Jesus makes a man able to walk
1Some time after that, Jesus went to Jerusalem, because it was time for one of the Jewish festivals.
2There is a pool near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. Its name in the Jewish language is Bethesda. Round the pool, there is a building with five places that have a roof over them. 3A large number of sick people were lying in these places. Some of them were blind. Some of them could not walk properly. Some of them could not move their legs or their arms. [They were waiting for when the water started to move. 4An angel would go down into the pool at certain times and move the water about. When that happened, all the sick people tried to get into the pool. The first person who got into the water became well, whatever his illness was.]#5:4 This verse is not in all the copies of John's Gospel.
5One man who was lying there had been ill for 38 years. 6Jesus saw this man. He knew that the man had been ill like this for a very long time. So he asked the man, ‘Do you want to get well?’ 7The sick man said, ‘Sir, I do not have anyone who will help me. I need somebody who will put me into the pool. When the water starts to move, I try to get in. But someone else always gets in before me.’ 8Then Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ 9The man became well immediately. He picked up his mat and he walked.
The day when this happened was a Jewish day for rest. 10Because of this, the Jewish leaders spoke to the man that Jesus had made well. They said to him, ‘You must not carry your mat on our day for rest. You are not obeying the rules.’ 11The man replied, ‘The man who made me well said to me, “Pick up your mat and walk.” ’ 12So they asked him, ‘Who is this man? Who said to you, “Pick up your mat and walk”?’ 13The man did not know who had made him well. Jesus had gone away and joined the crowd that was there.
14Some time after that, Jesus found the man in God's Great House. Jesus said to him, ‘See, you have become well. Stop doing wrong things. If you do not stop, something worse may happen to you.’ 15Then the man went to the Jewish leaders. He told them that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16The Jewish leaders were angry because Jesus had made a man well on their day for rest. As a result, they began to cause a lot of trouble for Jesus. 17But Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is still working, and I too must work.’ 18Because Jesus said this, the Jewish leaders got really angry. They wanted even more to kill him. He not only worked on the day for rest. He was also calling God his own Father, so he was making himself equal with God. #5:18 The Jewish day of rest was the seventh day of the week (Saturday). God had said that Israel's people must not work on that day. But Jesus was obeying his Father, God. And God chose to make the man well on the Jewish rest day. The man was not really working when he carried his mat. It was not a big heavy thing. God had made good rules to help people. Jesus wanted the Jews to see that they did not really understand the purpose of God's rules.
19So, Jesus answered them, ‘I am telling you what is true. The Son can do nothing by himself. He sees what the Father does, and he can do only those same things. What the Father does, the Son does also. 20The Father loves the Son. He shows the Son all the things that he himself does. And the Father will show the Son even greater things to do than these. Those greater things will surprise you even more than what you have already seen. 21The Father raises dead people, to make them alive again. In the same way, the Son gives life to whoever he chooses. 22More than that, the Father does not judge anyone. He has given authority to the Son, so that the Son will judge all people. 23So then all people will know how great the Son is. They know that the Father is very great. In the same way, they will know that the Son is also very great. Some people may refuse to agree that the Son is great. But those people are thinking the same things about the Father, because he sent the Son. 24I am telling you what is true. Everyone who hears my message should believe in the Father who sent me. If they do believe, they will have life for ever with God. God will not punish them because of the wrong things that they have done. Death no longer has authority over them. Now they have life with God.
25I am telling you what is true. A time will soon come when those who are dead in their spirits will hear the voice of the Son of God. Yes, it is that time already. Those people who hear that message will receive true life. 26The Father himself can give people life. In the same way, he has given authority to the Son also to give people life. 27The Father has also given authority to the Son to judge people. That is because I am the Son of Man. 28Do not be surprised by this. There will be a time when all the dead people will hear the Son's voice. 29They will come out from under the ground. Those people who have done good things will rise and live with God always. Those people who have done bad things will also rise. But they will rise so that God can punish them.’
Things that show who Jesus really is
30Jesus went on to say, ‘I can do nothing by myself. I hear what the Father says to me. Then, because of what he says, I judge. So, I judge in a way that is right. I am not trying to do what I myself want. The Father sent me, and I want to do what he wants. 31If I say great things about myself, nobody would know that my words are true. 32But there is someone else who speaks about me. I know that what he says about me is true. 33You have sent your people to ask John about me. What he has told you about me is true. 34I do not really need any man to speak on my behalf. But I am telling you this to help you. Then God will be able to save you. 35John was like a light that shone brightly. For a certain time, you enjoyed the light that he gave.
36But it is not only John who shows who I am. There are other things that show it more strongly. My Father has given work to me so that I could finish it. These are the things that I do, and they show who I am. They show clearly that the Father has sent me. 37Also, the Father himself has spoken about me. You have never heard his voice. And you have never seen his shape. 38I am the one that he has sent. You do not receive his message because you do not believe in me. 39You study carefully what the Bible teaches. You think that those books will give you life with God. And those books do really explain what is true about me. 40But then you refuse to come to me so that you could have life with God!
41I do not want people to praise me. That is not important to me. 42But I know what kind of people you are. I know that you do not really love God. 43I have come with my Father's authority, but you do not accept me. But if someone else comes with his own authority, then you will accept him. 44You like to praise each other. That makes you happy. But you do not do good things so that God will praise you. He alone is God but you do not love him. That is why you will never believe in me.
45But I will not need to tell the Father that you are wrong. Do not think that I will do that. No, it is Moses who will do that. You hope that Moses is the one who will help you. But he is the one who will show that you are wrong. 46Moses wrote about me. So, if you had really believed Moses, you would have believed me. 47But you do not believe what Moses wrote. So, you will never believe what I say.’ #5:47 The first five books of the Old Testament in the Bible are called the books of Moses.