The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Five: Please open the following link to read chapter Five: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/5?lang=eng
At the Pool of Bethesda, Nathan Greene
Jesus healed a man at the Waters of Bethseda on the Sabbath day. Can you image the anguish that the man must have felt in his desire to be healed.
Jesus asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole?”
His answer, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me” (See vs. 1-7).
Here was a man who desired to be whole, so much that he continually tried putting his misplaced faith into practice, only to find that he fell short, that he couldn’t make it on his own.
Indeed, we all might feel just like that man. In our own illnesses, shortcomings, sins, and failures, we might feel as if there is no one to help us, no man to lift us, no man to make us whole.
But Jesus tells us differently.
Jesus said to this man, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”
And immediately the man was able to do so, even at Jesus’s word. He was made whole and he carried his bed away (See vs. 8-9).
Of course, the Jewish leaders were again angry; pride has a way of producing anger in us. They were angry that Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and they were angry that the man who was healed was carrying his bed through the streets. But this time (not having seen Jesus perform the miracle), instead of confronting Jesus, they confronted the man who was made whole:
“It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.”
He answered them, “He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.”
Of course, the leaders wanted him to identify Jesus, but he couldn’t at that time.(See vs. 10-13).
Later Jesus saw this man in the temple, and he spoke these words to him, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (vs. 14).
What does that tell us about turning from God to sin? He who forgives sins and has the power to make us whole, cannot keep us whole if we continue in sin. To be whole, our very natures need to changed. We cannot claim God’s mercy just because we repented at one time. We need to be seeking to do His will all of the time.
The man left the temple and found those who had questioned him. “He told them that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.” In response to this knowledge, the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to slay him. John’s record says that it is because he healed on the Sabbath day. I believe that there is more involved.
If someone had the power to heal and do good works, would we as mortals think that we should confine that power to our own mindset and time-frame? Who knows? Maybe we would be like the Jews, too caught up in the legal customs of the day. Would we not recognize the true Lawgiver? I think that pride and envy have always had a way of limiting our vision.
Jesus answers the Jews concerning His good Sabbath day works, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (vs. 17). This enrages them further.
“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (vs. 18).
Jesus testifies of His Father and of His own divinity. The Holy Ghost also bears witness of the Father and the Son. (Please read verses 19-38. These are important verses concerning the mission of Jesus Christ, who is our Savior, as given to Him by God, who is our Father.)
After Jesus teaches the Jews about His own mission and about His Father, and reminds them about John’s mission in preparing the way for the gospel of Jesus Christ, he says to them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (vs. 39).
Here are men who are supposedly well-versed in The Law and in The Prophets; but they’ve missed recognizing the Lawgiver and coming of the Messiah in fulfillment of the prophecies.
In the remaining verses, Jesus lets them know that their own unbelief will work to their condemnation, because they have not only rejected the Lord in person, but they’ve rejected Moses also to whom Jesus delivered His words. We must be careful that we don’t choose to be like these hypocritical Jewish leaders by choosing the things of this world over the things of our God.
“How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only” (vs. 44).