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John 5 The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Healing at Bethesda

Then Jesus returned to Jerusalem to observe one of the Jewish holy days.[a] 2 Inside the city near the Sheep Gate there is[b] a pool called in Aramaic, The House of Loving Kindness.[c] And this pool is surrounded by five covered porches.[d] Hundreds of sick people were lying there on the porches—the paralyzed, the blind, and the crippled, all of them waiting for their healing. For an angel of God would periodically descend into the pool to stir the waters, and the first one who stepped into the pool after the waters swirled would instantly be healed.[e]

Now there was a man who had been disabled for thirty-eight years lying among the multitude of the sick.[f] When Jesus saw him lying there, he knew that the man had been crippled for a long time.[g] So Jesus said to him, “Do you truly long to be healed?”[h]

The sick man answered him, “Sir,[i] there’s no way I can get healed, for I have no one who will lower me into the water when the angel comes. As soon as I try to crawl to the edge of the pool, someone else jumps in ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Stand up! Pick up your sleeping mat and you will walk!” Immediately he stood up—he was healed! So he rolled up his mat and walked again! Now this miracle took place on the Jewish Sabbath.

10 When the Jewish leaders saw the man walking along carrying his sleeping mat,[j] they objected and said, “What are you doing carrying that? Don’t you know it’s the Sabbath? It’s not lawful for you to carry things on the Sabbath!”

11 He answered them, “The man who healed me told me to pick it up and walk.”

12 “What man?” they asked him. “Who was this man who ordered you to carry something on a Sabbath?”[k] 13 But the healed man couldn’t give them an answer, for he didn’t yet know who it was since Jesus had already slipped away into the crowd.

14 A short time later, Jesus found the man at the temple and said to him, “Look at you now! You’re healed! Walk away from your sin[l] so that nothing worse will happen to you.”

15 Then the man went to the Jewish leaders to inform them, “It was Jesus who healed me!” 16 So from that day forward the Jewish leaders began to persecute Jesus because of the things he did on the Sabbath.

Jesus Responds to the Jewish Leaders

17 Jesus answered his critics by saying, “Everyday my Father is at work, and I will be too!” 18 This infuriated them and made them all the more eager to devise a plan to kill him. For not only did he break their Sabbath rules,[m] but he called God “my Father,” which made him equal to God.[n]

19 So Jesus said, “I speak to you timeless truth. The Son is not able to do anything from himself or through my own initiative. I only do the works that I see the Father doing, for the Son does the same works as his Father.

20 “Because the Father loves his Son so much, he always reveals to me everything that he is about to do. And you will all be amazed when he shows me even greater works than what you’ve seen so far! 21 For just like the Father has power to raise the dead, the Son will raise the dead and give life to whomever he wants.

22 “The Father now judges no one, for he has given all the authority to judge to the Son, 23 so that the honor that belongs to the Father will now be shared with his Son. So if you refuse to honor the Son, you are refusing to honor the Father who sent him.

24 “I speak to you an eternal truth: if you embrace my message and believe in the One who sent me, you will never face condemnation, for in me, you have already passed from the realm of death into the realm of eternal life!”

Two Resurrections

25 “I speak to you eternal truth: Soon the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will arise with life! 26 For the Father has given the Son the power to impart life, even as the Father imparts life. 27 The Father has transferred to the Son the authority to judge, because he is the Son of Man.

28 “So don’t be amazed when I tell you these things, for there is a day coming when all who have ever died will hear my voice calling them back to life, 29 and they will come out of their graves! Those who have done what is good will experience a resurrection to eternal life. And those who have practiced evil will taste the resurrection that brings them to condemnation!

30 “Nothing I do is from my own initiative, for as I hear the judgment passed by my Father, I execute judgment. And my judgments will be perfect, because I can do nothing on my own, except to fulfill the desires of my Father who sent me. 31 For if I were to make claims about myself, you would have reasons to doubt.[o] 32 But there is another[p] who bears witness on my behalf, and I know that what he testifies of me is true.”

John the Baptizer

33 “You have sent messengers to John, and what he testified about me is true. 34 I have no need to be validated by men, but I’m saying these things so that you will believe and be rescued.

35 “John was a blazing, burning torch,[q] and for a short time you basked in his light with great joy. 36 But I can provide a more substantial proof of who I am that exceeds John’s testimony—my miracles! These works which the Father destined for me to complete—they prove that the Father has sent me! 37 And my Father himself, who gave me this mission, has also testified that I am his Son.[r] But you have never heard his voice nor seen his face, 38 nor does his Word truly live inside of you, for you refuse to believe in me or to embrace me as God’s messenger.

39 “You are busy analyzing the Scriptures, frantically poring over them in hopes of gaining eternal life. Everything you read points to me, 40 yet you still refuse to come to me so I can give you the life you’re looking for—eternal life![s]

41 “I do not accept the honor that comes from men, 42 for I know what kind of people you really are, and I can see that the love of God has found no home in you. 43 I have come to represent my Father, yet you refuse to embrace me in faith. But when someone comes in their own name and with their own agenda,[t] you readily accept him. 44 Of course you’re unable to believe in me. For you live for the praises of others and not for the praise that comes from the only true God.

