John Chapter 5 – “I am come in my Father’s name”

April 13, 2008 by: KJVOnly

This is just an amazing chapter. Jesus makes it clearer still that eventually the Gentiles would be welcomed because the Jews would reject him.

  1. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
  2. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
  3. 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 whatever disease he had.

John 5:2-4 KJV

This is the only place the name Bethesda is used. It denotes a place where people would get healed. Now when you hear of Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, you’ll know where they got the name and why!

Notice also the symbolism of the act. They had to wait for the angel to "trouble" the waters (interesting turn of phrase). Seeing the angel wasn’t enough, they had to act! They had to demonstrate their faith by actually getting in.

The water truly was living water for them. They got their lives back by being healed of whatever disease ailed them. In the King James Bible we have living water we can draw from every day and be transformed.

  1. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
  2. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
  3. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 5:25-27 KJV

If you are not in the Word every day, how do you expect Christ to wash away the spots, wrinkles and blemishes?

  1. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
  2. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
  3. The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
  4. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
  5. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

John 5:5-9 KJV

Just try to imagine what this man was going through. He had been infirm for THIRTY-EIGHT years! He was so poor he couldn’t hire someone to lift him into the pool and had no friends to do it for free.

It would take a special kind of someone to be your friend for thirty-eight years of you being infirm. Nowadays we talk about allowing someone to kill themselves when they’ve been sick for a short time!

In Oregon they’ve approved physician-assisted suicide. It sounds like the same rationale they give abortion: "Safe, legal and rare". They don’t want it to happen a lot, but it’s ok if it has to.

In Jesus’ time, killing yourself like that wasn’t a possibility. Besides, part of Jewish culture was to take care of the poor. Jesus himself taught that, most famously in Matthew 25:40.

  1. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40 KJV

You can’t call it progress when we’ve gone from taking care of the poor and infirm to encouraging them to kill themselves.

Notice in the passage that Jesus didn’t say "thy sins are forgiven thee," or "Believest thou that I am able to do this"?. It was never mentioned that whoever made it into the pool was saved. The healing was only a physical one, not a spiritual one.

As Peter observes in Acts 2:38, it was for the remission of sins, not the washing away like we have now.

Jesus tells the man later in John 5:14, "sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee".

Let me bring up one other extremely important note before we move on. Notice the word "impotent" in verse 7. This is another verse that shows why the King James Bible is God’s Word.

Our culture has degraded to the point where a person immediately thinks of sexual problems when he hears the word impotent. Yet the actual word refers to far more than what’s between a man’s legs. A eunuch could be impotent!

The actual word is simply the opposite of potent. Just like indestructible is the opposite of destructible, and impossible the opposite of possible, impotent is the opposite of potent!

Potent refers to strength, and ability to carry out the task you desire. Sexual performance is a distant, low-priority meaning of the word.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines impotent as:

Weak; feeble; wanting strength or power; unable by nature, or disabled by disease or accident to perform any act.

The sexual reference is Webster’s 2nd entry. As is typical in our world, we’ve taken a wonderfully broad, expressive word ("perform any act") and narrowed it down to our genitals! When you read the King James Version’s phrasing you regain the beauty of the word and are lifted up above the vulgarity of our culture.

Most modern translations (90+ percent) use "sick", "ailing" or repeat "infirm" instead of impotent. The King James Version is the one that spells out why impotent cannot possibly be related to sexual performance in this case. You only have to read the verse to see that.

The words "sick", "ailing" and "infirm" do not fully convey the despair of the man’s situation. He didn’t have a sprained ankle, or a slight flu, or even a bum heart. He was IMPOTENT, utterly unable to act! He had NO CHANCE EVER of getting to the pool first. The ONLY way he would be able to be the first in the pool was if he was the only one there.

He didn’t even have any friends, so how would he ever be able to arrange it where he would be the only one present? Do you see how completely hopeless it was for him? Do you get just a tiny, tiny picture of what a wonderful thing it was that Jesus did for him?

  1. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
  2. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
  3. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
  4. And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
  5. Afterward, Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
  6. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus which had made him whole.
  7. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

John 5:10-16 KJV

Have you ever known someone who insisted something be done to the very letter of the law on something?

Picture an ambulance driver with a dying person in the back and the driver just does the speed limit, stops at every red light, etc. You wouldn’t think much of that person. He’s supposed to save the life of the person and do whatever it takes to get the person to the hospital.

The Pharisees and Sadducees are that ambulance driver. They nitpick every little thing and miss the far larger picture.

Think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 9:12-13.

  1. But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but them that are sick.
  2. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Matthew 9:12-13 KJV

Instead of the Pharisees rejoicing that this man was healed when he’d been impotent for so long, they’re angry that he’s carrying his bed on the Sabbath! A man who hasn’t been able to carry his bed for thirty-eight years, Sabbath day or no, is now able to and they’re upset!!!

John 5:14 is where Jesus tells the man to sin no more, and that the man wasn’t out of the woods yet. This is in marked contrast to our state today, where the flesh has been cut away in the spiritual circumcision and sin isn’t imputed!

  1. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
  2. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

John 5:17-18 KJV

This just continues to highlight how ridiculous the Pharisees really were, proclaiming they loved God and worshipped Him, but never got it when the person who really was God was in their midst! Who did they expect the Messiah to be, if not from God?

Verse 18 is also a jab at people who claim the Trinity isn’t a biblical doctrine. If Jesus is equal with God, then it only makes sense the Holy Spirit would be too. God wouldn’t send an inferior being to perform His work on earth. God also wouldn’t give an inferior being as an earnest of our inheritance.

People don’t understand that God is doing ALL of it for us today, because we are incapable of doing anything for ourselves! He seals the Holy Spirit in us in the ONLY baptism that takes place today, guaranteeing our inheritance and redemption. He gives us Christ in place of ourselves via the spiritual circumcision.

He gives us the faith OF Christ to enable us to have any chance of walking the walk today. Our faith grows as we walk, but it will never be enough to earn eternal life at the end.

  1. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
  2. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:19-20 KJV

Christ giving us His faith is the only way we can ever have the confidence to step out into the world, and take chances. We know we’re not being slapped every time we make a mistake. We can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep going, not racked with guilt ONLY because we live by the faith OF Christ.

If we had to live on our faith, it’s a very real possibility that we would lose our life if we made a mistake or lost our faith! (Indeed, that will be the possibility during the Tribulation. That’s ANOTHER reason to be grateful to Christ Jesus for giving us His faith!)

  1. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

EVERY moment is new! If you mess up, don’t keep beating yourself up. Realize Christ paid for that mistake and move on! Progress is only made by movement. Stagnation comes from inaction.

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