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Gospel of John – Week Four

This week: Chapters 4:46-54, 5

Week Four PDF

  • Chapter 4:46-54
    • In the story of Jesus healing the official’s son, note that the official had faith in Jesus and did not beg him to physically come to visit his son.
    • Jesus had (and has) the power to know and touch lives no matter where He is.
    • Chapter Five
      • First, look at verse four- it may not be in your Bible (or it might be in a footnote). Why???
        • In 1611, the KJV was created, mostly from texts that were recently copied (recent at the time). At that point, there had been over 1,500 years’ worth of manual copies of the Bible texts. More recent discoveries of much older texts (unavailable in 1611) do not have the verse.
        • This verse seems to only appear copies of John dating after 500 AD.
        • A number of Greek manuscripts copied from 900 AD have this verse with a special mark showing that the copyist had questions about its authenticity.
        • This is not to say that the verse should not be considered Holy Scripture, but to point out reasons why some translators think it should be left out of the Bible.
        • For a full discussion, find a discussion on Bible translations.
  • For 38 years, a man had been lame. He was waiting by a healing pool hoping to get healed by getting into the water when it was stirred up.
    • The belief was that, after an angel stirred up the waters, the first person to enter the pool would be healed of whatever ailed them.
  • Jesus tells the man to take up his bed and walk. And he did just that! ‘Bed’ would have most likely been a mat or mattress of some sort.
  • This was on the Sabbath and the Jewish leaders questioned the man because, as they said, ‘it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.’ Was it unlawful?
    • Jewish tradition, NOT the Law of Moses, said it was unlawful to carry anything on the Sabbath.
  • The Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus for doing work on the Sabbath (verse 16).
  • In the rest of chapter five (verses 17-47), Jesus basically lectures them in their hypocrisy.
  • After they complain about Jesus breaking the Sabbath, it is interesting that (it seems to me) Jesus mocks the Pharisees by telling them:

45Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
46For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

  • Discussion
    • What did Jesus mean in John 5:14 when He said, “…Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee”?
    • Jesus could have ‘played nice’ and waited to heal the man on a day other than the Sabbath. After 38 years, what difference would one more day make? Should he have?
    • So far in John, we have seen Jesus do some pretty bad things- from a cultural standpoint in the minds of the Jewish leaders. What lessons could there be for us, today from the things Jesus did?

Next week:
Gospel of John chapters 6-7.

Archeology and the Bible
Considering the lack of any historical or archeological evidence of the existence of the Bethesda pool in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate, some argued that the Gospel of John was written at a later date by someone who didn’t know the city and that the pool was symbolic, not a literal place.

In 1888, archeologists found two pools buried 40 feet underground, along with the five covered colonnades- just where and how John had described it! One pool was 55 feet long, the other, 65 feet.  God’s Word Trumps Science. Amen!