John 5


John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.


The Bible is always correct when it mentions elevations. For example, our text says Jesus went up to Jerusalem because it is at higher elevation than Galilee. Jesus was going there to attend a feast. John records three Passovers in his Gospel (Jn 2:13; 6:4; 12:1), but in our immediate text, it does not tell us which feast this is. However, it is believed that it was the Passover feast.  If this is the Passover feast, it shows that Jesus ministry lasted around 3 ½ years, but if this was some other feast, then it makes His ministry less than 3 years. While we cannot determine if this was the Passover from our text, Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks fits perfectly with Jesus’ ministry lasting 3 ½ years.


Daniel 9:27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering…


In the last week of Daniel’s prophecy, Jesus began His ministry, and each day represents one year. In the middle of that week is when Jesus died on the cross and took away animal sacrifices. Based on Daniel’s prophecy, this was the Passover Jesus was attending since it is necessary to establish His 3 ½ year ministry. Daniel’s prophecy shows how important the Old Testament is for the Christian today because it allows us to have a deeper understanding of the New Testament.


John 5:2 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.


Some believe the sheep gate is where they kept the sheep to be slaughtered in the temple. The pool near there was called Bethesda, which means “house of mercy”. These five porches were covered areas the people used to get out of the rain or the sun. Archeologists have found two pools in this area. One is 55 feet long; the other is 65 feet long. The shorter one is the one they believe is Bethesda because it had 5 arches over it with a porch beneath (Nelson Illustrated Bible Dictionary p. 180).


A great number of people who were suffering from various illnesses gathered at this place hoping they may be healed by the water. Scholars are divided on whether there is enough evidence from the early Greek manuscripts to include verse 4, which is why some translations leave it out. No matter what view a person takes on verse 4, it explains why these people were gathering around this pool.


The real question is, did this pool have a supernatural ability to heal or is this simply a statement of what the people thought the pool did? I believe it was not a supernatural experience because of several reasons:


1. It does not make sense that God would have an angel stir up a body of water and then only allow the first person that reaches the water to be healed.

2. It is possible that a natural spring fed this pool, which would cause the water to bubble up or move around from time to time, which could easily be confused with an angel stirring the water.

3. Soon Jesus is going to heal this man with His word, which proves the true source of healing comes from Jesus.

4. It is possible this pool of water had a lot of minerals in it, which are known to make people feel better. This phenomenon would add credence to its healing ability.


Some believe this was a supernatural event mainly because these sick people were gathering around this pool. The only early writer I could find that had anything to say about this event was Tertullian who wrote around A.D. 197


The Law and the Prophets were until John,” and the fish pool of Bethesda was until the coming of Christ. Thereafter, it ceased curatively to remove infirmities of health from Israel (3.171).


An angel, by his intervention, used to stir the pool at Bethesda. Those who were complaining of poor heath used to watch for him. For whoever was the first to descend into the pool, ceased to complain after his washing. The figure of physical healing foreshadowed a spiritual healing (3.671, 672).


So, Tertullian thought this was a supernatural event that ceased after the coming of Christ.


John 5:5 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." 


This man had his sickness for 38 years. We are not told the extent of his illness, but apparently he was crippled and could not walk. After 38 years, we can only imagine how much this man would love to be healed. Jesus saw this poor man lying on his bed and He knew he had been sick for a long a time and desired to be healed. Jesus knows everything about our lives as well. Jesus had compassion for this man and asked him, “Do you want to be made well?” This might seem like a strange question to ask someone who has suffered so long, but Jesus wants him to express his desire to be healed.


When this man answered Jesus, he expressed his desire to be healed. However, he did not think it would ever happen because his condition made it impossible for him to get into the water first, and he did not have anyone to help him. If this man had known who he was talking to, he would not worry about the pool anymore.


John 5:8 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.


