John 5:1-47 (The Omnipotent Meets the Impotent)


The gospel of John follows an interesting Pattern

A)A Miracle that is met by a protest – Jesus follows it up with a response or teaching.


B) We see that pattern clearly here in Ch.5 – Cover the whole Chapter tonight – Big picture.


C)The 5th chapter also marks a major division in the Gospel of John.

1) In Chapters 1-4 In the prologue, John presents Jesus as the promised Messiah. The Word made flesh


D)But now, in Chapter 5, John begins to trace a growing rejection of the claims of Jesus,

1) And a growing against the ministry of the Lord


 This rejection will gather around three remarkable acts of healing by Jesus:

A)In Ch 5, the healing of the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda; Impotent meets the Omnipotent


B)In Chapter 9, the amazing account of the opening of the eyes of the man born blind;


C) and in Chapter 11, the greatest of our Lord's miracles, the raising of Lazarus from the dead.


D)Each one of these miracles increases the hostility against Jesus until it culminates at last in his death.


Tonight we will look at the first of these miracles, the healing of the impotent man, RD John 5:1-5:

A)The Sheep Gate- Today St. Stephens’ gate. Located in the northern wall, close to the N.E. corner.


B)The Pool Called Bethesda. Has been translated: “House of mercy, or house of outpourings


C) Located Just outside of St. Anne’s church(acoustics).

1) Yes still going to Israel.


D) Rediscovered in 1960. 2 adjacent pools(1,55’ long; 1, 65’).

                         RD V.3-6


V.6 Interesting Question: “Do you want to be made well?”

A)Seems like a ridiculous question to ask a man of an ailment of 38 years?


B) But I know  people today who do not want to be made well. – not really

1) You see they like to use their problem as an excuse for wrong behavior


C) I am an addict: addicted to sex I can’t help myself

1) They use their problem as an excuse for Sinful behavior


D) Others – Don’t want to be made whole because it gets them some much wanted attention.


So this wasn’t such a weird question: Do you really want to be made whole. – NOT HEALED

A)Jesus is always interested in the WHOLE MAN


B) Not just the Physical problem – but the spiritual problem – we see this clearly as the story unfolds


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."


C)I can’t tell you how many people I have talked to who have answered in a similar way:

1)  I have no man/ I haven’t found the right person / right program / right mentor / right Church.


D) I want help for my … marriage / addiction / bitterness/ Phobias

1) I have tried to change – tried to get help – but I lack the ability – haven’t found the answer!



A)Maybe that is you tonight: I do not know what your problem is. Maybe you have tried to stop drinking.


B)You know that alcohol is ruining your life, your family, your home.


C)You thought you had it under control. You tried to stop but you discovered you could not.


Perhaps you do not see any hope for your marriage. A)You have tried to correct things.


B) Doesn’t seem to Change – I have no man – Husband is a Bum – no one seems to Help!

“There are no hopeless situations. There are only people who have grown hopeless about them.”

Some men only see a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope!


C) This brings us to the critical moment of this story. 1) What did Jesus say to a man who had lost all hope, a man who had given up on himself?


D) Did he say, "Oh, come on, I'll help you get into the pool the next time the water is stirred "?

1) No, he did not say that. He did not offer that kind of help. He could have, but he did not.


Did he say, "Hang in there baby:  Positive pep talk

A)I know one day you will make it into the water -  You just need to resurrect the Giant with in you


B) No, he did not say that either.


C) Did he say, "Let's at least make you comfortable. 1)Let's get you a new mattress to lie on, put a few flowers around you and bring you two meals a day"?


D)No, he did not. Jesus does not say any of those things to people who want to hear from him.

What does Jesus say, then? Notice carefully his method:

A)First, he asks an impossible thing; second, he removes all possibility of a relapse;


B)and third, he expects a continued success. All these are involved in the words,

8 Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk."


C) He begins with an impossible command: the first thing Jesus says to do is what the man could not do,

1) It was what he had tried for 38 years to do.


D)On what basis does Jesus say these words to him?

1)It is important to see this.  There has to be a shift in focus here from the man’s ability to Jesus ability!


