John Chapter 5 – The Deity Of Christ

John Chapter 5

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Verse Of Consideration

Matthew 28:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Study Text

John 5 New King James Version (NKJV)

A Man Healed at the Pool of Bethesda

1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’”
12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Honor the Father and the Son

16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

Life and Judgment Are Through the Son

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

The Fourfold Witness

31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Study Notes

5:1—7:52 This section evidences the shift from reservation and hesitation about Jesus as Messiah (3:26; 4:1–3) to outright rejection (7:52). The opposition started with controversy regarding Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath (vv. 1–18), intensified in chap. 6 with many of His disciples abandoning Him (6:66), and finally hardened in chap. 7 into official opposition against Him with the religious authorities’ unsuccessful attempt to arrest Him (7:20–52). Accordingly, the theme of this section is the rejection of Jesus as Messiah.
5:1–18 Although opposition to Jesus smoldered beneath the surface (e.g., 2:13–20), the story of Jesus’ healing at the Pool of Bethesda highlights the beginning of open hostility toward Him in Jerusalem in the southern parts of Palestine. The passage may be divided into 3 parts: 1) the miracle performed (vv. 1–9); 2) the Master persecuted (vv. 10–16); and 3) the murder planned (vv. 16–18).
5:1 feast of the Jews. John repeatedly tied his narrative to various Jewish feasts, (2:13—Passover; 6:4—Passover; 7:2—Tabernacles; 10:22—Hanukkah or Feast of Dedication; and 11:55—Passover), but this reference is the only instance when he did not identify the particular feast occurring at the time.
5:2 Sheep Gate. Most likely this is a reference to the gate identified in Neh. 3:1, 32; 12:39. It was a small opening in the N wall of the city, just W of the NE corner. there is…a pool. Some have suggested that John wrote his gospel before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, because his usage of “is” here implies that the pool still existed. However, John frequently used what is known as a “historical present” to refer to past events, so this argument carries little weight. For more on the date of writing, see Introduction: Author and Date. Bethesda. “Bethesda” is the Gr. transliteration of a Heb. (or Aram.) name meaning “house of outpouring.”
5:3a lay. It was a custom at that time for people with infirmities to gather at this pool. Intermittent springs may have fed the pool and caused the disturbance of the water (v. 7). Some ancient witnesses indicate that the waters of the pool were red with minerals, and thus thought to have medicinal value.
5:3b, 4 The statement in the latter half of v. 3, “waiting for the moving of the water,” along with v. 4 are not original to the gospel. The earliest and best Gr. manuscripts, as well as the early versions, exclude the reading. The presence of words or expressions unfamiliar to John’s writings also militate against its inclusion.
5:5 thirty-eight years. John included this figure to emphasize the gravity of the debilitating disease that afflicted the individual. Since his sickness had been witnessed by many people for almost 4 decades, when Jesus cured him everyone knew the genuineness of the healing (cf. v. 9).
5:6 knew. The word implies supernatural knowledge of the man’s situation (1:47, 48; 4:17). Jesus picked the man out from among many sick people. The sovereign initiative was His, and no reason is given as to His choice.

The “I AM” Statements

Twenty-three times in all we find our Lord’s meaningful “I AM” (ego eimi, Gr.) in the Greek text of this gospel (4:26; 6:20, 35, 41, 48, 51; 8:12, 18, 24, 28, 58; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1, 5; 18:5, 6, 8). In several of these, He joins His “I AM” with seven tremendous metaphors which are expressive of His saving relationship toward the world.
“I AM the Bread of life” (6:35, 41, 48, 51).
“I AM the Light of the world” (8:12).
“I AM the Door of the sheep” (10:7, 9).
“I AM the Good Shepherd” (10:11, 14).
“I AM the Resurrection and the Life” (11:25).
“I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (14:6).
“I AM the true Vine” (15:1, 5).

