Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 16: John 5:1-18

John 5:1-18
After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, 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. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, 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. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 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.

Background Information
The word wist basically means to know. The Greek word it translates usually carries the idea of to see. Keep in mind that in those days before television and photojournalism, a public figure’s face would not be quite the item of common knowledge that it is today.

Many people today would use the word impotent to describe a particular physical problem. In John 5, the Greek word translated “impotent” means “feeble.” That same Greek word can also be translated “sick.”

The story of an angel stirring up water to bring healing may strike you as unusual. Please keep in mind that 1) it doesn’t seem to have happened very often, and 2) this was in the city where the temple of God was located, a place where we might expect the miraculous.

Related Scriptures
Exodus 31:12-18 (Part of the law about the Sabbath)  
Matthew 12:1-14 Luke 1:35 (The angel speaks to Mary about Jesus’ coming birth in this verse.)
John 3:1-2


  1. a. Based on Hebrews 4:14-16 and other Scriptures you may be familiar with, did Jesus ever sin? b. Did He violate the intention of God’s law by healing the man on the Sabbath?
  2. The man Jesus healed quoted Jesus for the authority to carry his bed on the Sabbath. Which of the related Scriptures would suggest that Jesus healing power proved He was God’s Representative and, therefore, had such authority?
  3. Does the fact that God wants us to do good even when His law would normally cause us to do nothing indicate that God cares about those we might help?
  4. Does God work on the Sabbath?
  5. Who did Jesus say was His Father?
  6. What did calling God His Father say about Jesus?
  7. We can’t know from the text, but a. do you think the man knew that revealing Jesus’ identity would put Him at risk? b. Based on your answer to a. was this man loyal to Jesus?

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