The Gospel According to the Apostle John - Part 4

The Pool of Bethesda

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Faith Healing Scams

Exposing False Prophets

Take Up Thy Bed and Walk

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Another Miracle

We left off last time as Jesus was about to perform another miracle - the healing of the impotent man; back to verse 2 of chapter 5. Jesus is at the pool by the sheep market known as Bethesda. “Bethesda” means “house of kindness, and it was here that at a certain season an angel would agitate the waters. The first one to step in after the “troubling” would be healed.

There were many impotent folks here, but this particular man caught the eye of the Savior. He had lain by the waters often, but without the help of another, he could not get to the water first. Jesus healed Him on the spot. Of course, do not forget that this all took place on the Sabbath.

Now, let us look at some things regarding this healing and the power of God. In verse 6, Jesus asks the man, "Wilt thou be made whole?" Of course! That was why he lay by the pool. So why the question? I think probably, Jesus was trying to give this man some hope. Where Christ is, there is Hope. Secondly, Jesus was trying to get the man’s eyes off the pool and on Christ. This miracle would not have happened if the man continued to keep his eyes on the circumstances of life. It is when we look to God that healing begins of any kind, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual.

The world may claim some healing power in these areas, but when Christ heals, He heals completely. Make no mistake. Sometimes healing takes place over a period of time, but when Christ heals, it will be complete. Get your eyes off the circumstances and onto the Healer.

We see the condition of the sick man in verse 7. He was hopeless. There was no way because of his condition that he could possibly get to the water first. Remember that where Christ is, there is Hope. No matter what your circumstances and situations may bring in life, Christ is always there for you.

Immediately in verse 9 the man is healed. The cure for the sufferer is not always doctors, although that may be part of God’s plan. The cure for the sufferer is to look to Christ. Back in verse 7 the impotent man says, “…Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: I think in a way he was saying, “Sir, would you put me into the pool?” Jesus had no intention of that. His intention was to heal Him outright. That is exactly what He did.

After being challenged by the religious leaders, the healed man is accused of breaking the Sabbath by carrying his bed. The reply to his critics, “…He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed and walk.” In verses 14 and 15 Jesus meets the man in the temple. Jesus tells him to “sin no more.” Apparently, his sickness was due to sin in his life. That is quite often the case. Think of the cases of lung cancer from smoking, or the curse of AIDS from sexual sin.

But sin does not always cause illness. Compare John 9:2, 3, where the disciples ask Jesus about a blind man. Their question of “…who did sin, this man, or his parents…?” was answered by, “…Neither hath this man sinned, or his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” Consider the story of Job, an upright man, and Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” in II Corinthians 12:7-10.

This brings us back to where we started. At this point, the Jews begin persecution that will lead all the way to the cross, but in verses 17-31, Jesus answers for Himself. In verses 32-47 Jesus brings up the witness of John the Baptist. Read and study these verses carefully. Jesus minced no words when talking with these rebellious, religious leaders. Jesus was a preacher.

Now we come to the feeding of the 5,000. In chapter 6,we see Jesus being followed by a great multitude. Verse 2 makes it clear that they were following Jesus because they had seen His miracles of healing. Perhaps many of these folk also needed to be healed. Christ went up into a mountain with His disciples, but He was followed. A huge crowd appears.

We will look at this verse by verse, so get your Bible ready!

verse 5-- “…Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” This is just the beginning of Christ’s teaching on Bread.

verse 6—Christ points out that the reason for this question was to test Philip.

verse 7—Philip misses the point and replies that “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” Philip is still thinking with the natural mind. He has yet to see things through the eyes of faith. He had seen the water turned into wine. He had been aware of the Nobleman’s son being healed. He had been aware of the healing at the pool of Bethesda, but yet he saw with worldly eyes. He would soon learn different.

verse 9—Andrew comes to the rescue and tells of a little boy’s lunch. Still he questions, “…what are they among so many?”

verse 10-13-Jesus gives the instruction and as the directions are followed the miracle takes place. Notice that Jesus distributed the lunch to the disciples. Human hands were involved in this miracle. As humans handle the Bread of Life, we too, will witness miracles. The disciples in turn distributed to those that were obediently sitting.

verse 16-21-Jesus walks on the water

verse 26-Jesus points out that the crowds follow to have their bellies filled, much like today.

verse 30—The people ask for a sign

verse 31—The people have their mind on the physical. They remember the manna that their fathers ate. Again it is filling the stomach. This opens up a great teaching opportunity for the Savior, and of course He takes advantage of it.

