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Jesus Cures a Man at the Bethesda Pool

Later, Jesus went to Jerusalem for a Jewish festival.

Near Sheep Gate in Jerusalem was a pool called Bethesda in Hebrew. It had five porches. Under these porches a large number of sick people—people who were blind, lame, or paralyzed—used to lie.[a] One man, who had been sick for 38 years, was lying there. Jesus saw the man lying there and knew that he had been sick for a long time. So Jesus asked the man, “Would you like to get well?”

The sick man answered Jesus, “Sir, I don’t have anyone to put me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I’m trying to get there, someone else steps into the pool ahead of me.”

Jesus told the man, “Get up, pick up your cot, and walk.” The man immediately became well, picked up his cot, and walked.

That happened on a day of rest—a holy day. 10 So the Jews told the man who had been healed, “This is a day of rest—a holy day. You’re not allowed to carry your cot today.”

11 The man replied, “The man who made me well told me to pick up my cot and walk.”

12 The Jews asked him, “Who is the man who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 But the man who had been healed didn’t know who Jesus was. (Jesus had withdrawn from the crowd.)

14 Later, Jesus met the man in the temple courtyard and told him, “You’re well now. Stop sinning so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.”

15 The man went back to the Jews and told them that Jesus was the man who had made him well.

The Son Is Equal to the Father

16 The Jews began to persecute Jesus because he kept healing people on the day of rest—a holy day. 17 Jesus replied to them, “My Father is working right now, and so am I.”

18 His reply made the Jews more intent on killing him. Not only did he break the laws about the day of rest—a holy day, but also he made himself equal to God when he said repeatedly that God was his Father.

19 Jesus said to the Jews, “I can guarantee this truth: The Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing. Indeed, the Son does exactly what the Father does. 20 The Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. The Father will show him even greater things to do than these things so that you will be amazed. 21 In the same way that the Father brings back the dead and gives them life, the Son gives life to anyone he chooses.

22 “The Father doesn’t judge anyone. He has entrusted judgment entirely to the Son 23 so that everyone will honor the Son as they honor the Father. Whoever doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him. 24 I can guarantee this truth: Those who listen to what I say and believe in the one who sent me will have eternal life. They won’t be judged because they have already passed from death to life.

25 “I can guarantee this truth: A time is coming (and is now here) when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who respond to it will live. 26 The Father is the source of life, and he has enabled the Son to be the source of life too.

27 “He has also given the Son authority to pass judgment because he is the Son of Man.[b] 28 Don’t be surprised at what I’ve just said. A time is coming when all the dead will hear his voice, 29 and they will come out of their tombs. Those who have done good will come back to life and live. But those who have done evil will come back to life and will be judged. 30 I can’t do anything on my own. As I listen ⌞to the Father⌟, I make my judgments. My judgments are right because I don’t try to do what I want but what the one who sent me wants.

31 “If I testify on my own behalf, what I say isn’t true. 32 Someone else testifies on my behalf, and I know that what he says about me is true. 33 You sent people to John ⌞the Baptizer⌟, and he testified to the truth. 34 But I don’t depend on human testimony. I’m telling you this to save you. 35 John was a lamp that gave off brilliant light. For a time you enjoyed the pleasure of his light. 36 But I have something that testifies more favorably on my behalf than John’s testimony. The tasks that the Father gave me to carry out, these tasks which I perform, testify on my behalf. They prove that the Father has sent me. 37 The Father who sent me testifies on my behalf. You have never heard his voice, and you have never seen his form. 38 So you don’t have the Father’s message within you, because you don’t believe in the person he has sent. 39 You study the Scriptures in detail because you think you have the source of eternal life in them. These Scriptures testify on my behalf. 40 Yet, you don’t want to come to me to get ⌞eternal⌟ life.

41 “I don’t accept praise from humans. 42 But I know what kind of people you are. You don’t have any love for God. 43 I have come with the authority my Father has given me, but you don’t accept me. If someone else comes with his own authority, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe when you accept each other’s praise and don’t look for the praise that comes from the only God?

45 “Don’t think that I will accuse you in the presence of the Father. Moses, the one you trust, is already accusing you. 46 If you really believed Moses, you would believe me. Moses wrote about me. 47 If you don’t believe what Moses wrote, how will you ever believe what I say?”


  1. 5:3 Some manuscripts and translations add verses 3b–4: “They would wait for the water to move. People believed that at a certain time an angel from the Lord would go into the pool and stir up the water. The first person who would step into the water after it was stirred up would be cured from whatever disease he had.”
  2. 5:27 Son of Man   ” is a name Jesus called himself to show that he was not only God’s Son but also human.

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