Now this is a critical clue that many miss in looking for help from God.

A)Lord just show me the right program and I will follow up.


B) Show me the right duty to perform and I will do it.

1) Problem is the focus is on our ability.


C) Jesus wants us to get to the end of ourselves!


He will do that by asking us to do the impossible.

A)Faith is an active word – involves action. –


B)There is always something God tells them to believe, and do, and act on.

1) Jesus does not say, "Try to build up faith in your mind. Try to fasten your thoughts on this or that."


C)He tells them to do something: "Rise! Stand up!"

1)The only way that happens for a man who has been lame for 38yrs – Shift in Focus


D) Not my ability – but His – There is power in His command

1)He would not ask me to do something that He wouldn’t give me the power to do.


E) True in every facet of life – God’s commandments are His enablements


I have to tell you I am so tired of Christian literature that ignores that – Makes excuses for disobedience

A)Listen whatever God calls us to in His word is within our grasp to do – thru Christ power ! Period


B) Love / Forgive/ Walk pure/ Quit drugs / ….

1) Answer is Trust Jesus / Obey Jesus / Abide in Jesus


C) So the first thing Jesus does is He asks this man to do the Impossible.


Then what? The Lord did not merely say, "Rise," he said, "take up your pallet."

A)Why did he say that? I like the way G. Campbell Morgan has put it, "In order to make no provision for a relapse."


B)The man might have said to himself, "I'm healed, but I had better leave my bed here;

1)I may need it tomorrow."


C) If he had said that he would have been back in it the next day.

1) But he did not. Jesus said, "Take up your bed. Get rid of it; don't leave it there."


D) Bartimaeus Mark 10 Leaves his coat


E) Make no provision for the flesh

1) Delete the Phone # / Burn Video


I will never forget the night my Dad quick drinking

A)Poured hundreds of dollars of booze down the sink and filled up a couple of big trash cans w/ the bottles


B) Don’t leave stuff around – Stash of drugs / bottles of booze / Videos or DVD’s

1) Get rid of anything – everything that will tempt your flesh in that area.


C) Tired / depressed / stressed – your flesh is going to seek – relief in those things –

1) Make no Provision for the flesh –


D) Friends a bad influence – Burn those bridges

1) 4 things say to New Believers

   a) Word   b) Pray talk to God

   c) Fellowship – Coals

   d) Tell someone – go on record -


E)Let somebody know the new stand you have taken so that he will help hold you to it.

1) Our Lord knows what he is talking about -- "take up your bed."


The third thing: "walk." Do not expect to be carried -- walk.  Keep going – moving

A)Many people want to be carried after they are healed.


B)They expect everybody to gather around them and keep them going -- a common area of failure.


C) Discipleship is important but the goal of Discipleship is to direct focus to Jesus.

1) Not following me – Following Him


D)"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith," {Heb 12:2 KJV}.


John now traces the immediate reaction of others to this event: V.9-14

A)That is a wonderful word, "Jesus found him."


B) Law required healed person go temple offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving – Jesus found him there


Notice the order of what Jesus said to him;

A)He did not say to the man, shaking his finger, "Sin no more. If you do you will lose your healing."


B) No, he said, "See, you are made whole." Jesus never says, "Sin no more," unless he first says, "You are made whole."


C) Woman Jn 8 Neither condemn go .. sin no more!


D) He calls the man's attention to the fact that not only had he been physically healed,

1)he had been spiritually healed. His sins had been forgiven; he had been washed, he had been cleansed;


E) Walk in that newness of Life! Sin no more!


That revealing word indicates what had been the trouble all along.

A)His lameness was connected to some sin – often the case but not always.


B) Do you want to be made whole tonight –

1) What is Jesus asking you to do. – Do it –


C) Make no provision to go back to it – Burn the files the notes – the pictures


D) Walk -  

                                 RD V.15-16


So here we see the religious leaders begin to plot his death – Because he broke the Sabbath.


In the following verses 17-23  Jesus proceeds to make 6 statements expressing his equality with the father: - Looked at in detail on Sunday.

A)Quickly review – See Bible notes


B) From Here Jesus begins to expound on His ability to impart life and His authority to Judge

V.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. 


