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Gospel of John - Chapter Five
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Pastor Ovid Need
NOTE: Time requires I leave in the minor errors, e.g., abbreviations in text, wrong abbreviations, mixed tenses in a sentence (though I have tried to catch all of them), caps, etc.
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Here we have Jesus going back up to Jerusalem. As He did so, He went past a pool called Bethesda, (House of mercy).
1. What did He find at this pool, v. 3?
a. We can only speculate about what took place when the angel came down at a certain season. As Jesus walked through the crowd, He came to a certain man. How long had this man been ill, v. 5?
b. What did Jesus tell this man to do, v. 8?
c. What did the man do, v. 9?
This took place on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a day set aside by God for man's restfor man's benefit. V. 10, The Jews, were the religious leaders. They were probably the same ones Jesus confronted in chp. 2. It was not lawful to do any work on the Sabbath (God commanded it so), yet these Jews (Pharisees, the religious party that added many things to the law) made the restrictions of the Sabbath much tighter than they intended by God.
2. These Jews confront the man. Rather than rejoicing over what had been done for him, what do they do, v. 10?
a. They don't ask him who healed him. What do they ask him, v. 12?
3. The man didn't know who had healed him. Jesus meets him again and what does He tell him, v. 14?
a. Here we see that one reason for illness is sin. We see another reason in Jn. 9:3. What is the reason for illness there?
b. The man went back to the Jews, and told them who had made him whole. How did the Jews respond, v. 16?
We will find that consistently throughout the ministry of Christ, the religious leaders were extremely jealous over Christ. They stood against everything which He did. Of course, they could do none of what He did, and they saw their power and authority over the people being destroyed by Jesus.
4. What did they seek to do to Christ, v. 16?
b. What did the Old Testament law require to be done to the one who violated the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8-11); Ex. 31:14; 35:2?
c. What did the law of the Sabbath permit, that the religious leaders did, Lk. 14:5, (see Matt. 12:10; Ex. 23:5)?
d. What did Jesus call these men who had more of a concern for an animal than they did for people, Lk. 13:15?
We see many who will fit this description todaythey show more concern for an unhatched bird than for an unborn child. Also, this name fits all of those who are doing things similar to what they are so hard on others for doing.
5. Not only were they upset over the Sabbath situation but what else were they upset over, v. 18?
a. What did Jesus do at all times (Jn. 8:29), vv. 19, 30?
6. Out of the great multitude of v. 3, Christ healed only one person. What is He showing by only healing the one out of the great multitude, v. 21?
7. Not only has the power to give life been given the Son, but what else, v. 22?
8. What must be present before one can trust in the Son for everlasting life, v. 24, (Rom. 10:17)?
V. 27. The Son of man was a term these Jews were familiar with. It was a term that meant the total authority to rule and judge. The basis for the term is Dan. 7:13. VV. 28, 29, he talks about the final judgment as found in Rev. 20:19, 20.
VV. 32-35, the reference is to John the Baptist. He did the will of God, making him a shining light. These Jews were willing to listen to John the Baptist, but when Christ came, they wanted nothing to do with Him. John bore witness to Christ, and Christ says that He has a greater witness than John.
9. What is this greater witness than John, v. 36?
a. What did this witness prove?
V. 37, is a reference again to the fact that God is a Spirit, 4:24. Everything that can be understood by man about God is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ and in the written word of God.
The religious leaders whom Jesus is confronting (and who want to kill Him) have claimed that they are God's representatives on earth. They were the teachers of the law of God. The people respected them greatly, and supported them in a very grand style.
10. Christ looks past all the beautiful exterior, telling them that they have NOT the word of God in them. Why don't they, v. 38?
The same holds true today: There are multitudes of folks who claim to love God and have, "God in them," yet we could say the same thing about them.
11. What did Christ tell them to do, v. 39?
It is extremely important that we understand that Christ here is referring to the Old Testament Scriptures. The Scriptures that were available in Christ's day were what we now have from Gen. through Malachi. There were no New Testament Scriptures for many more years after Christ's day. Therefore, every reference to the Scriptures (as we see here), is a reference to the Old Testament Scriptures, Gen. - Mal.
a. What did the people at Berea do, Acts 17:11?
b. Paul, in writing to Timothy, a young preacher, told him what concerning the Old Testament Scriptures, II Tim. 3:16?
c. What did he tell him in II Tim. 2:15?
Also in Paul's instruction to Timothy, Paul warned him that in the latter times, there would be false teachers arise. (Latter timesthe period of time from Christ's manifestation on earth to the final end of all things, I Pet. 1:20; Gal. 4:4; Acts 2:17; I Cor. 15:20-28. So far this has lasted for about 2,000 years) One of the things false teachers attempt to do is to separate the Old Testament Scriptures from the New. They use words such as, "That's Old Testament. The Old Testament isn't for us today." (See The Death of Victory, by Pastor Need.)
There is a very strong statement by Jude, instructing those to whom he writes to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints, Jude 3. Jude warns against the false teachers who would attempt to void the Old Testament, v. 4. The saints Jude refers to had to be the Old Testament saints. This IS NOT to even suggest that the New Testament is not included in New Testament passages that speak of the Scriptures. What we want to point out is that both OLD and NEW Testament Scriptures are to be viewed and studied as ONE UNIFIED WORD FROM ONE UNIFIED GOD.
12. They refused to do what, v. 40?
a. Therefore they missed what?
b. Therefore, what did they lack, v. 42?
13. Christ did not have to accuse them before the Father. Who did, v. 45?
a. If a person refuses to believe Moses and what he wrote, what else do they reject, vv. 46-47?
Conclusion: The Jews of Christ's day prided themselves in their knowledge and understanding of the law of Moses. They added many things to that law and, as they observed those things, they exalted themselves as super-spiritual. Christ comes along and "violates" what they had added to the law when He heals on the Sabbath. By being from God and doing exactly what the Father instructed Him to do, Christ restored the proper understanding to the law (of the Sabbath in this case).
As Christ restores the law, the Jews become very hostile. He was directly undermining their power they accumulated by mixing traditions and opinions with the law. With that usurped power, they kept the people who loved God in bondage. Seeing their power over the people slipping away, they attack Christ with the law of Moses, wanting to put Him to death in accord with the law. Christ confronts them with the fact that they don't really believe in the law of Moses or they would believe in Him, for the law spoke of Him.
He tells them that if they really knew the Scriptures (writings of Moses), they would believe on Him. His words expose His opponents as hypocrites because they were not interested in seeing the law upheld and God glorified. Rather, their interest is in their being right and in keeping themselves in power. There was money, glory and power in being a religious leader. (Notice Lk. 14. After the confrontation over the healing on the Sabbath, Christ preached to them about their lust for fame and glory.) Christ was seen as a threat to their position of power and He was dealt with as such. They put Him to death after His purpose for coming was accomplished.
See the lessons on Deuteronomy. There are numerous New Testament passages that clearly state that the gospel of Christ was the faith of the Old Testament saints, though those saints did not fully understand that gospel as we do today, e.g., I Pet. 1:9-20, etc. The total gospel, including the embracing of the "Gentiles," was written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms. However, only the Spirit can cause a person to understand that the gospel of Christ is in the Old Testament, Lk. 24:44-49. There are those today who refuse to admit that the Old Testament saints were saved by grace through faith in Christ, as are the New Testament saints.
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