Skip to main content

Thoughts and commentary on John 5:16

(John 5:16) So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him.
Jesus comes into the pool area, on purpose, but we do not really know that. God has a reason for everything, and this may be no different.

Did he pick out the man and the location because it represented how broken and abused the Jews and their religion were at the time?

Was the man singled out, like Judas, knowing that he would rat out the Savior after being healed?

The man was clearly a Jew, because the first place he goes after being healed is the temple. I suppose it is like being in shock after a car crash, you may not make the clearest decisions, but you go to the familiar place, in his case the temple.

Had he been put out and declared unclean because of his illness, and now going to the temple to show them, hoping to be declared clean, and reestablished back into the community.

The crazy part of his return to the temple is that he carried his mat with him. That mat had been his close friend for many years, and he may not be thinking so straight. Now to give him the benefit of the doubt I will use myself as an example. Working at the hardware store I am asked for help constantly. I listen to the customers descriptions in an effort to ascertain what they need from me (what we saw here was Jesus asking questions of others about the man). If I do not understand (the vague way the man answered Jesus makes me think that he did not understand either) I continue to ask questions until I see that I am not going to get any further (When the man responded, logically but indirectly, to Jesus question about being well, Jesus changed tactics and ordered him to his feet). At that point I run with what I know. The problem with that is that the picture in my head may lead me to grab the objects at hand, because they are familiar, they make sense, but they have led me in the opposite direction of where I need to be.

If you did not know who healed you, or how, and you were a Jew, what might you do? Go to the temple. At this point what else does he have, family? I do not think so, for he himself said he had no one to put him in the water.

Back to the verse. "... because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath,.."
    What did Jesus do? He came, he saw, he asked questions about the man, he healed the man, and he told him to take up his bedroll.


Carrying the bedroll around on the Sabbath was a bad thing. Jesus knew the law, he spoke it; everyone else knew that, and yet the man did it anyway. Why? At least he was obedient.

Exodus 20:10 (NIV) "but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates."

Jeremiah 17:21 (NIV) "This is what the LORD says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem."

Deuteronomy 5:13 (NIV) "Six days you shall labor and do all your work,"

This passage is difficult, for we want to understand what was happening here. It appears that Jesus broke his own laws. Fortunately for us he answers the ensuing questions shortly.

"..because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him."Again, what were the things? He healed on the Sabbath, and that may have been perceived as work. It must have meant something else to the religious community. Think about the cleansing process. Mark gives us a clue when he shows us the man coming to Jesus and asking him if he would make him clean. That responsibility fell upon the priesthood, and yet Jesus did it. Jesus pointed out how corrupt they were, and we may have seen a part of his anger over their corruption when he cleaned the temple of money changers and animal sellers. But he did something else, he ordered the man to pick up his bed and walk.

The word in Greek, that was translated persecuted, is dioko, and means to pursue. By implication - to persecute.
They certainly intended to persecute him, but until then they began to follow him with the intent to overtake him. This is evidenced by the fact that they showed up everywhere he went, trying to trip him up, and catch him saying something that they could have him killed for.

Popular posts from this blog

Daniel chapter 10 commentary and notes for Bible study

While a commentary on Daniel chapter 10 may seem uneventful, it was a part of my preparation for Bible study with the men. You see I am just like most of you, a guy who has wanted to understand what I read and its relationship to what is going on around me. I guess that makes me an eschatology person. The guys I sit with call me the expert; I am hardly an expert and I had a religious life filled with presuppositions. Church, while being the place where much of the mental abuse came from, did give me a deep understanding that God loved me; that love trailed me like a hound as I rebounded from hurt to hurt and struggled to free myself from co-dependency - I didn't even understand what that was until a few years ago. As many of you know I put myself in a recovery group called Celebrate Recovery which uses many of the same principles as AA. I did this because my wife wanted me to get help for my rage, and I wanted help as well. For a short period, I worked the information table. Ther…

Daniel chapter 12, verses 3-13. Notes I used to lead Bible Study

Those who have insight will shine I have so many thoughts running through my head on this subject. Let's break it down in simple terms. Why do some of us get what is going on around us, while others, still espousing the same old worn out rhetoric, say, we have been looking for Christ for over 2500 years and he hasn't come back, so stop talking about His soon return. My own pastor told me that prophetic teaching about end times are peripherals and apparently we shouldn't waste any time on teaching about what is coming. Others, just will not get understand, they don't want to. And yet, there are those words - "Those who have insight will shine.

What did Daniel learn?

Daniel 12:3 NASB "Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Is God being selective about whom he allows to understand, or is it that he only accepts the wise? I don't beli…

A response to a comment, three years late.

I wrote this in response to a comment. I am including it for your benefit as misconceptions and false teachings run rampant. I rarely talk to anyone who has a firm grasp on what happens after the seven years of wrath. I hope you find this beneficial, and yes, it is long.
Well, here it is three years since you wrote your comment and I am finally responding to it. I wish I could tell you why but I cannot remember now. Perhaps I can chalk it up to not having enough time at that point, but as I had only recently been fired from my last job back then, you might think I had nothing but time. Perhaps I did not have a clear answer and needed to develop a concrete response; or, maybe I just forgot. Regardless, another comment, just a few days ago - three years later, has brought your comment to my attention once again.
Let me add, that in the process of learning how to deal with my thoughts on “paper” and then subject myself to potential criticism, was quite challenging. I can tell you that I …