Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
5:1After these things there was a feast of the Jews1; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.2
5:2Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate3 a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda4, having five porches.5 5:3In these lay a multitude of them that were sick, blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.5:4for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the waters6 stepped in was made whole, with whatsoever disease he was holden.5:5And a certain man was there, who had been thirty and eight years in his infirmity. 5:6When Jesus saw him lying, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wouldest thou be made whole?7 5:7The sick man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 5:8Jesus saith unto him, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk. 5:9And straightway the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked.
Now it was the sabbath on that day.8 5:10So the Jews said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for thee to take up thy bed.9 5:11But he answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 5:12They asked him, Who is the man that said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 5:13But he that was healed knew not who it was; for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in the place. 5:14Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee. 5:15The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him whole. 5:16And for this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did these things on the sabbath. 5:17But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh even until now, and I work. 5:18For this cause therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only brake the sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
- The Jews. In consciousness, the “Jews” represent those thoughts which recognize God as the Supreme Power. But they have not a working knowledge of the laws of being, which is attained through coming under the dominion and direction of Spiritual I Am (Jesus).
- Jerusalem. The spiritual center in consciousness. It is called the “city of peace.”
- Sheep gate. The natural, innocent expression of spiritual life, and the “sheep gate'“ is the channel through which this life flows into the organism.
- Pool of Bethesda. That point in consciousness where we feel the flow of the cleansing life of the Spirit.
- Five porches. The five-sense limitation, which does not realize the power of the Spirit. The porches are filled with the “sick, blind, halt and withered,” or unregenerated ideas.
- When the water is troubled. typifies the dependence of unawakened man upon certain slow, natural healing processes, which he calls “nature.” The “multitude” of weak, sick, infirm thoughts and conditions in the mortal man have not received the quick, swift healing power of Spiritual I Am.
- Wouldest thou be made whole? This healing represents the power of the I Am (typified by Jesus) to restore the equilibrium of the organism through the activity of spiritual ideas in consciousness, independent of the healing methods utilized by the man of sense.
- It was the sabbath on that day. “Sabbath” is not a day of the week. It is a state of mind entered into by a person, when he goes into the silence of his own soul, into the realm of Spirit. In this mental state healing becomes the normal, easy thing. Much of the healing that Jesus did was accomplished on the Jewish Sabbath.
- It is not lawful for thee to take up thy bed. Here is pictured the activity of the letter (the Jews) and the Spirit (Jesus) of spiritual law. When man is really quickened of the Spirit he comes into the realization of the continuity of life in the organism, and is not limited by any laws of nature.
The Authority of the Son
5:19Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself,1 but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner. 5:20For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and greater works than these will he show him, that ye may marvel. 5:21For as the Father raiseth the dead and giveth them life, even so the Son also giveth life to whom he will.2 5:22For neither doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given all judgment unto the Son; 5:23that all may honor the Son,3 even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father that sent him. 5:24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.
5:25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God;4 and they that hear shall live. 5:26For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself: 5:27and he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man. 5:28Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, 5:29and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.
- The Son can do nothing of himself. The Father is the great source of all light and all understanding, and the Son is the idea that expresses the light and the wisdom of God.The Son is the idea of God-Mind, of man in his perfection. Under divine law man makes manifest what God has in His mind.
- So the Son also giveth life to whom he will. The divine idea, the Christ, has been given eternal life and has the power to impart it to the Adam man. In addition to this He has been given judgment: He determines how the life shall be made manifest. The Father of life is a great river in the Garden of Eden, which represents man's innate capacity ready to obtain expression in all wisdom and understanding.
- That all may honor the Son. We honor the Christ when we recognize it as having the authority of God. In its life-giving capacity it is equal to God and has the power of God. When that is enthroned in us which possesses spiritual identity we have the realization that we are speaking the word right from the Father. Jesus in this state of unfoldment proclaimed: "The words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works."
- The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. “The dead” are those who are spiritually asleep, who know nothing above or beyond the experiences of the physical nature. As they awaken to the reality of the divine nature within them, they are quickened to newness of life and enter into spiritual consciousness, where they really “live.”
Witnesses to Jesus
5:30I can of myself do nothing:1 as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
5:31If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. 5:32It is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 5:33Ye have sent unto John, and he hath borne witness unto the truth. 5:34But the witness which I receive is not from man: howbeit I say these things, that ye may be saved. 5:35He was the lamp that burneth and shineth; and ye were willing to rejoice for a season in his light. 5:36But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. 5:37And the Father that sent me, he hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form. 5:38And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he sent, him ye believe not.
5:39Ye search the scriptures,2 because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me; 5:40and ye will not come to me, that ye may have life. 5:41I receive not glory from men. 5:42But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in yourselves. 5:43I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 5:44How can ye believe, who receive glory one of another, and the glory that cometh from the only God ye seek not? 5:45Think not that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, on whom ye have set your hope. 5:46For if ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote of me. 5:47But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
- I can of myself do nothing. The divine law is our normal medium of expression. As we awake to this truth, we cease to avail ourselves of the manmade law of self-defense, the practice of defending self-interest, and other habitual thought for the self, and concentrate our efforts on observing the right relations between ourselves and others, that Jesus designated as essential to a full grasp of the meaning of life. We still need to seek complete understanding of the Christ Spirit and the will to come to it as the source of our power.
- Ye search the scriptures. The Scriptures alone are not sufficient to impart spiritual understanding. The Pharisees were inveterate students of the Hebrew Scriptures, but Jesus accused them repeatedly of lack of understanding. The Bible is a sealed book to one whose own spiritual understanding has not been quickened by the living Word. "The word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it." Jesus so identified Himself with the living Word that His words became, like it, creative. He submerged His personality in God-Mind until He became the expression of that Mind, the idea clothed in flesh.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
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