5:8 Rise, take…walk. In the same way that He spoke the world into being at creation, (Gen. 1:3), Jesus’ spoken words had the power to cure (cf. 1:3; 8:58; Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2). bed. The “bed” or “mat” was normally made of straw and was light enough so that it could be carried on the shoulder of a well person who assisted the infirm (cf. Mark 2:3).
5:9 took up his bed, and walked. This phrase emphasizes the completeness of the cure (cf. v. 5).
5:10, 11 The OT had forbidden work on the Sabbath but did not stipulate what “work” was specifically indicated (Ex. 20:8–11). The assumption in Scripture seems to be that “work” was one’s customary employment, but rabbinical opinion had developed oral tradition beyond the OT which stipulated 39 activities forbidden (Mishnah Shabbath 7:2; 10:5), including carrying anything from one domain to another. Thus, the man had broken oral tradition, not OT law (see notes on v. 16).
5:10 it is not lawful. The phrase reveals that the Judaism during Jesus’ time had degenerated into pious hypocrisy. Such hypocrisy especially enraged the Lord Jesus (cf. Matt. 22, 23), who used this incident to set up a confrontation with Jewish hyper-legalism and identified the need for national repentance.
5:14 Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you. The basic thrust of Jesus’ comments here indicates that sin has its inevitable consequences (cf. Gal 6:7, 8). Although Scripture makes clear that not all disease is a consequence of sin (cf. 9:1–3; Luke 13:1–5), illness at times may be directly tied into one’s moral turpitude (cf. 1 Cor. 11:29, 30; James 5:15). Jesus may specifically have chosen this man in order to highlight this point.
5:16 persecuted. The verb tense means that the Jews repeatedly persecuted Jesus, i.e., continued hostile activity. This was not an isolated incident of their hatred toward Him because of His healings on the Sabbath (cf. Mark 3:1–6). on the Sabbath. Jesus did not break God’s law since in it there was no prohibition of doing good on that day (Mark 2:27). However, Jesus disregarded the oral law of the Jews that had developed, i.e., “the traditions of men” (cf. also Matt. 15:1–9). Most likely, Jesus deliberately practiced such healing on the Sabbath to provoke a confrontation with their religious hypocrisy that blinded them to the true worship of God (see vv. 17–47 for the main reason for Jesus’ confrontation; see notes on vv. 10, 11).
5:17–47 These verses reveal the ultimate reason Jesus confronted the Jews’ religious hypocrisy, i.e., the opportunity to declare who He was. This section is Christ’s own personal statement of His deity. As such, it is one of the greatest Christological discourses in Scripture. Herein Jesus makes 5 claims to equality with God: 1) He is equal with God in His person (vv. 17, 18); 2) He is equal with God in His works (vv. 19, 20); 3) He is equal with God in His power and sovereignty (v. 21); 4) He is equal with God in His judgment (v. 22); and 5) He is equal with God in His honor (v. 23).
5:17 Jesus’ point is that whether He broke the Sabbath or not, God was working continuously and, since Jesus Himself worked continuously, He also must be God. Furthermore, God does not need a day of rest for He never wearies (Is. 40:28). For Jesus’ self-defense to be valid, the same factors that apply to God must also apply to Him. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Matt. 12:8)! Interestingly, even the rabbis admitted that God’s work had not ceased after the Sabbath because He sustains the universe.
5:18 This verse confirms that the Jews instantly grasped the implications of His remarks that He was God (see notes on v. 17)
5:19 Most assuredly. Cf. vv. 24, 25; 1:51. This is an emphatic way of saying “I’m telling you the truth.” In response to Jewish hostility at the implications of His assertions of equality with God, Jesus became even more fearless, forceful, and emphatic. Jesus essentially tied His activities of healing on the Sabbath directly to the Father. The Son never took independent action that set Him against the Father because the Son only did those things that were coincident with and co-extensive with all that the Father does. Jesus thus implied that the only One who could do what the Father does must be as great as the Father.
5:20 greater works. This refers to the powerful work of raising the dead. God has that power (cf. 1 Kin. 17:17–24; 2 Kin. 4:32–37; 5:7) and so does the Lord Jesus (vv. 21–29; 11:25–44; 14:19; 20:1–18).
5:23 honor the Son. This verse gives the reason that God entrusted all judgment to the Son (v. 22), i.e., so that all men should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. This verse goes far beyond making Jesus a mere ambassador who is acting in the name of a monarch, but gives Him full and complete equality with the Father (cf. Phil. 2:9–11). honor the Father. Jesus turned the tables on the Jewish accusation against Him of blasphemy. Instead, Jesus affirmed that the only way anyone can honor the Father is through receiving the Son. Therefore, the Jews were the ones who actually blasphemed the Father by rejection of His Son.
5:24 passed from death into life. This develops the truth of v. 21, that Jesus gives life to whomever He desires. The people who receive that life are here identified as those who hear the Word and believe in the Father and the Son. They are the people who have eternal life and never will be condemned (Rom. 8:1; Col. 1:13).
5:25–29 The theme of these verses is resurrection. Jesus related that all men, saved and unsaved, will be literally and physically resurrected from the dead. However, only the saved experience a spiritual (“born again”), as well as physical, resurrection unto eternal life. The unsaved will be resurrected unto judgment and eternal punishment through separation from God (i.e., the second death; cf. Rev. 20:6, 14; 21:8). These verses also constitute proof of the deity of Jesus Christ since the Son has resurrection power (vv. 25, 26), and the Father has granted Him the status of Judge of all mankind (v. 27). In the light of other Scripture, it is clear that Jesus speaks generally about resurrection, but not about one, general resurrection (see notes on Dan. 12:2; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 4:16).
5:25 hour is coming, and now is. Cf. 4:23. This phrase reveals an already/not yet tension regarding the resurrection. Those who are born again are already “spiritually” resurrected (“now is”; Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13), and yet a future physical resurrection still awaits them (“hour is coming”; 1 Cor. 15:35–54; Phil. 3:20, 21).
5:26 He has granted the Son. The Son from all eternity had the right to grant life (1:4). The distinction involves Jesus’ deity versus His incarnation. In becoming a man, Jesus voluntarily set aside the independent exercise of His divine attributes and prerogatives (Phil. 2:6–11). Jesus here affirmed that even in His humanity, the Father granted Him “life-giving” power, i.e., the power of resurrection (see note on v. 20).

