John 5 Commentary

John chapter 5 commentary Bible study

John Chapter 5 Commentary Bible Study


John 5:14-18 Go And Sin No More
John 5:19-25 Father and Son
John 5:26-27 Son of Man
John 5:28-30 Resurrection
John 5:31-38 Bear Witness
John 5:39-47 Search the Scriptures
John Chapter 5 Bible Study Questions (Handout)
JOHN 5:1-2  1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool that in Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches.

Any guess as to why the “Sheep Gate” (John 5:2) was called that?
προβατικη (probatike), the original Greek word translated "Sheep Gate," literally means "of sheep" and referred to the gate in Jerusalem through which sheep were brought in to be sacrificed at the temple. It was on the eastern wall just north of the temple and is still there (photo), although it has been renamed “Stephen’s Gate” in honor of the first Christian martyr (see Acts chapter 7).

What about the pool of “Bethesda” (John 5:2)?
“Bethesda” literally means “House (‘Bet’) of mercy.” The pool of Bethesda consisted of two adjoining pools with an overhead cover that was supported by five columns: four at the four corners and one in between the two pools. Skeptics of the Bible used the lack of archaeological evidence for the pool of Bethesda, mentioned only in this chapter, to attack the reliability of the Bible until 1888, when the pool was discovered.

Where was it?
By the Sheep Gate, just as John 5:2 stated.

Then why didn't they find it earlier?
The pool was discovered to be 43 feet (13 meters) deep and buried well below ground level.

JOHN 5:3-4  3 In these lay a great multitude of the sick, blind, lame, shriveled, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel, according to kairon, went down 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.

What is “kairon” (John 5:4)?
The original Greek word καιρον (kairon) is found only once in the Gospel of John, in John 5:4 above, and has several meanings, including a set time, a set season, an era, or an epoch. So it could mean a set time/season when the angel went down into the pool, or what people believed during that era/epoch, which had ended by the time this gospel was written since a larger and deeper pool (“Pool of Israel”) being dug nearby had dried up the pool of Bethesda, which was filled in around 44 AD.

JOHN 5:5-7  5 And a certain man was there who had an ailment thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been there a long time, He said to him, “Do you wish to be made well?” 7 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 coming, another steps down before me.”

What was the man’s “ailment” (John 5:5)?
It isn’t specified but it made him unable to walk.

What do you think of the man’s answer?
Instead of answering Jesus’ question, “Do you wish to be made well?” (John 5:6), he tries to explain why he can’t get healed, and blames others.

JOHN 5:8-9  8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, and took up his bed, and walked. Now, that day was the Sabbath.

What lesson can be drawn from John 5:8-9?
Instead of telling God ‘how’ He should help you, just ask Him to help you and to answer you as per His perfect will. Our last words should always be, “Nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42, see John 18).

JOHN 5:10-13  10 The Jews therefore said to him who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry the bed.” 11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’” 12 Then they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in that place.

Who are the “Jews” in John 5:10?
The reference isn’t to the Jewish people in general but to the Jewish leaders.

What is sad about their reaction to the healed man?
Instead of expressing wonder and gladness that a man who had been ailing for so long has been healed, they criticize him for carrying whatever he had been lying on.

What was wrong with the man carrying his bedding on the Sabbath?
Prohibition of carrying bedding material on the Sabbath was one of the many man-made laws of Judaism (see Pharisees).