Jesus Heals and Defends the Healing Work
47 total verses: John 5:1-47 (the entire chapter)
Brief description of action taking place or point being made
51. Jesus in Jerusalem at the 2nd Passover in John 5:1
52. Man healed at pools of Bethesda in John 5:2-15
53. Jesus challenged for healing on Sabbath in John 5:16-47
1. What is your favorite verse or set of verses? Why?
2. Did you learn anything from the reading or find anything particularly cool? What?
3. Was there anything unclear in the passage that you have questions about? What are they?
Specific questions on this passage
1. How do you understand the man’s actions in reporting back to the religious authorities? Do you think he understood that the religious leaders wanted to harm Jesus? Why do you think he reported back to them after he left them the first time?
2. How many different ways (which verses) in this chapter did Jesus either claim to be God or claim to the Savior (the one who saves people from their sins)?
After Completing the Bible Reading
Broader outline of each section of passage
John 5:1. Jesus went to Jerusalem for the feast.
John 5:2-15. The pools of Bethesda in the Temple were a place that blind and lame would wait. Tradition had it that when an angel stirred the water, whoever was first to get in the water would be healed. Jesus came across a man who had been lame for thirty-eight years, and after asking him if he wanted to be well, healed him. He instructed the man to take up his bed and walk. But the religious leaders stopped him and asked him why he was doing work on the Sabbath. Then they asked him who healed him on the Sabbath, and while the man did not actually know at first, he eventually found out, and told them.
John 5:16-47. In this passage, Jesus speaks on how to be forgiven and have eternal life. Jesus also gives a scathing indictment of the religious leaders to their faces, accusing them of claiming to know the Scriptures, and yet the Christ was standing before them, and they did not even know it. The religious leaders thought they were doing God’s will by keeping people from getting healed on the Sabbath.
My favorite passage and other random thoughts
This chapter has a number of statements that are difficult to interpret, and has a section where Jesus is confronting religious leaders. This is probably not the easiest of chapters to read. As my favorite verse, I came close to picking Jesus’ question, “Do you want to get well?” But instead, I picked John 5:19 “‘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'” (NIV).
This little statement is full of things that we ought to pause to understand. First, it seems to be saying that Jesus, when He came to earth as a human, temporarily gave up some of His divine powers. He was able to do miracles and heal people because He paid attention to what His Father in heaven was doing. If this understanding is correct, it implies that if we are more attentive to God and more in tune with His heart and His purposes, we too ought to be able to be participants in miracles and healing. At a bare minimum, I think we ought to conclude that if Jesus came to earth to not only save us, but to set an example of how to live this new life of faith, then we ought to do as Jesus did, and pay attention to God as the initiator of things that He wants to see done on earth.