John 5 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Jesus heals in Jerusalem
5 1-6 Some time later came one of the Jewish feast-days and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. There is in Jerusalem near the sheep-gate a pool surrounded by five arches, which has the Hebrew name of Bethzatha (the Pool of Bethesda). Under these arches a great many sick people were in the habit of lying; some of them were blind, some lame, and some had withered limbs. (They used to wait there for the “moving of the water”, for at certain times an angel used to come down into the pool and disturb the water, and then the first person who stepped into the water after the disturbance would be healed of whatever he was suffering from.) One particular man had been there ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there on his back—knowing that he had been like that for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well again?”
7 “Sir,” replied the sick man, “I just haven’t got anybody to put me into the pool when the water is all stirred up. While I’m trying to get there somebody else gets down into it first.”
8 “Get up,” said Jesus, “pick up your bed and walk!”
9 At once the man recovered, picked up his bed and walked.
10 This happened on a Sabbath day, which made the Jews keep on telling the man who had been healed, “It’s the Sabbath, you know; it’s not right for you to carry your bed.”
11 “The man who made me well,” he replied, “was the one who told me, ‘Pick up your bed and walk.’”
12 Then they asked him, “And who is the man who told you to do that?”
13-14 But the one who had been healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away in the dense crowd. Later Jesus found him in the Temple and said to him, “Look: you are a fit man now. Do not sin again or something worse might happen to you!”
15 Then the man went off and informed the Jews that the one who had made him well was Jesus.
16-17 It was because Jesus did such things on the Sabbath day that the Jews persecuted him. But Jesus’ answer to them was this, “My Father is still at work and therefore I work as well.”
18 This remark made the Jews all the more determined to kill him, because not only did he break the Sabbath but he referred to God as his own Father, so putting himself on equal terms with God.
Jesus makes his tremendous claim
19-29 Jesus said to them, “I assure you that the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. What the Son does is always modelled on what the Father does, for the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he does himself, Yes, and he will show him even greater things than these to fill you with wonder. For just as the Father raises the dead and makes them live, so does the Son give life to any man he chooses. The Father is no man’s judge: he has put judgment entirely into the Son’s hands, so that all men may honour the Son equally with the Father. The man who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him. I solemnly assure you that the man who hears what I have to say and believes in the one who has sent me has eternal life. He does not have to face judgment; he has already passed from death into life. Yes, I assure you that a time is coming, in fact has already come, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and when they have heard it they will live! For just as the Father has life in himself, so by the Father’s gift, the Son also has life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is Son of Man. No, do not be surprised—the time is coming when all those who are dead and buried will hear his voice and out they will come—those who have done right will rise again to life, but those who have done wrong will rise to face judgment!
30-37a “By myself I can do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is true because I do not live to please myself but to do the will of the Father who sent me. You may say that I am bearing witness about myself, that therefore what I say about myself has no value, but I would remind you that there is one who witnesses about me and I know that his witness about me is absolutely true. You sent to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that it is man’s testimony that I accept—I only tell you this to help you to be saved. John certainly was a lamp that burned and shone, and for a time you were willing to enjoy the light that he gave. But I have a higher testimony than John’s. The work that the Father gave me to complete, yes, these very actions which I do are my witness that the Father has sent me. This is how the Father who has sent me has given his own personal testimony to me.
37b-47 “Now you have never at any time heard what he says or seen what he is like. Nor do you really believe his word in your hearts, for you refuse to believe the man who he has sent. You pore over the scriptures for you imagine that you will find eternal life in them. And all the time they give their testimony to me! But you are not willing to come to me to have real life! Men’s approval or disapproval means nothing to me, but I can tell that you have none of the love of God in your hearts. I have come in the name of my Father and you will not accept me. Yet if another man comes simply in his own name, you will accept him. How on earth can you believe while you are for ever looking for each other’s approval and not for the glory that comes from the one God? There is no need for you to think that I have come to accuse you before the Father. You already have an accuser—Moses, in whom you put all your confidence! For if you really believed Moses, you would be bound to believe me; for is was about me that he wrote. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say”?