Without hesitation Jesus says, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” Imagine how this man must have felt when Jesus spoke these simple words and immediately his illness that plagued him for 38 years was gone, and now he is able to walk and carry the bed he was restricted to?


When we look at the miracles of Jesus, we will notice how they differ from the modern day miracle workers. Jesus miracles were instantaneous and there was no doubt that a miracle was done. The supposed miracles that are done today are not verifiable, and they never seem to be able to catch them on video. I searched diligently for several months trying to find a miracle on video that could not be denied such as a withered hand becoming whole, but one does not exist. The supposed miracles that are done today have already happened by the time they get on the stage and it is always something internal. There was one woman who was legally blind who got caught up in the hype of one of Benny Hinn’s crusades. They brought her up on stage where the bright spotlights were shinning in her face and she was asked if she could see anything. She said she could see, but all she saw was some of that bright light which she could already see, so they deemed it a miracle. When the healing service was over, the woman had to be led out because she still could not see.


I was watching one of Benny Hinn’s crusades on TV when a desperate mother brought her severely crippled daughter up to the steps and she begged him to heal her. It was obvious this young girl was crippled. This would have been the perfect opportunity for him to prove that miracles are alive and well today. For the longest time, he ignored the crippled girl, but finally he made way to her. He laid his hands on her and did his usually routine and nothing happened. Then he told the mother she would be healed within a few days. Do you see the difference? If Jesus or one of His apostles had been there, this young lady would have been healed instantly. She would have stood up and walked in front of everyone proving that miracles are alive and well today, but that did not happen because miracles ceased some time around the first century (1 Cor. 13:8-13).


John 5:10 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.


 Many Jews had taken the Sabbath Law beyond what it was supposed to be, and they added all kinds of restrictions based on their own traditions and opinions. They noticed this man carrying his bed and they immediately point out that he should not be carrying it because it would be considered as carrying a burden (Jer. 17:19-27). However, when we examine this text and consider Nehemiah 13:15, we learn that a person was not supposed to be carrying things around that he was going to use for trade or for his business. So to carry something out of necessity or do something good on the Sabbath was allowed (Lk. 13:14-15), which means this man was not violating the Sabbath Law.  


Instead of being surprised by this man being healed, all they could think about was who told this man to “Take up your bed and walk.” This man did not know who it was. Notice that this miracle did not require faith in Jesus ability to heal. This is another proof text that goes against the modern day miracle worker who says that one must believe to be healed. Many times when these alleged miracle workers fail to heal someone, they will say that person did not have enough faith.


John 5:14  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."


For 38 years this man was not allowed into the temple because of his illness, so it should not surprise us that Jesus found him in the temple. When Jesus finds him, He gives him some good advice, “Sin no more,” which implies that his illness was caused from sin. While this is not always the case, we have many instances in the Bible where sin caused the illness, and sin can cause illness today because of its consequences. For instance, if a person commits the sin of fornication, he can end up with aids or some other sexually transmitted disease. If a person continues to abuse his body with alcohol or other harmful substances, his body will be damaged, which can lead to all kinds of internal illnesses.  


John 5:15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.  16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.


When this man found out Jesus was the one who healed him, he told the Jews who He was. We are not told why he did this, but some have suggested he did it so he would not be held accountable for breaking the Sabbath in the eyes of these Jews.  Once they knew who it was that healed him, they tracked Him down and wanted to kill Him because they felt like He had broken the Sabbath Law. However, this was their interpretation of the law because Jesus did not violate the Sabbath.


John 5:17 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.


Jesus argued that His Father has been working all the time including the Sabbath. Just as the Father continues to work and do good; Jesus is also working and doing good even on the Sabbath. Since He worked a miracle on that day, it should have proven to these Jews that He was the Son of God and what He did was acceptable to God. Instead, Jesus’ statement makes the Jews furious because in their eyes Jesus has broken the Sabbath and has made Himself equal to God. This is another instance where Jesus makes the claim that He is the Son of God, and He will make this statement even clearer later. Of course there are other verses that teach us that Jesus is the Son of God as well (Jn. 1:1-4; 10:30-33; Phil. 2:5-6). The remainder of this chapter contains Jesus’ testimony of who He is.


