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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 5

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1 SOME time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2Now at the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool whose Hebrew name is Bethesda. It has five colonnades 3and in them lay a great number of sick people, blind, lame, and paralysed a 5:3 paralysed: some witnesses add waiting for the disturbance of the water; some also add 4for from time to time an angel came down into the pool and stirred up the water. The first to plunge in after this disturbance recovered from whatever disease had afflicted him. . 5Among them was a man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years. 6Jesus saw him lying there, and knowing that he had been ill a long time he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ 7‘Sir,’ he replied, ‘I have no one to put me in the pool when the water is disturbed; while I am getting there, someone else steps into the pool before me.’ 8Jesus answered, ‘Stand up, take your bed and walk.’ 9The man recovered instantly; he took up his bed, and began to walk.

That day was a sabbath. 10So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, ‘It is the sabbath. It is against the law for you to carry your bed.’ 11He answered, ‘The man who cured me, he told me, “Take up your bed and walk.” ’ 12They asked him, ‘Who is this man who told you to take it up and walk?’ 13But the man who had been cured did not know who it was; for the place was crowded and Jesus had slipped away. 14A little later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘Now that you are well, give up your sinful ways, or something worse may happen to you.’ 15The man went off and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had cured him.

16It was for doing such things on the sabbath that the Jews began to take action against Jesus. 17He defended himself by saying, ‘My Father continues to work, and I must work too.’ 18This made the Jews all the more determined to kill him, because not only was he breaking the sabbath but, by calling God his own Father, he was claiming equality with God.

19To this charge Jesus replied, ‘In very truth I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he does only what he sees the Father doing: whatever the Father does, the Son does. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing, and will show him even greater deeds, to fill you with wonder. 21As the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life as he chooses. 22Again, the Father does not judge anyone, but has given full jurisdiction to the Son; 23it is his will that all should pay the same honour to the Son as to the Father. To deny honour to the Son is to deny it to the Father who sent him.

24‘In very truth I tell you, whoever heeds what I say and puts his trust in him who sent me has eternal life; he does not come to judgement, but has already passed from death to life. 25In very truth I tell you, the time is coming, indeed it is already here, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear shall come to life. 26For as the Father has life in himself, so by his gift the Son also has life in himself.

27‘As Son of Man he has also been given authority to pass judgement. 28Do not be surprised at this, because the time is coming when all who are in the grave shall hear his voice 29and come out: those who have done right will rise to life; those who have done wrong will rise to judgement. 30I cannot act by myself; I judge as I am bidden, and my sentence is just, because I seek to do not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.

31‘If I testify on my own behalf, that testimony is not valid. 32There is another who bears witness for me, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. 33You sent messengers to John, and he has testified to the truth. 34Not that I rely on human testimony, but I remind you of it for your own salvation. 35John was a brightly burning lamp, and for a time you were ready to exult in his light. 36But I rely on a testimony higher than John's: the work my Father has given me to do and to finish, the very work I have in hand, testifies that the Father has sent me. 37And the Father who has sent me has borne witness on my behalf. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen; 38his word has found no home in you, because you do not believe the one whom he sent. 39You study the scriptures diligently, supposing that in having them you have eternal life; their testimony points to me, 40yet you refuse to come to me to receive that life.

41‘I do not look to men for honour. 42But I know that with you it is different, for you have no love of God in you. 43I have come accredited by my Father, and you have no welcome for me; but let someone self-accredited come, and you will give him a welcome. 44How can you believe when you accept honour from one another, and care nothing for the honour that comes from him who alone is God? 45Do not imagine that I shall be your accuser at the Father's tribunal. Your accuser is Moses, the very Moses on whom you have set your hope. 46If you believed him you would believe me, for it was of me that he wrote. 47But if you do not believe what he wrote, how are you to believe what I say?’

Notes:

a 5:3 paralysed: some witnesses add waiting for the disturbance of the water; some also add 4for from time to time an angel came down into the pool and stirred up the water. The first to plunge in after this disturbance recovered from whatever disease had afflicted him.

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