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  • Writer's picturePastor Tony Pierce



John begins this chapter by telling of Jesus in Jerusalem at a pool called Bethesda, where the crippled, blind, and paralyzed waited for an angel to stir the water so they could be placed in it and receive healing. Whether the first in the pool was actually healed, or if this was an urban legend, many have different opinions. What is certainly true is that those with infirmities believed it, and it was here that Jesus meets a man who had an infirmity for 38 years. Jesus sees him and asked him if he wanted to be healed. This seems like a strange question…but I remind you that we cross paths with people every day whose lives are a mess, and we ask do you want to be made whole…some actually reject the One who can make them whole. The man responds to Jesus that he did want to be healed, but he had no one to put him in the water when the angel stirred it. Jesus just tells him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk”. Immediately the man was healed. You would think this would be an occasion for everyone to celebrate, but not so for the religious authorities. All they were concerned with is that this man was healed on the Sabbath…how dare anyone do such a thing. They asked the man why he was carrying his bed on the Sabbath, they were not either happy or concerned that for the first time in 38 this man was walking. The Jewish religious leaders from this point sought to kill Jesus because He dared to do God’s work on the Sabbath. Do you ever get angry or envious because others are doing God’s work differently than you do? If they are really doing the work of God…we should rejoice and celebrate with them, not condemn them.

John then takes special care to speak of the identity of Jesus, specifically to the fact of His Deity. Jesus declares that God is His Father, and the work of the Father belongs to the Son. Jesus then declares that what He does is by the power of His Father. He declares that even as the Father raises the dead, so also the Son has the power to raise the dead. Then Jesus speaks of the authority of God the Father, and declares that He has the same authority. For those who say Jesus never claimed to be God, they have not read this chapter. Finally, This chapter closes by John recording what Jesus said are the witnesses to who He actually is. First is the witness of John the Baptist. Second is the witness of the works, the miracles, that Jesus did. Third is the witness of the Father at Jesus baptism…the Father spoke to that fact that Jesus is His Son. And lastly, the Scriptures themselves, bear witness to the identity of Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah. There is one more witness that God uses to declared who Jesus is…YOU! How is our witness?

Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.


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