John 5:19 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.


Jesus tells these Jews that He could not have healed this man on the Sabbath unless God allowed it to happen. He is also teaching us about His close relationship with the Father because He is able to observe the supernatural abilities of the Farther and has an open line of communication with Him. Healing this man was what the Father wanted to happen.  So, if they are going to accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath, they are going to have to accuse the Father as well.


John 5:20 "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.


Jesus stresses His relationship with the Father. The Father loves Him, and Jesus has full access to the works of the Father. No other prophets or apostles had such insight because they only received their information in part, but Jesus could see all and know all that was being done by the Father, which proves His Deity and that He is the Son of God. He then tells these Jews that this miracle is only the beginning because greater works than these will be done in the future such as raising Lazarus and the widow’s son from the dead.  


John 5:22 "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.


The Father has put Jesus in the position of being the judge of humankind. This fact is seen in several passages (Mt. 25:31-34; Acts 10:42; 17:30-31; Rom. 2:16; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8). The Father made Jesus our judge so that everyone would honor and respect Him just as they honor and respect the Father. If we disrespect the Son then we disrespect the Father, which is why Jesus could say that we only have access to the Father through Him (Jn. 14:6). Since Jesus is representing the Father, all will learn to respect Him; if not in this life, they will at the judgment day (Phil. 2:9-11).


John 5:24 " 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.


Jesus is not saying that all a person has to do is hear and believe to have everlasting life. James makes this clear in James 1:21-25. Hearing the words of Jesus requires us to be doers of His word. Jesus teaches us that believing in God the Father is not enough to have eternal life because we must also hear and accept the words of Jesus, which means everyone that only believes in the Father will be lost. However, those who are willing to obey Jesus’ words and believe in the Father will not face the judgment of hell. When we become Christians and remain faithful, there is no condemnation (Rom. 8:1), which is what is meant by judgment in our passage because all of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). When we become a Christian, we pass from spiritual death to being spiritual alive in Christ, which shows that we have salvation right now, and we should be confident that we do. However, we can fall from our salvation if we live in sin, but if we continue to be faithful to God till the day we die, we are promised everlasting life in heaven (Rev. 2:10).


John 5:25 "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.


 “The hour is coming” is referring to the resurrection at the last day and the phrase “And now is” puts this teaching into a spiritual light. So, the dead spoken of here could include those physically or spiritually dead, but I believe it is specifically referring to those that are spiritual dead. In either case, both will hear the voice of the Son of God. Those who are spiritual dead have to hear the words of Jesus and accept them before they can become spiritually alive, and those who are physically dead will also hear the voice of God at the judgment day as we will see in verses 28-29.  


Just as the Father posses the power of eternal life, Jesus has been given this power as well, which is why He is able to offer eternal life to all who are dead in their sins. Another reason Jesus was given the authority to judge humankind is because He knows how to judge us fairly because He experienced what it means to be a human (Heb. 2:9-18; 4:14-16).




John 5:28 "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.


Jesus is speaking of the general resurrection that will happen on the judgment day. This time He does not use the phrase “And now is,” but simply says, “The hour is coming.” When Jesus comes again, all those in their graves both the righteous and unrighteous will be raised. The righteous will be raised to have eternal life in heaven, and the unrighteous will be raised to face eternal life in hell.


These two verses teach against the false doctrine of the rapture. Those who teach the rapture doctrine say there will be three resurrections. The first will be a secret coming of Jesus. The second will happen after the seven years of tribulation, and the third will happen after the 1,000-year reign, which is when the unjust are raised. However, Jesus says there is just one resurrection, and there is no room in these verses to squeeze in seven years of tribulation or a 1000-year reign on earth. These two verses are enough to show there will be a general resurrection of both the just and unjust that will happen on the same day. Now let’s dig a little deeper and notice what the rest of the Bible has to say about this topic.


