The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron
John Chapter 5
(Words in red in the
Scriptures are the words of Jesus)
Verse 1. "After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus
went up to Jerusalem."
The Jewish people traveled to Jerusalem at
different times in the year for religious feasts. This one was the Passover and
Jesus went there.
Verse 2. "Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is
called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes."
We saw the ruins of this pool of water last
year. Five porches led into the water and it must have been very beautiful. The
pool was next to a gate into Jerusalem called the "Sheep Gate."
Verse 3. "In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind,
lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters;"
Just like today, many were sick, couldn’t see,
were paralyzed, and had other problems with their bodies. People thought there
was something special about the waters of the pool of Bethesda that might heal
them, if they got into the water at the right time.
Verse 4. "for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into
the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of
the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was
The people of that place believed an angel
would cause the waters of the pool to ripple at a certain time. They thought the
first person into the rippling water would be healed.
Verse 5. "A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years."
Among those waiting for the water to move, was
a man who had been sick for 38-years.
Verse 6. "When Jesus saw him lying
there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said
to him, 'Do
you wish to get well?'"
Jesus saw the man, knew he had been sick for a
long time, and asked him an interesting question: "Do you WANT to be healed?"
Verse 7. "The sick man answered Him, 'Sir, I have no man to put me
into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps
down before me.'"
The sick man did not answer Jesus’ question,
but instead complained that others always got into the water faster than he did.
Verse 8. "Jesus said to him,
'Get up, pick up your
pallet and walk.'"
The sick man was surprised when Jesus told him
to "get up, pick up the pallet (cot or bed) you are lying on and walk!" As far
as the man knew, he could NOT walk.
Verse 9. "Immediately the man became
well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.
Now it was the
Sabbath on that day."
The man was surprised when Jesus told him to
"Get up," because suddenly he COULD get up! He was HEALED and could walk for the
first time in 38-years (see verse 5).
Verse 10. "So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, 'It is
the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.'"
The religious leaders of the Jews felt that
people should do NOTHING on the Sabbath (the day of rest – from Friday evening
to Saturday evening). But the man was healed and was carrying his pallet (his
bed) just like Jesus told him to.
Verse 11. "But he answered them, He who made me well was the one who
said to me, 'Pick up your pallet and walk.'"
The man was afraid of the Jewish religious
leaders and blamed Jesus for what he was doing (carrying his cot or "pallet" –
Verse 12. "They asked him, Who is the man who said to you, 'Pick up
your pallet and walk?'"
The religious leaders asked this man who was
healed: "What was the name of the person who told you to carry your bed and
walk?" They should have been happy the man was healed but they were not.
Verse 13. "But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for
Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place."
Jesus had not told the man His name. The area
around the Pool of Bethesda was crowded and Jesus simply walked away into the
crowd, right after the man was healed.
Verse 14. "Afterward Jesus found him in
the temple and said to him,
'Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that
nothing worse happens to you.'"
Jesus later found the healed man in the Jewish
Temple and confronted him. Apparently the man’s injury of 38-years before (verse
5) had been caused by some bad thing he had done. Jesus told him, "Don’t do it
Verse 15. "The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who
had made him well."
Instead of thanking Jesus for healing him, the
man went to the Jewish leaders and told on Him – saying the man who had healed
him was Jesus.
Verse 16. "For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He
was doing these things on the Sabbath."
Because of what the healed man had done (told
on Jesus to the Jewish leaders), it brought trouble to our Lord. The Jewish
leaders were angry. They should have been happy the man was healed, but instead
they were angry that Jesus told the man to carry his bed on the Sabbath (day of
Verse 17. "But He answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and
I Myself am working.'"
God WORKS to help people. God the Father sent
God the Son to rescue you and me. You are being prayed for right now, by the Son
of God. God the Holy Spirit is speaking to you right now. To love someone is to
work to make life better for them. God is doing that for you.
Verse 18. "For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the
more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was
calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God."
Jesus has the answer to every question. The
Jewish leaders wanted religion but they did not want God. Therefore, they hated
Jesus, the Son of God, and wanted to kill Him. Jesus really is the Son of God,
and He really is One with God the Father.
Verse 19. "Therefore Jesus answered and
was saying to them,
'Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of
Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the
Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.'"
Everything that Jesus did, pleased His Father.
Jesus did not just run off and do things, but instead He obeyed the will of God
the Father. We should also want to do the will of God. The best way to please
Him is to love Jesus, God the Son.
Verse 20. "For
the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and
the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel."
Jesus could "look" with the same Holy Spirit of
God that is given to all who believe in Him. He could "see" what the Father
wanted Him to do. Wonderful things were coming, for God always has something in
store for us that is greater than we can imagine.
Verse 21. "For
just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also
gives life to whom He wishes."
To be dead is not the end. God the Father gives
LIFE to the dead and so does God the Son. If you want to be ALIVE, then give
your heart and life to Jesus Christ. You will always LIVE in Him.
Verse 22. "For
not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,"
Most people want to be "good" and hope that God
will think well of them. Jesus Christ is the Judge of everyone. If you want God
to like you, trust in Jesus Christ. When you love Jesus Christ, you never have
to be afraid of God.
