John 5 – Jesus and the Father are always working to redeem and make all things new
John 9:4 "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." Are you and I working with Jesus?
Jesus purposely did many of His miracles on the Sabbath breaking the bondage of the legalistic traditions of the Pharisees (39 "don’ts" about the Sabbath). God is always working to sustain and redeem His creation and in Christ, to begin a new creation — "He is the firstborn of many brothers" – of many people who have become new creations in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:19-30
The pool of Bethesda (house of mercy) was unearthed in 1888 and along with many other archeological finds, Scripture is validated as historically accurate and trustworthy. God invaded space-time and history.
Jesus asked the man (and us today), "Do you want to get well?" Spiritual growth and healing is a collaboration with the Lord (Phil. 2:12-13). The man may have gotten comfortable with his identity as a victim and lost his will to change. Jesus appealed to his will — "Wilt thou be made whole" ? (KJV) Blaming God and others for our lot in life refutes the truth of Scripture that we are free moral agents that can choose to turn our life and will over to God, beginning with trusting Christ for salvation (John 1:12) and daily following Him in obedience (Romans 12:1). Jesus’ words spoke to the man’s will — "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." And the man obeyed the command of the Lord and was healed. As we obey God’s Word today we are made whole, going from one degree of glory to another- (2 Corinthians 3:18).
The fact that the man obeyed Jesus, went to the temple (perhaps to worship God for his healing) and later testified that Jesus healed him, could indicate that he was saved — healed spiritually not just physically. Yet Jesus warned him to not sin anymore or something worse could happen. Often people forget God when things start going well for them. Jesus forgives, saves and heals and tells us to go and sin no more. We must never presume on the mercy and grace of God. It is never our due.
V. 16 Notice the incredible hardness of heart of the "religious leaders". Instead of rejoicing with the healed man they were furious because "their rules" (power- control) had been violated.
Vv. 21-29 -Jesus’ claims to Deity: He calls God "My" Father. He says He will raise the dead, the spiritually dead to new life (salvation) and the resurrection of the dead, both saved and lost, to judgment. A judgment of rewards (or loss of rewards) for the saved and a judgment of condemnation and eternal punishment for the lost. The merciful Savior will one day be the righteous Judge of all. He shares the honor (worship) that only God is due.
Jesus names five witnesses to His claim to Deity: 1) John the Baptist — v.33, 2) the Father — v. 37, 3) His works/miracles – v. 36, 4) the Scriptures — v.39 and 5) Moses — v. 46.Many people are willing to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher but not as God. But as C.S. Lewis says: "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic or else the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up as a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come away with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to."
Jesus is alive and working today (Hebrews 4:12, 13:8). As we hear, believe and respond to His Word we will grow in spiritual health and wholeness to the glory of God. And we are called to co-labor with Him in the great work of salvation and redemption. We are not saved by good works but we are saved for good works. (Ephesians 2:8-10) 1 Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."