First, I want to point out that word resurrection means, “To come back to life after having once died - 'to come back to life, to live again, to be resurrected, resurrection …”(Louw-Nida Lexicon).  So, the word resurrection shows that Jesus has the body of a person in mind. When we die, our spirit leaves our physical body (Jas. 2:26; 1 Kgs 17:21-22) and it goes to the Haden realm (Lk. 16:19-31), which is the waiting place until the Day of Judgment. We will either be in Abraham’s bosom or in the place of torment. Jesus teaches that while we are in the Hadean realm we are conscious, and we can feel comfort and pain. However, we cannot return to the earth or cross the great gulf between paradise and the place of torment. When our spirit leaves our body, our body is laid to rest. Just as our body was laid down, it will be raised again just like Jesus was raised from the dead. So, our resurrection will be a bodily one for both the righteous and unrighteous.


Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.


This message is saying the same thing that Jesus did. Those who are in their graves will awake or be resurrected to everlasting life or to everlasting contempt. When the Bible refers to those who sleep in the dust, it is referring to their lifeless body and not to the spirit. As I have already shown with Lazarus, our spirit is awake. Further proof that we do not soul sleep can be found in Revelation 6:9-11. These souls are speaking, showing curiosity and concern, and they were able to understand what was said to them.


Paul also teaches the same message in his defense before Felix.


Acts 24:14 "But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.  15 "I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.


The resurrection will happen at the Day of Judgment, when both the just and unjust will be raised from the dead. But, what happens on that day? In what way will the resurrection occur? The Bible gives us more details on what will happen to the righteous than the unrighteous, but as we will see, both of them will be called from the Hadean realm and they will be reunited with their bodies. However, their bodies will be transformed into spiritual bodies that will last for eternity just as it happened with Jesus.


Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.


At the judgment day death, which refers to those physical bodies that have perished, and Hades, which refers to those souls such as Lazarus and the rich man, will be raised together. To show this idea further, we need to examine the thoughts of 1 Cor. 15, which focuses on the resurrection of the righteous. Paul teaches if there is not a resurrection of the dead, then Christ was not raised from the dead. If this is true, we have no hope and everything that Christ did was a lie (1 Cor. 15:12-19). Verses 20 – 28 confirms that Christ was raised from the dead and He is the firstfruits, which means we will be raised from the dead at the Day of Judgment just as He was. When that day comes, Christ will destroy death, and He will hand the kingdom over to God, which refers to the church. Verses 35 – 49 teaches that our physical body will be changed into a spiritual body that have no corruption, and we will be like Jesus (Phil. 3:20-21). We do not know what that body will look like because not even the apostle John knew (1 Jn 3:2). However, we do know this resurrection will happen when Jesus comes again (1 Thes. 4:13-18). The faithful Christians who have already passed from this life will be raised first, and they will come back with Jesus. Then the faithful Christians who are still alive will be transformed, given an incorruptible body, and meet Jesus in the air (1 Cor. 15:50-58).


Some might wonder how God could take our physical body that has been turned to dust and transform it into a new spiritual body that will be united with our spirit. To the Christian, this concept should not be a problem considering that God created us from dust and had the power to create the entire universe. Nothing is impossible for God.


We are not given all the details, but we know the unjust will also be raised, and the unjust still living on the earth will also be given a new body. On that day the just and unjust will be separated and judged (Mt. 25:31- 46), which is also illustrated in Jesus’ parables (Mt. 13:24-30, 36- 43; 47-48). Those who are just will enter heaven where there will be no more pain, death, or sorrow (Rev. 21:4). But the unjust will enter hell for eternity where the worm does not die (Mk. 9:42-48), there is no rest day or night from the torment (Rev. 14:9-11; 20:10), and where there will weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mt. 8:12; 13:42; 25:30). This is why Jesus warns us in:


Matthew 10:28  "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.


