Summary: In this passage, we have Jesus revealing His authority. He shows everyone how true it is that He is in authority over life
For the next 4 weeks we will be studying from the John 5. This chapter deals with the authority and power that Jesus has. In fact, chapter 5 reveals Jesus to be the Authority over all of life. Jesus is equal with God and is claimed later on in this chapter. So He is due the same worship, obedience, and service as God. As God has authority over all of life, so Jesus has authority over all of life.
So in tonight’s passage, we have Jesus revealing His authority. He shows everyone how true it is that He is in authority over life. He heals a man who had been ill for 38 years—AND He healed him on the Sabbath. Both of these acts picture the truth of His authority.
The healing of this man showed Jesus’ authority over the physical world, and the breaking of the Jewish Sabbath law showed His authority to determine the rules of worship. Then after He demonstrates the truth of His equality with God, He then began to teach the truth. This set a pattern that Jesus used throughout His ministry.
He would first demonstrate some truth and then teach it.
So tonight Jesus proves his claim to have supreme authority over the Sabbath. But there are other lessons that come up in this passage: The Lord’s compassion, the problem of formal religion, and the charge to a converted man. So let’s get started.
READ v. 1. This feast is not named, but it was probably one of the three Feasts of Obligation: the Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles, or Pentecost. These were called the Feasts of Obligation because every male Jew who lived within twenty miles of Jerusalem was required by law to attend them. It’s significant that Jesus was seen attending the feast.
1. It gave Him an opportunity to reach a large number of people. Most of the people who attended the feast would be God-fearing people and have their minds on God so they would be more prepared for the gospel.
2. It gave him an opportunity to teach people to be faithful to the worship of God. He showed that He, the Son of God, was faithful. He set the example.
All people should be faithful in their worship of God.
READ vv. 2-3. The first scene we have is that of the diseased and the ill. They represent those in the world who are gripped by a desperate need. The setting is a pool by the sheep gate. The words sheep gate are supplied by the translator. It’s not in the Greek text. It may have been a sheep market or sheep gate or sheep stall where the animals were kept. Whatever it was, there was a pool to provide water for the animals to drink and five porches to provide a resting area for the comfort of the people. The pool and a great number of disabled people lying around the pool
were the focus of attention.
So the needy were there—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed, and poor. A point that can be made here is that there are so many in the world that are blind, lame and withered spiritually. People are always grasping for something to help them in their daily lives. It may be some supernatural or destined power in a pool of water or in the astrology of stars above or in some magical person on earth.
People never change, regardless of the generation. In their grasp for help in life, they continue to seek everywhere except in Christ. They hope and put their faith in everything except Him.
READ vv. 5-9. Here’s our 2nd scene—that of Jesus and the paralyzed man. This is a picture of Jesus, who has the power to meet the needs of the desperate in the world. Let’s look at this scene a little closer.
1. First we see the man’s plight. HE was either paralyzed or lame; he had been that way for 38 years.
2. Second, we see Jesus’ compassion. It was heart-warming and it demonstrated how Jesus wants to reach out to every person. He saw the man lying there and He knew all about his condition. You might want to note that it was Jesus who initiated the relationship. He approached the man and reached out to him.
This should show anyone that Jesus sees and knows every person’s condition. He reaches out to everyone in compassion, offering help. We see His reaching out in such things as the message of the Word, the witness of family or friend, the beauty of nature, or the thought about God that penetrate everyone’s mind.
3. Thirdly, we see the man’s helplessness. He was alone in this world, having no family or friend who could help him. He must have had some acquaintances that brought him there each day, but from that point he was alone.