"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 6 Jesus and the Sabbath


Section 6.1: A Controversial Healing (Jn 5.2-18)


2Now there is in Jerusalem a pool by1 the Sheep Gate2 called in Aramaic Bethzatha; it has five colonnades. 3In them a great many people were lying, the ill, the blind, the lame, and those with withered limbs.34 5A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6Jesus, seeing him lying there and knowing that he had been there for a long time, said to him,'Do you want to be made well?' 7The sick man answered him, 'Sir, I have no servant to put me in the pool whenever the water is disturbed; so while I am going in, someone else goes down ahead of me.' 8Jesus said to him, 'Get up, pick up your pallet, and walk.'9At once the man was made well and he picked up his pallet and walked.

It was the sabbath on that day. 10So "the authorities" said to the man who had been healed, 'It's Sabbath, and you aren't allowed to pick up your pallet!' 11But he answered them, 'The very man who made me well said to me, "Pick up your pallet and walk."' 12They asked him, 'Who is the person who said to you, "Pick it up and walk"?' 13But the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus got away, because there was a crowd in the place. 14Afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and said to him, 'Look, you have been made well: sin no further, lest something worse befall you.' 15The man went and told "the authorities" that Jesus was the one who had made him well. 16And after this "the authorities" brought a charge against5 Jesus, because he did these things on Sabbath.

17But he answered them, 'So long as my Father still works, I also work.' 18So after that "the authorities" sought rather to kill him, not only because he failed to observe the Sabbath but also he said that God was his own father, making himself equal to God.

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1or at or opposite

2Also mentioned in Nehemiah 3.1; the Sheep Gate was NE of the Temple area.

3those with withered limbs: literally withered ones.

4Many witnesses add 4For at the due time an angel used to come down in the pool and disturb the water; then the first one to step in after the troubling of the water was made well from whatever affliction once held them.

5Or persecuted or went after