

When the Jewish leaders confronted Jesus with His unlawful conduct, He simply replied that He was doing only what His Father was doing. God's Sabbath rest had been broken by humanity’s sin and ever since the fall of humanity, God has been seeking lost sinners and saving them. But when Jesus said my Father instead of the usual our Father used by the Jews, He was claiming to be equal with God.

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