The only power people have over us is the ability to kill our physical bodies because they cannot touch our soul. However, God has control over the destination of our soul, which means we should fear Him instead of people. When it says that God is able to destroy the soul and body in hell, the word “destroy” does not mean that He is going to make us cease to exist. Instead, it caries the idea of laying to waste or ruin. Strong’s says, “…To devote or give over to eternal misery in hell.” In other words, a person will not cease to exist if he faces the judgment of hell. Instead, that person will be in constant torment and anguish, and we can only imagine how horrible hell will be. We could explore more Scriptures that talk about what will happen on the judgment day, but these are enough to show there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust at the Day of Judgment, and the just will go to heaven while the unjust will go to hell. To help illustrate this visually, noticed the chart below:




John 5:30 "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.  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.


Once again, Jesus is teaching that everything He does is by the will of the Father. So when He judges, it is always a righteous judgment because it comes from the Father. We need to keep in mind that Jesus could know what other people were thinking. This ability made it possible for Him to know exactly what issues to deal with those He met without them having to say a word. These Jews had already accused Jesus of making Himself equal to God, and He seems to know they were thinking His testimony alone was not enough to prove He is the Son of God. So in verse 31, Jesus tells them His testimony alone is not enough, but He does have a witness, His Father in Heaven. Both the Old and New Testament teach us about using multiple witnesses (Deut. 17:6; 19:15; Mt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19).


Some get confused and think Jesus was talking about John the Baptist because in verse 33 Jesus starts talking about Him. However, in verse 32 Jesus says the one that bears witness of Him is continually bearing witness of Him because the word “witness” is in the present tense, which denotes a continuous action. But in verse 33, when Jesus says that John bore witness of Him, the word “witness” is in the perfect tense, which means his witness of Jesus was completed in the past. Jesus shows He did not have John in mind in verse 31 because He says in verse 34, “Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.” While John’s message was from God, He did not need a human to be His witness since He has God the Father as His witness.


These Jews that wanted to put Jesus to death had heard the testimony of John the Baptist (Jn. 1:19), and he testified that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, the Bridegroom, and the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world (Jn. 1:19-35; 3:23-36). John also said, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (Jn. 3:36). This is why Jesus is reminding these Jews about John’s message so they might take it to heart and be saved.


John 5:35 "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. 


Verse 35 suggests that these Jews standing before Jesus had accepted John’s testimony, and they rejoiced in his news. However, when they found out that he proclaimed Jesus as being this coming Messiah, they stopped believed. So far, we have seen three witnesses that Jesus is the Son of God: Jesus Himself, the Father, and John the Baptist. A fourth witness was the works that Jesus was doing by the will of the Father. For instance, when He made the lame man walk on the Sabbath, it should have been sufficient to show that He is the Son of God.


Verse 37 teaches that the Father has testified of Jesus. He did this verbally on several occasions (Mk. 1:11; 9:7; Jn. 12:28-30). So, what does in mean when Jesus tells them, “You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.”  We have already examined how God has not been seen as He is in chapter 1, but how can Jesus say that they had not heard His voice? It is possible that these Jews were not around during the times the Father spoke from heaven. However, it also possible that they heard Him speak, but they were unwilling to take head to what He said. Based on the context, this is the most logical answer to me especially when we consider the Greek word “akouo”, which is translated “hear”, which means “To hear; to attend to, consider what is or has been said; To understand, perceive the sense of what is said… (Strongs).” This is the reason it is important to do a word study because the word “hear” means much more than simply hearing something. This means the Jews could have heard God’s voice from heaven, yet still be accused of not hearing because they did not take heed to what was being said.


John 5:38 "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. 


