John 5:1-9

1 After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes.
3 In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.
5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"
7 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 making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me."
8 Jesus said to him, "Stand up, take your mat and walk."
9 At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath.

John 5:1-9 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 JOHN 5

In this chapter the apostle treats of the nature of faith and love; of Christ the object of both, and of the witness that is bore to him; of the necessity of believing the testimony concerning him; of the confidence of prayer being heard, and concerning whom it should be made; of the happiness of regenerate persons, and of their duty to keep themselves from idols. Faith in Christ is the evidence of regeneration, and where that is, there will be love to the author of regeneration, and to them that are regenerated; and love to them is known by love to God, and keeping his commandments; and keeping the commandments of God, and which are not grievous, is a proof of love to God, 1Jo 5:1-3; and whereas every regenerate man overcomes the world, it is by his faith, the evidence of his regeneration, that this victory is obtained; nor can any other man be pointed out that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God, 1Jo 5:4,5; and Christ, the Son of God, the object of this victorious faith, is described by his coming by water and blood, of which the spirit is witness, who is a true one; and six witnesses of the truth of this and his divine sonship are produced, three in heaven, the Father, Word, and Spirit, who are the one God, and three on earth, the Spirit, water, and blood, who agree in their testimony, 1Jo 5:6-8; wherefore this testimony concerning the Son of God ought to be received, since it is the testimony of God, which is greater than that of men; besides, he that believes in Christ has a witness of this in himself, and honours God, whereas he that believes not makes God a liar, not giving credit to his record concerning his Son; the sum of which is, that God has made a grant of eternal life to some persons, which is in his Son, which those that believe in the Son of God have, but those that do not believe in him have it not: all which show the necessity of receiving the above testimony; and the ends proposed in writing these things were, to believe in Christ, and that it might be known they had eternal life in him, 1Jo 5:9-13, and from faith in Christ the apostle passes to confidence in prayer, as a particular effect and fruit of it: as, that whatever is asked according to the will of God is heard; and that such who are satisfied of this, that they are heard, may be assured that they have the petitions they desire to have, 1Jo 5:14,15, and whereas it is one branch of prayer to pray for others as well as for ourselves, the apostle directs who we should pray for; for the brethren in general, and in particular for such who have sinned, but not unto death, and life shall be given to such: but as for those who have sinned unto death, he does not say prayer should be made for them, for though all unrighteousness in general is sin, yet there is a particular sin which is unto death, and is not to be prayed for, 1Jo 5:16,17; but happy are those who are born of God, for they do not sin this sin; and through the use of the armour of God, and the power of divine grace, they keep themselves from the evil one, and he cannot come at them, to draw them into this sin; also they know that they are of God, and are distinguished from the world, which lies in wickedness; yea, they know that the Son of God is come in the flesh, and hath given them an understanding of the true God, by which they know that they are in him, and in his Son Jesus Christ, who is with him, and the divine Spirit, the one true God, and the author and giver of eternal life, 1Jo 5:18-20; and the chapter, and with it the epistle, is concluded with an exhortation to these regenerate ones, as they had kept themselves from Satan, that they would also keep themselves from idols of all sorts, 1Jo 5:21.

John 5:1-9 In-Context

1 After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes.
3 In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.
5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"
7 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 making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me."
8 Jesus said to him, "Stand up, take your mat and walk."
9 At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath.
10 So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, "It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat."
11 But he answered them, "The man who made me well said to me, "Take up your mat and walk.' "
12 They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, "Take it up and walk'?"
13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there.

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. That is, [Aramaic]
  • [b]. Other ancient authorities read [Bethesda], others [Bethsaida]
  • [c]. Other ancient authorities add, wholly or in part, [waiting for the stirring of the water; +V4+Wfor an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred up the water; whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was made well from whatever disease that person had.]
  • [d]. Other ancient authorities add, wholly or in part, [for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred up the water; whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was made well from whatever disease that person had.]
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.