Now what Jesus says here is interesting – It is a passage that flies in the face of Calvinism

A) the Bible tells us that a person who doesn’t know Christ is dead in their trespasses and sins !


B) Everyone agrees on that point. –

1) But the Calvinist will use that to argue – Dead men can’t Choose { Regeneration before faith


C) Therefore – they need to regenerated before they can believe.

1) So God elects them – breathes life into them.

Then they believe.

That interpretation is directly contrary to what Jesus says here.

A)Note first their Def. of death is faulty


B) Spiritual death = separation from God

1) Not talking about a corpse- no power or faculties


C) If it were – I would say to my Calvinist friends – Dead men can’t hear either


Notice the order that Jesus points out here. V.24

A)They hear / they believe / they receive life.


B) They hear: Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God Roman 10:17


C) They hear the gospel – Respond in faith they believe - 

1) Result they receive Everlasting life.


Now in V.26 Jesus reveals why He has the power to impart life – Life in Himself

For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, (John 5:26).


A)Jesus has life in Himself – so even though He died on the cross – third day – He arose.


B) His life was restored – Taken back The grave could not hold Him because He is “the Prince of Life” (Acts 2:24; 3:15).


C)Because He has life in Himself, He can share that life with all who will trust Him.


27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.

A) The title "Son of man" used in John 5:27 refers to Dan 7:13-14 and is a definite messianic title.


B)It is used twelve times in John's Gospel and over eighty times in all four Gospels.

1)The Jews would know this title from their reading of the Book of Daniel; and they would know that, by using it, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, and the Judge.


28 Do not marvel at this; [Stop marveling – jaws must have dropped to the ground]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.


Catch this: He is talking here about 2 Resurrections

A)Categories not events: Rez unto life one Category

Rez unto death


B) Rez unto life begins with Jesus – His Rez When He rose from the dead – started


C) The first fruits of the Rez – Ongoing – first of many


D) Included in this is what Matthew writes of in Ch.27 – Graves opened –

1) Those who were dead walking around – that is all we know – mystery


Prior to the Rez of Christ – those who died – went to Abraham’s bosom – believers

A)Those who didn’t Hades – separated by a gulf


B) Lk 16 Lazarus and rich man – drop of water


C) Those in Abraham’s bosom released – heaven


D) That event was part of the first Rez


Also the Rapture of the Church – part of the first Rez – talk more next week – Israel

A)All the Martyrs during trib


B)Rev. 11 – Two prophets streets 3days – rise

1) That is part of this rez


C) Ends at the 2nd coming - 


Then the Bible says there is going to be 1,000 year millennium – Peace on earth

A)Satan loosed – final Judgment – all those who rejected Christ


B) Great white thrown Judgment – this is the 2nd death

C) Judged for rejecting Christ


D) Choice right now – then two  late!


 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. 

A) Jesus was satisfied doing the Fathers will.


B)After a good meal we’ve all said…“I’m full”! –

1)But it is 1 thing to be full & another to be satisfied! {junk food will fill you but not satisfy you}


C) Same is true in Life: We can fill our life with busyness & activities, but we’re not satisfied.

“When doing God’s will is your aim, your life is not only full but satisfied because that’s why you were created!”


John 5:31-32

"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.


A)Vs.31 – “not true” = meaning not valid  as testimony! “witness” – a legal term (used 47 times in John)


B) Here is the reason why – not Valid.

1)O.T. law required 2 or 3 witnesses to establish a verdict in a case.


Deut.19:15One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.”.


S0 now Jesus will summon 4 witnesses to the stand to testify on His behalf!(31-39)


John the Baptist

The Father

His Works

The Scriptures


THE BAPTIST! (JOHN)  (33-35)

A)Vs.33 - God uses this unlikely advance man for his work(hope for us!)


B)Johns message was clear “The kingdom is at hand”, “The King is coming!”


C)Many respond, accept his baptism of repentance, & look forward to the imminent appearance of the messiah.


D)Then John announces Him as “"Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (1:29) &

In Vs.35 Jesus says “For awhile you liked John’s lamp – then it was extinguished by Herod!”