45 “I won’t be the one who accuses you before the Father. The one who will incriminate you is Moses, the very one you claim to obey, the one in whom you trust![u] 46 If you really believed what Moses has written, then you would embrace me, for Moses wrote about me! 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, no wonder you don’t believe what I say.”[v]


  1. John 5:1 Or “feast.” It is difficult to determine with certainty which of the feasts it was: Passover, Tabernacles, or Purim. Most of the ancient expositors taught that it was the Feast of Pentecost. There is no mention of the other disciples being with him at this time.
  2. John 5:1 The present tense is here in the text indicates that when John wrote his Gospel, the pool of Bethesda was still there. However, by 68–70 AD, Jerusalem had been destroyed, along with the temple, by the Roman invasion. This would indicate John’s Gospel has an earlier date of origin than believed. It is likely that John wrote this prior to 67 AD.
  3. John 5:1 Or Bethesda. In Hebrew, Beit-Hesed, which means “House of Loving Kindness.” The name of this pool is found with many variations in different manuscripts. Some have “Bethsaida,” or “Bethsatha,” or “Belzetha (House of the Olive).” Archaeologists have discovered a deep double pool near St. Anne’s Church in Jerusalem surrounded by five porticoes located near the Sheep Gate, confirming the validity of the biblical account. The Sheep Gate is where the sacrificial animals were brought into the temple. This points us to the Lamb of God whose cross and sacrifice brought us healing. There is a pool of mercy near the Sheep Gate.
  4. John 5:1 Or “covered walkways,” or “alcoves.” The sick were under the “covering” of the Law, the five books of the Torah. But the Law cannot heal; it wounds and brings death. Christ is the healer, the living Torah.
  5. John 5:4 The majority of manuscripts do not have v. 4, and a few Greek manuscripts do not even have v. 3. However, the absence of the data found in these verses would leave a tremendous gap in the narrative, leaving unanswered why all these sick people would have congregated at the pool of Bethesda, and making v. 7 very confusing. There remains a strong basis found in a diverse set of manuscripts, both Greek and Aramaic, to argue for the inclusion of vv. 3 and 4 here.
  6. John 5:5 Under the shelter of religion, there are the sick and lame and blind who can’t be healed unless they do the work and step into the pool. They are helpless and hopeless so near the Sheep Gate. But Jesus has none of the law’s requirements to put upon us for our healing, only to believe in one who is greater than angels. The man had been sick for thirty-eight years, the exact length of time Israel had wandered in the wilderness. See Deut. 2:14.
  7. John 5:6 Jesus exercised a supernatural knowledge of this man’s situation.
  8. John 5:6 Or “Are you convinced that you are already made whole?” The Greek phrase genesthai is actually not a future tense (“want to be healed”) but an aorist middle infinitive that indicates something already accomplished. Jesus is asking the crippled man if he is ready to abandon how he sees himself and now receive the faith for his healing.
  9. John 5:7 The Greek word kurios means “lord” or “sir.”
  10. John 5:10 Or “cot” or “stretcher.” The Aramaic word is “quilt” or “mat.”
  11. John 5:12 The Jewish leaders were filled with malice. They should have been filled with joy that the man was healed. They should have asked, “Who is the wonderful one who healed you?”
  12. John 5:14 Or “Don’t continue sinning any longer.”
  13. John 5:18 Jesus did not break the Sabbath, he “loosed” it (literal Aramaic). He loosed it from the bondage of tradition and man-made rules.
  14. John 5:18 They clearly understood that Jesus was claiming God as his Father in a unique way.
  15. John 5:31 According to the Mosaic laws, a man’s testimony about himself is inadmissible.
  16. John 5:32 This is the Father (see v. 37). Some believe it to be John because of v. 33. However, Jesus states that he does not need human validation.
  17. John 5:35 Or “a lantern of chasing flames.”
  18. John 5:37 Or “testified about me.” This an obvious reference to the audible voice of God that spoke over Jesus at his baptism. For this reason and the reference to God’s voice, the translator has chosen to make it explicit that it refers to the Father’s testimony at Jesus’ baptism. See Luke 3:21-22. The fourfold witness of Christ’s glory is: Jesus himself, John the Baptizer, the Father who spoke over his Son, and the miracles of Jesus.
  19. John 5:40 There were five witnesses to Christ’s authority and deity in this chapter. Jesus himself (vv. 25–27), John the Baptizer (vv. 32–34), Christ’s miracles (v. 36), the Father (vv. 36–38), and the Scriptures (vv. 39–40, see also Ps. 40:7).
  20. John 5:43 Implied in the text.
  21. John 5:45 Jesus prophesies that Moses, on the final judgment day, will be the one to accuse those who would not listen to the laws and teachings of the Torah, which point to their fulfillment in Christ.
  22. John 5:47 Apparently this concludes Jesus’ ministry in Jerusalem at this time. The text does not tell us of his return to the province of Galilee.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com


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