Healing at the Pool (v1-15) The paralyzed man answered Jesus' question, as though it were an accusation. Instead of simply saying,"yes I want to be well," he explains that he has been trying to get healing.Perhaps many people have accused him of being a layabout, not really trying to get better. When God speaks to us, we also may misunderstand his intent. WE may have been taught that God is always disappointed, displeased or dissatisfied. So when God says, "come unto me, you who are weary" we might hear, "Hurry up, stop dragging your feet." Did Jesus try to make the man feel guilty by his question?
What about v 14? Here Jesus says to the man, "Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." Is Jesus threatening him? Is Jesus saying that his previous condition was a punishment for sin? NO! We've seen elsewhere that Jesus does not see every illness or disaster as a punishment he has given. Remember a threat is different from a warning. A threat says, "If you do this, I'll hurt you" while a warning says, "If you do this, you'll get hurt." The bible knows there is a great difference between those who accuse the man of breaking the Sabbath, by carrying his mat, and Jesus warning to stop sinning. Jesus is not talking about carrying the mat, but about the things that really matter to God.What is Jesus saying about your life? Is there anything that he would warn you about?
Jesus is the Same as God (v16-30)
Pay careful attention to Jesus' description of how he abides in God. The only law for Jesus is to do what his Heavenly Father is doing. For Jesus this is what happens: He sees our Father healing, so he heals; he hears his Father speaking, so he speaks; if the Father is raising the dead, he will raise the dead. Jesus seeks only our Father's praise. Jesus can tell us things the Father always does: the loves his creatures, he honours the Son, he is truthful, patient, kind. These rules give us in broad outline insight into what the Father is doing. But only in following the Son, will we be capable of copying the Father precisely in each situation, only in honouring the Son will we honour the Father. We see the Father by observing the Son,the only one who has seen the Father directly. Everything he does perfectly reveals the Father, because he does only, always and everything the Father does. It's an important twist on the slogan WWJD - when we move from mere moralism, "What Would Jesus Do?" to relationship, "What is Jesus doing?" As you learn to recognize Jesus' voice from Scriptures, you can learn to walk with him in a real time relationship.
Why believe in Jesus? (v31ff)
Jesus recognizes that people can't believe in him just because he says so. If that was enough, we'd follow every false Christ, everyone who said they were from God. So he points out the reasons we can trust what he says:
John the Baptist testified that Jesus is the one. The miracles* Jesus does are the Father's indication that He is with Jesus. The Scriptures (of the Old Testament then, and the New Testament now) speak of Jesus. Moses, as the source of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, testifies to Jesus prophetically.
*Jesus said, "The works I am doing, which the Father has given me to finish." It's easiest to speak of the miracles, yet when people heard him teach "they were astonished, because taught with authority." Something about his teaching was honest, forthright and true. The Holy Spirit confirmed it in their hearts. But the greatest work of the Father, which Jesus would shortly finish, is going to the cross to die for us. So many false teachers fail at this point - they prove by their actions that they are really in it for themselves. They acquire riches, fame and power, but when the going gets tough they abandon their principles. Jesus' works surely testify about his integrity. For these reasons the disciples, and billions after them, have put their trust in Jesus.