Many scholars think the order of chapters 5 and 6 should be reversed since 6:1 assumes Jesus is in Galilee, but chapter 5 is set in Jerusalem. There is, however, no reason to doubt that Jesus moved around in this fashion. The vague expression "after these things" (meta tauta, 5:1; 6:1) suggests that although John is giving us a sequence of events, he is not concerned with giving us a detailed itinerary (cf. Carson 1991: 267). Furthermore, shifting the chapters would destroy the thematic development, for chapter 5 is linked to the initial stories, which have revealed God's glory and the conflict that is now evoked. The healing of the man by the pool (5:1-15) reveals the glory at its brightest and triggers the conflict (5:16-18) that will dominate the rest of the story. The challenge of the Jewish opponents leads to Jesus' keynote address (5:19-30), a statement by Jesus that is fundamental to understanding him and all of his activity. Then follows a series of confirming witnesses (5:31-40) and Jesus' condemning accusation of his opponents (5:41-47).
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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