The Healing at Bethesda
5 Later on there was a Jewish feast (festival), and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now in Jerusalem, near the Sheep Gate, there is a [a]pool, which is called in Hebrew (Jewish Aramaic) Bethesda, having five porticoes (alcoves, colonnades). 3 In these porticoes lay a great number of people who were sick, blind, lame, withered, [b][waiting for the stirring of the water; 4 for an angel of the Lord went down into the pool at appointed seasons and stirred up the water; the first one to go in after the water was stirred was healed of his disease.] 5 There was a certain man there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 The invalid answered, “Sir, I have no one to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am coming [to get into it myself], someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up; pick up your pallet and walk.” 9 Immediately the man was healed and recovered his strength, and [c]picked up his pallet and walked.
Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews kept saying to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and you are not [d]permitted to pick up your pallet [because it is unlawful].” 11 He answered them, “The Man who healed me and gave me back my strength was the One who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the Man who told you, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away [unnoticed] since there was a crowd in that place. 14 Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews began to persecute Jesus continually because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now [He has never ceased working], and I too am working.”
Jesus’ Equality with God
18 This made the Jews more determined than ever to kill Him, for not only was He breaking the Sabbath [from their viewpoint], but He was also calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
19 So Jesus answered them by saying, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, the Son [e]can do nothing of Himself [of His own accord], unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever things the Father does, the Son [in His turn] also does in the same way. 20 For the Father dearly loves the Son and shows Him everything that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will be filled with wonder. 21 Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life [and allows them to live on], even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment [that is, the prerogative of judging] to the Son [placing it entirely into His hands], 23 so that all will give honor (reverence, homage) to the Son just as they give honor to the Father. [In fact] the one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who has sent Him.
24 “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, the person who hears My word [the one who heeds My message], and believes and trusts in Him who sent Me, has (possesses now) eternal life [that is, eternal life actually begins—the believer is transformed], and does not come into judgment and condemnation, but has passed [over] from death into life.
25 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, a time is coming and is [here] now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself [and is self-existent], even so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself [and be self-existent]. 27 And He has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is a Son of Man [sinless humanity, qualifying Him to sit in judgment over mankind].(A) 28 Do not be surprised at this; for a time is coming when all those who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and they will come out—those who did good things [will come out] to a resurrection of [new] life, but those who did evil things [will come out] to a resurrection of judgment [that is, to be sentenced].(B)
30 “I can do nothing on my own initiative or authority. Just as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just (fair, righteous, unbiased), because I do not seek My own will, but only the will of Him who sent Me.
31 “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not [f]valid. 32 There is another [My Father] who testifies about Me, and I know [without any doubt] that His testimony on My behalf is true and valid.
Testimony of John
33 You have sent [an inquiry] to [g]John [the Baptist] and he has testified [as an eyewitness] to the truth. 34 But the testimony I receive is not from man [a merely human witness]; but I say these things so that you may be saved [that is, have eternal life]. 35 John was the lamp that kept on burning and shining [to show you the way], and you were willing for a while to rejoice in his light.(C)
Testimony of Works
36 But the testimony which I have is far greater than the testimony of John; for the works that the Father has given Me to finish—the very same works [that is, the miracles and proofs of My deity] that I am [now] doing—testify about Me, [by providing evidence] that the Father has sent Me.
Testimony of the Father
37 And the Father who sent Me has Himself testified about Me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form [His majesty and greatness—what He is like]. 38 You do not have His word (Scripture) abiding in you [actually living in your hearts and minds], because you do not believe in Him whom He has sent.
Testimony of the Scripture
39 [h]You search and keep on searching and examining the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and yet it is those [very Scriptures] that testify about Me; 40 and still you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory and approval from men; 42 but I know you and recognize that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 43 I have come in My Father’s name and with His power, and you do not receive Me [because your minds are closed]; but if another comes in his own name and with no authority or power except his own, you will receive him and give your approval to an imposter. 44 How can you believe [in Me], when you [seek and] receive glory and approval from one another, and yet you do not seek the glory and approval which comes from the one and only God? 45 Do not think that I [am the One who] will accuse you before the Father. There [already] is one who accuses you: Moses, [the very one] in whom you have placed your hope [for salvation]. 46 For if you believed and relied on [the Scriptures written by] Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me [personally].(D) 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
- John 5:2 In 1888, the location of this pool with its porticoes, as described in this verse, was uncovered.
- John 5:3 Early mss do not contain the remainder of v 3, nor v 4.
- John 5:9 Under Jewish tradition regarding the Sabbath, the man could have been stoned to death for this act.
- John 5:10 The complex Jewish restrictions regarding work on the Sabbath were man-made rules and most were not supported by OT Scripture.
- John 5:19 Jesus uses the analogy of a son learning a trade from his father to show the religious leaders that when they condemn what He does, they are condemning the Father as well.
- John 5:31 I.e. admissible as legal evidence.
- John 5:33 All references to “John” in this Gospel refer to John the Baptist. See note 1:6.
- John 5:39 Or Search the Scriptures! The Greek form found here can be either a command or a statement (indicative mood).
- John 5:27 : Dan 7:13, 14
- John 5:29 : Dan 12:2; Rev 20:11-15
- John 5:35 : John 1:23-25
- John 5:46 : Gen 3:15; 22:18; 49:10; Num 24:17; Deut 18:15