|Gospel of John|
Healing at Bethesda
Jesus goes to Jerusalem for a feast. At the Pool of Bethesda he heals a paralyzed man. Jesus tells him to "Pick up your mat and walk!" This takes place on the Sabbath, and Jewish religious leaders see the man carrying his mat and tell him this is against the law. He tells them the man who healed him told him to do so, and they ask who that was. He tries to point out Jesus, but he has slipped away into the crowd. Jesus comes to him later and tells him "Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." The man then tells the Jewish religious leaders it was Jesus who healed him.
The ruins of the Pool of Bethesda are still standing in Jerusalem.
Verses 3b-4 are not found in the most reliable manuscripts of John, although they appear in the King James Version of the Bible (which is based on the Textus Receptus). Most modern textual critics believe that John 5:3b-4 is an interpolation, and not an original part of the text of John.
- In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. (Interpolated text in bold)
Jesus is the way to eternal life
People begin to persecute Jesus because he is working on the Sabbath and comparing himself to God. Jesus responds that his power comes from his Father, and that he has been given the power to judge men from the Father. This power is granted to the Son because he is the Son of Man, presumable meaning that because Jesus is fully human he knows all that is to be known about men and so can accurately judge them. He then speaks of the future when the dead will rise and the good will be given life and the evil condemned.
Jesus then talks of John's testimony about him. He also says that people study the scriptures hoping for eternal life, but that the scriptures speak of him, and people still refuse to come to him for life. People accept people who preach in their own name but not in one who comes in the name of the Father. "How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?" He then speaks of Moses as the accuser of humanity. "But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"
These teachings of Jesus are almost only found in John. In the Synoptic Gospels Jesus only speaks of himself as the Messiah in such a straight forward way at the very end, shortly before his death. All this occurs in Jerusalem, where the Synoptic Gospels have very little of Jesus's teachings occurring in Jerusalem and then only before his death.
- Texts lacking this passage include 66, 75, א, B, C*, T, and 821
- Craig Blomberg (1997), Jesus and the Gospels, Apollos, pp. 74–75
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Gospel of John