verse 35—Jesus speaks of Himself in metaphoric language - " I am the bread of life". This is the first of seven great “I Am’s” in the Book of John. The others are: The Light of the World (8:12); The Door (10:9); The Good Shepherd (10:11); The Resurrection and the Life (11:25); The Way, the Truth, the Life (14:6); The Vine (15:1).

verse 37—gives us that great promise of eternal security. This is not the place for a discussion on eternal security. Just know that if God truly saves someone, they are eternally secure.

verse 40—states the will of God is for everyone to be saved (II Peter 3:9); all who see the Son (John 1:9)

verse 51—Jesus offers His flesh for the Salvation of the world

verse 52—The Jews question this (I Corinthians 11:24, 25)

verse 53,54-Jesus speaks figuratively of His flesh (death) and blood (life).

verse 63—He makes this figurative speech known. There is no transubstantiation. The body and blood are spirit and must be received as such, not physically.

verse 66—Many leave because of His speech. They want the material, not the spiritual.

verse 67—Jesus asks, “Will ye also go away?”

verse 68—Peter answers, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”

As we come to chapter 7, we see that John starts off with a phrase he uses often, “After these things”. John uses that term in chapter 3:22, 6:1, 7:1, 11:11, and 21:1. He is laying out a chronology. Chapter 6 finds Christ in Galilee, but before that He was in Jerusalem where there arose a controversy concerning Him at the pool of Bethseda. It would seem that these events took place about a year before the cross during the month of April. Chapter 7 puts Him about six months before the cross in October.

During the last year of His ministry Jesus spent most of the time in Galilee. He no longer walked in Jewry, or Judea because of a plot to kill

Him. Jesus was following a divine schedule given to Him by His Father.

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Comments 18 comments

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota

"It is when we look to God that healing begins of any kind" ~ Amen!

and one of my favorite verses...

“Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”

Excellent practical and spiritual explanation, application and insight into the Lord's work of provision and healing in this portion of scripture.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Glad you were able to stop by, Tammy. That's one of my favorite verses, too. I think it kind of goes with Isaiah 45:5, " I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me . . . ." He is the only One, and all we need. Than ks for stopping by and commenting. Have a great weekend!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I have been thinking a lot about the verse you gave about the apostle asking Jesus who sinned, the parents or the man being healed? There is much to learn here that it seems you never hear talked about. Of course people beat down the aids one because innocent people get aids and rightly so in one way of looking at it. Can you imagine if a whole church did a bible study of sin and sickness what might be revealed? I would love to find a church that did things like that; just go for the truth. 1st Cor 11:29-30 is another on I would so love to understand completely. Sorry; I will stay in John for now, lol, great article and food for thought.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Jackie,

I'm not sure I gave the full explanation on that verse, but I hope it gives a little to think about. It would be interesting to see how many times Jesus would say something like, "You're healed. Go and sin no more." I went over to I Corinthians 11:29, 30. I think I'm going to need a whole hub to deal with that one, but you have an excellent question. I'll see what I can do with it in the future. It deals with the Lord's Table, but there's a lot of detail that has to be filled in. Anything you come up with, let me know. Have a great weekend! - Still praying for revival in your neck of the woods!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

I personally know when the Lord God heals, He heals completely. Praise Him! I knew it immediately somehow that He would heal me, but I also told the Lord that I knew I would be okay either way. I would glorify Him either way. I do love it when He baffles doctors.

Love your lesson on the Gospel of John - Part 4!

God bless you


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good Morning Faith,

I think the Lord gives a sense of peace that can't be explained any other way than coming from Him in situations that are beyond our control, whether that be healing or other circumstances. I had a friend several years suffering from stomach cancer that was getting progressively worse. He went for his weekly check-up and - well, it was gone! Another doctor baffled!. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I enjoy your summaries of the gospels. They are simple, clear and easily understood....just as the teachings of Jesus were. :)


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thank you Bill. That means much coming form you.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Great topic here Bill and my favorite gospel. I think prayer for sick should be done humbly - in other wards, do it without fanfare, showiness, in sincere faith and love for the person. If the person is healed instantly, praise the Lord. Lets thank the Lord. If he doesn't do it right on the spot, go forth praying for His will. Perhaps He will heal through doctors and medicine, or not heal you at all. He's still magnificent and good and we accept what He wills for us.

In James it says "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and and let them pray for him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. and the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up and if he has committed any sins he will be forgiven. Confess your tresspasses to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." Notice the person who is sick calls for the elders. The elders don't call them - Hey brother, I know your sick, come on up here and we'll heal you by the power for God. Be HEEEAAALLLEEEDDD!" It's to be reverent, full of faith, without show or fanfare, it's about loving that person and wanting to see them healed. There is the tie in there also about being forgiven. I have to admit, when I confess my sins to someone or the other way around we don't often pray for the person to be healed. It something to ponder.

