The Gospel According to the Apostle John - Part 4
- The Gospel According to the Apostle John - Part 3
Nicodemus, the brazen serpent, the woman at the well - they are all here in the Gospel of John.
The Pool of Bethesda
Faith Healing Scams
Exposing False Prophets
Take Up Thy Bed and Walk
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.