Main point summary
What work was the Father and the Son doing? Healing cripples, giving them life, removing them from just condemnation, and calling them into a loving fellowship.
After this there was a o feast of the Jews,
and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem by p the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic 1 called Bethesda, 2 which has five roofed colonnades.
In these lay a multitude of invalids— blind, lame, and q paralyzed. 1
One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years .
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had already been there a long time,
he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”
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 going
another steps down before me.”
Jesus said to him,
r “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”
r And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
s Now that day was the Sabbath.
So the Jews 1 said to the man who had been healed,
“It is the Sabbath, and t it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.”
But he answered them,
“The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’”
They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”
Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was,
for u Jesus had withdrawn,
as there was a crowd in the place.
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple
and said to him,
“See, you are well!
v Sin no more,
w that nothing worse may happen to you.”
The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.
And this was why the Jews x were persecuting Jesus,
y because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.
But Jesus answered them,
“My Father is working until now,
and I am working.”
This was why the Jews z were seeking all the more to kill him,
a because not only was he b breaking the Sabbath,
but he was even calling God c his own Father,
d making himself equal with God.
So Jesus said to them,
“Truly, truly, I say to you,
e the Son f can do nothing of his own accord,
but only what he sees the Father doing.
For whatever the Father 1 does,
that the Son does likewise.
For g the Father loves the Son
and shows him all that he himself is doing.
And h greater works than these will he show him,
so that i you may marvel.
For as the Father j raises the dead
and k gives them life,
so l also the Son gives life m to whom he will.
n The Father judges no one,
but o has given all judgment to the Son,
that all may honor the Son,
just as they p honor the Father.
q Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.
Truly, truly, I say to you,
r whoever hears my word and s believes him who sent me has eternal life.
He t does not come into judgment,
but u has passed from death to life.
“Truly, truly, I say to you,
v an hour is coming ,
and is now here ,
when w the dead will hear x the voice of the Son of God ,
and those who hear w will live .
y For as the Father has life in himself,
z so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.
And he a has given him authority to execute judgment,
because he is the Son of Man.
Do not marvel at this,
for v an hour is coming
when b all who are in the tombs will hear his voice
and come out,
c those who have done good
to the resurrection of life ,
and those who have done evil
to the resurrection of judgment.
Jesus is calling God his Father.
Two things that cause the Jews to want to kill Jesus: he was breaking the Sabbath AND he was calling God his own Father. Why did the Jews find Jesus' claims so offensive? Why not just tolerate him?
What work was the Father doing? What work was Jesus doing? In this case, he healed a man who had been crippled for 38 years. He healed him physically, but pointed him towards a greater reality.
The relationship between the Father and the Son: (19d) The Son can only do what he sees the Father doing. (19f) The Son does what the Father does. (20a) The Father loves the Son (20b) ... and shows him all that he is doing. The Son is obedient to the Father and the Father loves the Son.
... so that you may marvel. The Father wants us to marvel. To marvel at what? Verse 21. At the life to be given through the Son, according to the Son's will. How does a person get this life? The Son gives life to whom he will. Whoever hears Jesus' words and believes him who sent Jesus, has, already has, eternal life. How do these two truths fit together? The Son gives faith.
Jesus goes amongst the invalids. Just as he went to Samaria, and as he went to see the official in Galilee.
Jesus knew the man's condition - an invalid for 38 years.
Jesus had compassion for the man.
Jesus had power to heal the man. Instantly. And it did not depend on the man's faith.
Jesus allowed his identity to be brought into focus through the Sabbath.
Jesus had withdrawn because of the crowd - but then he went and found the man in the temple. He healed him, not to just leave him physically healed, but that he might be holy (i.e. sin no more). Can a person 'sin no more'?
Why did Jesus heal the man on the Sabbath? He could have healed the man on another day. Why did he heal on the Sabbath? (1) He does what he sees his Father doing. (2) His Father is always at work. What work is His Father doing - healing physical sickness, and healing spiritual sickness / deadness, by giving life.
Two opportunities to hear his voice
Two times: one that had arrived, where the dead who hear his voice will live; one that is coming, where all who are in their tombs will hear his voice and come out, to life or to judgment.
How does John define good?
After what? After travelling to Galilee through Samaria, and then healing the official's son.
We have an incident and a narrative. Jesus previously spoke to individuals (e.g. Nicodemus, Samaritan woman); this one concerns the healing of a man on the Sabbath - and his identity.
Father Son intimacy . The Father shows the Son what he is doing, an that is what the Son does. The Father does this in love. The Father will show him greater works, so that you may be astonished: the Son gives life to whom he will. And judgement is given to the Son, that all may honour him.
The test for knowing if someone honours God?
Whoever trusts Jesus: (1) already has eternal life, and (2) has already passed through judgment and is safe on the other side.
Why is the time mentioned? 38 years is a long time. How would he have felt after such a long time? Some 'stirring' in the water gave him hope, but apart from that, hopeless.
Jesus found him in the temple. The man had been physically healed, but Jesus was interested in more. He wanted the man to pursue holiness.
This passage tells us that God is always at work. What sort of work? What is God up to in the world? Jesus had just healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. The crippled man was alone, without any help. He was not looking for Jesus; Jesus found him and spoke to him. Jesus knew the man's condition and had mercy and power to heal. The man simply obeyed Jesus' command to pick up his bed and walk. Jesus did not hang around to win the applause of the crowds - he was not seeking the applause of the crowds - but he later tracked down the man and invited him into to a life of holiness. Now, this occurs on a Sabbath and so attracts the ire of the Jews. Jesus responds that his Father is at work and that he is also working. His Father is always at work, and he also is working. The Father, with the love they have shared from before creation, shows the Son what he is doing, and the Son does likewise. So then, what has the Father, and the Son in loving obedience to the Father, been doing? Healing cripples, giving them life, removing them from just condemnation, and calling them into this loving fellowship. How should those who are called respond? Stop sinning, and honour the Son.