A couple of months ago I went to a grand opening of a Christian youth center in my community. Just as I walked in the door I saw just a few feet away my best friends husband talking to some guy. I was greeted and the guy noticed I had a cane. He asked me what happened, I told him my ankle was a bit arthritic as was my back that day, so to stay steady on my feet I used the cane, no big deal, let's move on. Really loud he says "Oh sister, let me pray for you. Show me exactly where it hurts (I saw what was coming, "Everyone notice me, I'm a healther). He put his hand on my ankle and prayed every loudly (it was not a big room). As soon as he said Amen I politele said thank you and tried to ease away. "Oh sister, walk around, jump up and down, tell me how you feel." I declined to walk or jump but said I felt the same but thank you anyway. "Oh sister, let me pray for your back now." Same situation. I was asked to walk around, bend over and I'm sure he expected me to say Glory hallelujuah I've been healed, watch me walk and leap and praise God. All eyes were on him (most of them rolling) which he wanted, not my healing for healing's sake. He wasn't reverent and humble. He really was a nice guy as I chatted with him afterward, but i had checked out his church last year online when I was looking for churches and heard him speak. No way. It turns out the church I attend now used to meet at a school for many years on Sun. morning. Then these guys came along and had services at another time on Sun. People kept showing up to my churches services looking for this guy or vis versa. My pastor decided to move our services somewhere else because he didn't want the confusion or for people to think we were apart of there church doing unscriptural things.

Today I went to the elders for prayer. They were off to the side so we could hear as the congregation continued in some powerful worship. They prayed fervently but without fanfare. We thanked God and knew His love and power. it wasn't for healing but the point is they were not showy or calling attention to themselves. Hinn is scary.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Lori,

It's certainly God's will to heal some individuals, as I mentioned to Faith Reaper. The thing that gets me is it's not God's will to heal everybody. I think of Paul and his thorn in the flesh, and even though Job was eventually healed it took some time as God worked on his spirit. The friend I mentioned to Faith was anointed with oil, but of course we both know it wasn't the oil that healed him.

If you're not healed the "healers" say, "you just need more faith." It's never their fault. Faith is not believing, but knowing - knowing exactly what God wants to do in a particular situation. When someone comes to me for prayer (for health), I can't say I always know what God wants to do, so I pray that His will be done. It may be His will for a person to be in the hospital, maybe to witness or other reasons. I don't want to interfere with God's plan by praying against His plan. But if it is obvious (which most of the time it isn't) that God plans to heal them, then let's pray expecting it to be done.

There are many "Hinn's" out there. He's just one of many. I'm totally against the "health and wealth" philosophy that's out there. It simply isn't God's will that everyone be healthy and wealthy although it may be His will for some. Jesus didn't even have a pillow to lay His head - and He suffered more than any man.

Anyway, this could turn into a hub if I don't stop soon. Glad your prayer was answered, and hope your ankle is improving!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Praise Him on that one too! Well ...Praise Him always!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

Blessed as usual by this study of Jesus miracles and human reaction to them. You highlight our need for Jesus as Savior. He has the power to make our lives better. Thanks for another good lesson.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Absolutely Faith,

He's the only One deserving of our praise - always and forever! Thanks for making the trip. I always look forward to your comments.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good Morning MsDora,

You are sooo right! Jesus has the power to make or lives better. I wish more people could see that, but they try to go it alone and come up dry.

Happy as always that you stopped by to read and comment. Have a fantastic week as we look forward to celebrating the Resurrection.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

I love the story of the leper that came to seek healing. He came to Him and worshiped Him and said "Lord, if You are willing,You can make me clean." Jesus said "I am willing - be cleansed." There was a lot of faith in that prayer. He knew Jesus was completely able to heal him if He was willing. I think that says He would accept God's will whatever it was.

I discovered this little story awhile back and it really helped me with the struggle of praying for those who are sick. Now I say Lord if you are willing I know you can heal, I ask then that you heal so a so, but your will be done.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks for the added info, Lori. Have you ever noticed that quite often in Scripture it is the Gentile that exhibits faith? Basically, in the end Jesus says something like, "I haven't even seen this kind of faith even in Israel." I can't think of the references off the top of my head, but it seems that over and over, in addition to Jewish people being healed, Jesus was always reaching out to the Gentiles as well.. Thank God He reached out to me in my sin-sickness.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Wasn't it the Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant back home?


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

I think you may be right! Thanks for filling in the blanks.

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