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5. Life Through the Son

After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4For 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. 5And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6When 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? 7The 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. 8Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

10The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14Afterward 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. 15The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

17But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18Therefore 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. 19Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. 31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. 37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41 I receive not honour from men. 42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. 43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

45. Think not that I shall accuse you to the Father. This is the way in which we ought to deal with obstinate and hardened persons, when they learn nothing by instruction and friendly warnings. They must be summoned to the judgment-seat of God. There are few persons, indeed, who openly mock God, but there are very many who, believing that God, whom they oppose as enemies, is gracious to them, amuse themselves at their ease with empty flatteries. Thus, in the present day, our Giants, 114114     The wars of the Giants held a conspicuous place in the ancient mythology, and in the popular belief. Not to mention the poets, whose imaginations were kindled by such topics, they are formally introduced by Cicero, in a philosophical treatise, though only for the purpose of instructing his readers to “despise and reject these fables.” “The gods,” says he, “as the fables relate, were not without wars and battles; and that not only as in those described by Homer, when some of the gods were ranged on the one side, and some on the other side, of two opposing armies; but even, as in the case of the Titans and Giants, they carried on their own battles. Such things (he adds) are said, and are very foolishly believed, and are full of absurdity and downright silliness.” — (De Nat. Deorum, lib. 2.) The daring presumption and utter discomfiture of the Giants, in their fabulous wars, are sometimes alluded to by Calvin, and other Christian writers, in describing the wickedness and folly of man, who stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty, (Job 15:25.) — Ed. though they wickedly trample under foot the whole doctrine of Christ, haughtily plume themselves on being the intimate friends of God. For who will persuade the Papists that Christianity exists anywhere else than among them? Such were the scribes, with whom Christ is here disputing. Though they were the greatest despisers of the Law, yet they boasted of Moses in lofty terms, so that they did not hesitate to make use of him as a shield in opposing Christ. If he had threatened that he would be a powerful and formidable adversary to them, he knew that this would have been treated with the utmost contempt; and, therefore, he threatens that an accusation, drawn up by Moses, will be preferred against them.

Moses, in whom you trust. There are some who think, that Christ here points out the distinction between his own office and that of Moses, because it belongs to the Law to convict men of being unbelievers. But this is a mistake; for Christ did not intend that, but only intended to shake off the confidence of hypocrites, who falsely boasted of entertaining reverence for Moses; just as if a person in the present day, in order to foil the Papists with their own weapon, 115115     “Pour rembarrer les Papistes de leur baston mesme.” were to say, that they will find no enemies more decidedly opposed to them than the holy doctors of the Church, under whose authority they falsely and wickedly take shelter. 116116     “Du titre desquels ils se couvrent faussement et meschamment.” Let us also learn from it, that we ought not to glory in the Scriptures without a good reason; for if we do not honor the Son of God by the true obedience of faith, all whom God hath raised up to be his witnesses will rise up against us as accusers at the last day. When he says, that they trust in Moses, he does not accuse them of superstition, as if they ascribed to Moses the cause of their salvation; but his meaning is, that they do wrong in relying on the protection of Moses, as if they had him to defend their wicked obstinacy.


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