Here is Jesus’ fifth witness, the Word of God. Jesus acknowledges that these Jews have searched the Scriptures, but they have not understood them. If they had, they would believe Jesus is the Christ. There are over 300 prophecies about the coming Messiah and His work, and Jesus has been fulfilling those prophecies. These Jews should have been able to understand this fact and realize He is the Son of God, but since they are not willing to accept this, they will not be able to be saved.


This is the same problem that many in the world have today. They have the Word of God available to them in different languages and versions, yet they will not take heed to what it says. Others have preconceived ideas about what the Bible teaches based on what others have taught, and this causes them not to be able to open their eyes to what it actually says. Just like these Jews, they have a great zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (Rom. 10:1-3). They continue to learn, but they do not grasp the knowledge of the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:6-7), which is why it is important that we do not approach the Word of God with preconceived ideas. Instead, we must study it with an open mind so we can understand what it is saying. If we see that changes need to be made in our lives or our beliefs, then we need to make those changes so they conform to the Word of God.


John 5:41"I do not receive honor from men.  42 "But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.


Jesus was not healing people and doing these wonderful works to receive praise from men. He was doing them to glorify His Father in heaven (Jn. 17:4). If Jesus had wanted the praise of men, He could have stayed around after feeding the 5000 and let them make Him a king, but He did not (Jn. 6:15). Since Jesus could read their hearts and because of their disbelief, He knew the love of God was not in them (Jn. 8:47; 1 Jn. 5:3).


John 5:43 "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?


To come in someone’s name means that a person will represent him separate and apart from your own will, which  is exactly what Jesus did. He came by the authority of the Father to do His blessed will, yet they will not receive Him. However, they had no problem accepting others who came in their own name boasting in their own glory and using flattering words. These Jews loved the praise of men more than the praise of God (Jn. 12:43), which kept some of from confessing Jesus as Lord even though they believed He was (Jn. 12:42).


The Jews were fooled several times by false Messiahs. The German theologian, Schudt, quoting an earlier Jewish writer said:


That at least sixty-four pretenders to the messiahship had been accepted by the Jews at one time or another, including Bar-Kocheba who deceived the chief officer of the Sanhedrin.  Gamaliel, "a doctor of the law," and a man highly honored by the Jews, made mention of deceivers in his day who succeeded in leading many Jews astray (Acts 5:34-37).  These men came without authority, and to promote their own honor and they were accepted; Jesus, clothed with authority from the Father, and acting in his name they rejected.  Thus, far from being perceptive, they were credulous and easily duped by deceivers because of their love for flattery and worldly praise (Guy N. Woods, A Commentary on the Gospel according to John (Nashville, Tennessee: Gospel Advocate Company, 1987) p.113).


Just as the Jews were fooled by men like this, we must be careful not to get caught up following after false teachers who speak smooth words (Rom. 16:18). Their works will reveal if they are seeking glory for themselves or glory for the Lord (Mt. 7:20). A true servant of God should not be persuaded by the praise of others or the amount of money that is coming their way. Instead, they should preach the Word and glorify God (2 Tim. 4:1-5; Gal. 1:9-11).


John 5:45 "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?" 


In these last words, Jesus drives His point home. Jesus lets them know that He does not have to accuse them of anything because the man they put their trust in wrote about Him. Moses is the sixth witness that Jesus is the Son of God. We do not know if Jesus was referring to all the things that Moses wrote about the coming Messiah, but the following verse certainly would be one of them:


Deuteronomy 18:15 " The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren.


The Jews wanted to hang onto the Law of Moses, but it was designed to bring them and everyone else to Christ (Gal. 3:22-25). If these Jews were not willing to believe in what Moses wrote about Jesus, then they would not believe Jesus’ words. The Jew’s reaction to Jesus’ exhortation is not recorded, but they had to be filled with awe as Jesus read their hearts and gave them six witnesses that proved He was the Son of God. He also told them why they did not believe. I want to close this chapter with the words of Abraham, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead” (Lk. 16:31).