April 16th John 5
Sign 3 The Lord - man. (Joshua)
1: After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2: Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3: In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4: For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5: And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6: When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7: The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8: Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9: And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. 10: The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11: He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12: Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13: And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14: Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15: The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16: And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. 17: But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18: Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Next John describes the third Messianic sign. This incident took place at the pool of Bethesda. This pool is situated alongside the sheep market. It had five covered porches in which a huge crowd of helpless people lived. They were there waiting for a moving of the waters. Occasionally an angel came down from heaven and disturbed the surface of the water and the first person into the water was healed. Some say this was more of a myth that had become tradition but its unlikely that people would gather if there were no cases of healing. This seems to be a gracious provision for Israel in her need. The crowd consisted of the blind, halt, withered. (They were like all sinners blind, helpless and dying. They needed light life and liberty Christ would be all three to those who trust in him. He would be light to the blind as Prophet, He would be life to the dying as Priest, He would be the liberator to those who are bound as King.) Christ focused on a particular case of a man who had sat there for 38 years. Like Israel of old who wandered for 38 years Christ would be the Joshua who would take him into blessing. For Israel there was no hope of entering the land by Christ brought a message of hope. Christ’s question is simple but hugely significant. Do you want to be made whole? The man answered, Sir l have no man to help into the water and while l am coming another person steps down before me. (Maybe this is why he had been there so long.) What he was saying is of course but l need help. Christ immediately assumed the role of an effective helper and healer. He said, Rise, take up your bed and walk. He was made completely whole and he rose up and then he bent down rolled up his mat and then he walked. This was done on the Sabbath day and the Jews confronted him because he was carrying his mat on the Sabbath day according to the Mishnah this was breaking the traditions of the elders. The healed man said the one who cured me told me to do it. So they demanded who had told him to break the Mishnah. He said I don’t know his name. Later Christ met him in the temple and said Its great to see you well. Then he said something significant. - sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The reason for his illness and cure was linked to a judgment of God linked to some sin. The man told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. The Jewish reaction was to persecute Jesus, and seek to murder him, because he had broken their petty laws. Christ made a public answer to their course of action. He said My Father has been working up until now and will continue to do his work. This caused the Jews to be even more vehement in their murderous intent not just because he broke the Sabbath in their eyes but because he said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. The objection to Christ was his Messianic authority reversing the spiritual judgment of God on Israel and claiming to be God himself.
- Who were gathered at this pool?
- What was the condition of this lame man?
- How did Christ help him?