5:27 authority. Cf. 17:2; see note on Matt. 28:18.

28:18 All authority. See 11:27; John 3:35. Absolute sovereign authority—lordship over all—is handed to Christ, “in heaven and on earth.” This is clear proof of His deity. The time of His humiliation was at an end, and God had exalted Him above all (Phil. 2:9–11).

5:29 those who have done good…evil. Jesus was not teaching justification by works (see 6:29). In the context, the “good” is believing on the Son so as to receive a new nature that produces good works (3:21; James 2:14–20), while the “evil” done is to reject the Son (the unsaved) and hate the light, which has the result of evil deeds (3:18, 19). In essence, works merely evidence one’s nature as saved or unsaved (see notes on Rom. 2:5–10), but human works never determine one’s salvation.
5:30 the will of the Father. In summarizing all He has said from v. 19 on about His equality with God, Jesus claimed that the judgment He exercised was because everything He did was dependent upon the Father’s word and will (cf. vv. 19, 20).
5:32–47 The background of these verses is Deut. 17:6; 19:15 where witnesses were to establish the truthfulness of a matter (see note on 1:7). Jesus Himself emphasized the familiar theme of witnesses who testify to the identity of the Son: 1) John the Baptist (vv. 32–35); 2) Jesus’ works (vv. 35, 36); 3) the Father (vv. 37, 38); and 4) the OT Scriptures (vv. 39–47).
5:36 the very works that I do. Cf. 10:25. The miracles of Jesus were witness to His deity and messiahship. Such miracles are the major signs recorded by John in this gospel, so as to fulfill His purpose in 20:30, 31 (see Introduction: Historical and Theological Themes).
5:37 Father…has testified. Cf. Matt. 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22.
5:39 You search. Although the verb “search” could also be understood as a command (i.e., “Search the Scriptures!”), most prefer this translation as an indicative. The verb implies diligent scrutiny in investigating the Scriptures to find “eternal life.” However, Jesus points out that with all their fastidious effort, they miserably failed in their understanding of the true way to eternal life through the Son of God (see notes on Matt. 19:16–25; cf. 14:6; 2 Tim. 3:15). testify of Me. Cf. v. 45. Christ is the main theme of Scripture. See note on 1:45.
5:40 not willing. They searched for eternal life, but were not willing to trust its only source (cf. v. 24; 1:11; 3:19).
5:41 honor from men. If Jesus agreed to be the kind of Messiah the Jews wanted, providing miracles and food along with political and military power, He would receive honor from them. But He sought only to please God (vv. 19ff.).
5:43 him you will receive. The Jewish historian, Josephus, records that a string of messianic pretenders arose in the years before A.D. 70. This verse contrasts the Jewish rejection of their true Messiah because they did not love or know God (v. 42), with their willing acceptance of charlatans.
5:46 Moses…for he wrote about Me. Jesus does not mention any specific passage in the 5 books of Moses although there are many (e.g., Deut. 18:15; cf. 1:21; 4:19; 6:14; 7:40, 52).

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The scripture text was taken from

The translation of the text is from The New King James Version.

Scripture notes were taken from The MacArthur Study Bible notes that are contained in

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2 thoughts on “John Chapter 5 – The Deity Of Christ

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