A)Good lesson for us. Get on fire for God & people will come watch you burn.


B) Allow the flame of Christ to burn w/in you & people will be drawn to Christ.


C) John was the first witness – first prophet in 400ys

1) They didn’t listen




A)John lists 7 signs to reveal Jesus Christ in the 1st ˝ of John(1-11).


B)Then 1 more(the 8th) “the greatest of signs”…the Res.(the death & res. take up the last ˝ of the book)

1)Remember his enemies never denied His miracles!


C) Even non-believing historians refer to His miracle-working power!

1) Jesus had power over demons, disease, nature, & power over death!


D) Miracles / Power of Nature / Teachings “ No man teaches like this man. “

1) Ultimate work – Rez!



A)God the Father directly testified on behalf of Jesus.


B)3 times audibly – {at baptism; mnt. of Transfiguration; before crucified.}



The O.T. is filled w/pictures & prophesies of J.C. “It’s all about him!”

Psalm 40:7 says, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me.”


{Heb.10:7 gives us the H.S.’s commentary on this passage letting us know it is Messianic Then I said, 'Behold, I have come; In the volume of the book it is written of Me; To do Your will, O God.”}


(Spurgeon)This volume contains Jesus Christ’s letters to us, perfumed by his love. These pages are the garments of our King, and they all smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia. Scripture is the royal chariot in which Jesus rides, and it is paved with love for the daughters of Jerusalem. The Scriptures are the swaddling bands of the holy child Jesus; unroll them and you find your Saviour. The quintessence of the word of God is Christ.

The Greek word translated ‘search’  means ‘to track the scent’ — like a lion, or a bloodhound.


That’s the way to study Scripture: Follow the scent of the blood. Sniff out the scarlet thread of the Cross. Look for Jesus.


 You search” - not telling them to search but that they have searched.

A)They searched w/such a zeal to count every letter, they weighed every word, scrutinized every sentence.


B)They hoped to find eternal life in the scriptures, but they completely missed the mark!


C) ‘You study the Scripture doctrinally,’ Jesus said, ‘but you’ve missed the point entirely because you’ve missed Me.


Jesus tells them to retrace your steps, pick up the proper scent, then follow the trail to where it really led…TO HIM!

A)The greatest tragedy is to have access to, & search the scriptures, & miss Christ!   {Millions do it everyday!}


B)We are commanded to search the scriptures BUT they are not an end in itself, but a means to an end.


Illustration: If you’re lost in a dense forest, & finally stumble onto a trail that has a marker pointing which way to go.


You don’t stop & measure the signpost, try to figure out all its dimensions, paint grade, etc. NO! you get its message & do what it says.

C)There are too many people hugging markers!

1)Others trying to repaint the markers. Still others trying to improve them.


D) Key to Bible study is Seeing Jesus.

E)They searched the scriptures – they need to search their souls!

1) Wrap up – 4 Indictments Jesus brings against them.


THE PROBLEM! (40-42)

A)This is why people are not saved – They won’t come to Jesus.


B) V.42 Tells us the problem with a lot of religious people. – Don’t have the Love of God in them.

1) Those who know Him Love – because God is love.


C) Legalism: Pharisee mindset – Person not really hearing from God.


THE PROPHECY!  (43) Antichrist



A)Looking for approval in the eyes of men


B) Blinded to the truth – following rules – missing heart



A)Vs.45 – Next to Ab., Moses was their 2nd brightest star.


Moses Wrote about me” – Pent  was packed w/types that depicted Christ


{the ark of Noah; the offering of Isaac; the ladder of Jacob’s dream; the story of Joseph,


The Passover Lamb; the manna from heaven; the rock in the wilderness; the serpent on a pole}

Especially Deut. 18:15 “"The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,”


If Moses in whom they put their trust is going to accuse them…their doom was sealed!


End – Who’s really on trial here? Not Jesus! The facts speak for themselves.


Who’s on trial…all humanity!


vs.24 said Hear; believe; escape judgment; & pass from death to life!


What’s the verdict? He won’t have to be your judge if you let Him Justify you!