"so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not
honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."
How do you "honor" God (show Him that you love
Him)? - By loving His Son. If you give your heart and life to Jesus Christ, you
honor the Father and show that you love Him.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent
eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into
Jesus said it is true that if we HEAR Him and
believe God the Father, we have life forever. Jesus is the Judge of everyone and
He said that if we believe, we will not be judged. We are no longer "dead" but
ALIVE in Christ Jesus.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will
hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."
There are two kinds of "dead". 1) Those whose
bodies have died and 2) those who are dead to God (don't believe in Him). If we
trust in Him now, we will live forever.
"For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to
have life in Himself;"
All life is in God the Father. He has shared
that life with God the Son. If you want to be ALIVE, then simply TRUST in God
through Jesus Christ and you will be ALIVE - forever.
"and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man."
When Jesus came to earth He placed Himself
under the authority of God the Father. He trusted in the Father, and has been
made Judge of everyone, because He is not only the Son of God, but He also
became the Son of Man. He was willing to become like us so we might be judged
"Not Guilty" by God.
"Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs
will hear His voice,"
At some time, all who are in graves all over
the world will "hear" the voice of the Son of God. This might sound scary but
it's not. Love Him, trust Him, and Jesus will keep you safe.
"and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life,
those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."
Death is temporary. Bones are found that are
hundreds, thousands of years old, and yet, 1,000 years is like a day to God. All
will awaken from death. Those who trust in Jesus will awake and go to heaven. To
the others He will be a Judge.
"I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is
just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."
People are only human and judges make mistakes.
Jesus is different than human judges because He listens to God the Father and
does His will. He is fair and He loves You. Trust in Him. He will be fair with
"If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true."
Anybody can say anything about themselves and
we don't know if it's true or not. Jesus knows that. We don't have to just
listen to Him, because others have spoken about Him.
"There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He
gives about Me is true."
For example, Jesus was saying (see verse 31),
there is someone else who said that you must believe that He is the Son of God.
His listeners were wondering, "who is He talking about?"
"You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth."
These same people had listened to John the
Baptist and he told them the truth about Jesus (who is the truth).
"But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so
that you may be saved."
What Jesus told us is actually not from any
person on earth - everything He said came from God. He came here to save us from
our sins and to make us right with God.
"He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to
rejoice for a while in his light."
The Jewish people, including many of the
leaders, liked John the Baptist, who was like a "light" to them (he told them
things they did not know). They listened to him and liked what they heard.
"But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the
works which the Father has given Me to accomplish the very works that I do
testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me."
Jesus Christ has more to tell us than John the
Baptist did. John was just a man but Jesus is God. John did no miracles but
Jesus was doing many. John the Baptist cannot save you, but Jesus can.
Verse 37. "And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard
His voice at any time nor seen His form."
Before He was born into this world, Jesus, God
the Son, was with God the Father in eternity. He saw Him and heard His words.
The Father testified to the world by sending His Son. None of us have seen the
Father or have heard Him. But we "hear" Jesus in the Bible, and He tells us
about God the Father.
"You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He
If we do not believe in Jesus Christ, God the
Son, it proves that we do not believe in the word of God the Father. If we love
God the Father, we will receive God the Son.
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life;
it is these that testify about Me;"
The Jewish leaders read that part of the Bible
called the Old Testament – a lot! They thought that by reading, they would live
with God after death. But they missed the most important part, for the Old
Testament is all about Jesus Christ.
"and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life."
The Jewish leaders wanted to be outwardly good
men, but they were doing it the wrong way. They wanted to memorize rules and
tell people how to live. First, they had to come alive themselves in Christ
Jesus, but they would not do it.
Verse 41. "I do not receive glory from men;"
Jesus doesn't need any of us to tell about Him.
He is just Who He Is – the Son of God, our Savior, who died for the sins of the
"but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves."
Most people have secrets and don't tell anybody
about them. But Jesus knows you - completely. He knew those people just like He
knows you. And He loves us anyway - He proved that by dying for us, that we
Verse 43. "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another
comes in his own name, you will receive him."
Most of us tend to believe the wrong people.
First we must believe in Jesus, that He is the Son of God, and that He died for
you and for me. Then He will help us to understand other people.
"How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do
not seek the glory
that is from the one and only God?"
It doesn't matter what people think of us. Some
of them will like us, and others won't. But it does matter what God
thinks of you. If you are going to be honored, let the honor come from God.
"Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses
you is Moses, in whom
you have set your hope."
The Jewish leaders thought they were keeping
the 10-commandments, given to the people of Israel through Moses. Actually, they
were law-breakers who did not keep the law. They thought Moses would speak well
of them at God's Judgment, but they were wrong. They needed Jesus.
"For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me."
Moses wrote the first five Books of the Bible:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Those Books are full of
"word pictures" that tell us of Jesus. If the Jewish leaders believed what Moses
wrote, they would have received Jesus and been His disciples.
Verse 47. "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
Jesus told the Jewish leaders that if they did
not believe the words of Moses, and trust in what he wrote, how could they
believe in Jesus?
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries