John 5:1-23

The Healing at the Pool

1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

The Authority of the Son

16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.


John 5:2 Some manuscripts Bethzatha; other manuscripts Bethsaida
John 5:4 Some manuscripts include here, wholly or in part, paralyzed—and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.

New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Bible Study – John 5:1-23 Questions

What are the sick people doing at the pool of Bethesda? What was the popular belief about the pool?

Verse 6 Why did Jesus ask the obvious question “Do you want to get well?

And why does the man not give a simple “Yes” in response?

This miracle was an example of what attribute of God?

Instead of choosing one person, why didn’t Jesus heal all the blind, lame, and paralyzed around the pool?

What was the Jews’ response to the healing?

Why were the Jewish religious leaders so upset?

What does the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) actually say about honoring the Sabbath?

Verses 13–15
• Why do you think Jesus slipped away at this point?
• When did Jesus run into the man again?
• Was this a chance meeting?
• What was the purpose?
• As a result of this encounter, what was the response of the man?

The focus quickly changes from the paralytic to Jesus. What was the Jews’ plan in regard to Jesus?

Knowing the plan, how did Jesus respond to the Jews’ persecution?

Did the Jews understand what Jesus was claiming?

Verses 19-23 describe the relationship of Father and Son. What are some of the disctinctives of that relationship?
• The Son can do nothing by Himself.
• Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.
• The Father loves the Son:
• Greater works than “these”
• The Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it.
• The Father has entrusted all judgment to the Son.
• That all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.

Thank you to the Officers Christian Fellowship for providing some of the materials used in this Bible Study!