11. Healing at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-16)


Audio (27:41)

Nathan Greene, 'At the Pool of Bethesda'
Nathan Greene, 'At the Pool of Bethesda,' oil on canvas, 40x30. Copyrighted, permission requested.
Of the many incidents of Jesus healing people that John had observed as a disciple, he selected only a very few to include in his Gospel. He apparently assumed that his readers had access to one or more of the Synoptic Gospels. So we have to assume that his selections were intended to teach important things about what who Jesus is and what it means to believe in him.

From Samaria to Galilee to Jerusalem (5:1)

After Jesus' ministry in Samaria, we know from the Synoptic Gospels that he spent considerable time ministering in Galilee, though John only records the healing of the royal official's son. Now John takes us back to Jerusalem, to a remarkable healing at the Pool of Bethesda.

"Some time later[197], Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews." (5:1)

We're not told what feast Jesus had come to Jerusalem for, so it's probably not too important, except to clarify that this was an historical event.[198]

The Pool of Bethesda (5:2)

Photo of the Pool of Bethesda in a 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem in the period of the Second Temple, constructed by Israeli archeologist and historian Michael Avi-Yonah (1904-1974) at the Holyland Hotel, now at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
Photo of the Pool of Bethesda in a 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem in the period of the Second Temple, constructed by Israeli archeologist and historian Michael Avi-Yonah (1904-1974) at the Holyland Hotel, now at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

John describes the scene as you would expect an eyewitness to do for readers who hadn't been to Jerusalem.

 "Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades." (5:2)

The Sheep Gate was doubtless the gate through which the sheep traveled on their way to be sacrificed in the temple. The Pool of Bethesda was nearby, just north of the temple precincts.

In the early manuscripts there are a number of spellings for the name of the pool. Most English translations give it as "Bethesda," which means "House of Mercy." This seems to be supported by a reference in the Copper Scroll discovered at Qumran.[199]In this lesson I'll be using the familiar name "Bethesda."

The pool of Bethesda was discovered in the 19th century under the ruins of a Byzantine church. The archaeological evidence shows a pool shaped like a trapezoid, varying from 165 to 200 feet (50 to 60 meters) wide by 315 feet (96 meters) long, divided into two pools by a central partition. The southern pool had broad steps with landings, indicating that it was a mikveh, or ritual bath (similar to the Pool of Siloam at the south end of the city), where Jerusalem's pilgrims would gather to purify themselves for worship. The northern pool provided a reservoir to continually replenish and re-purify the southern pool with fresh water flowing south through the dam between them.[200]Water probably came from runoff in the city and some underground springs.

John describes "five covered colonnades," (NIV, ESV), "porticos" (NRSV), "porches" (KJV). The word means, "a roofed colonnade open normally on one side, portico,"[201]that is, a series of columns set at regular intervals and usually supporting the base of a roof structure.[202]Weather permitting, people could sit or lie during the day under these covered porches to be sheltered from the sun.

Troubling of the Waters (5:3-4)

But pilgrims to the city were not the only ones who came to the Pool of Bethesda. It was also a center for healing. John explains:

"Here a great number of disabled people[203]used to lie -- the blind, the lame[204], the paralyzed.[205]" (5:3)

Why they were there is explained by a gloss, or explanation by an early scribe trying to make the reason for the gathering clear for the readers. It is included in the footnotes of modern translations, but it clearly was not part of the earliest Greek manuscripts, thus not part of Holy Scripture, though it explains the situation clearly enough.[206]

"3b and they waited for the moving of the waters.  4  From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had." (5:3b-4)

This explanation of healing from an angel stirring up the waters was believed by many of the sick and infirm in the city. The stirring doubtless had a physical cause -- some bubbling up of an intermittent spring, perhaps. But that an angel troubled the waters seems to have been a popular superstition among the populace, much like the superstitions that have surrounded "holy wells" and mineral springs back to Babylonian times.[207] Instead of seeking out the Healer who had come to Jerusalem to heal and save, they huddled around this pool and pinned their hopes on the chance that they might be the first into the waters.

We're not told how many invalids might be gathered on a given day, but I imagine there were scores, perhaps hundreds.

An Invalid for 38 Years (5:5-9)

Now John introduces us to the subject of Jesus' healing that day. Of all the wretched people gathered at poolside that day, Jesus selected this one man.

"5  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6  When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, 'Do you want to get well?'
7  'Sir,' the invalid replied, 'I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred[208]. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.'
8  Then Jesus said to him, 'Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.'
9  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (5:5-9)

We're not told of the man's particular problem. He is referred to as an "invalid" (NIV, ESV), one "who had been ill" (NRSV), "had an infirmity" (KJV). The word is a general word referring to "a state of debilitating illness, sickness, disease."[209]

I assume that he was not merely lame, making his way on crutches, but paralyzed, since he was lying on a mat and couldn't get into the water very easily by himself. I'm guessing that some people, perhaps relatives or neighbors, carried him to the pool every morning and home every night. But during the day they would need to work to support themselves and him, and there was no one he could rely on to help him. No friend.

Jesus has learned -- probably from talking with the man himself -- that he has been an invalid for 38 years. I can almost hear him recite to Jesus his litany of complaint about his sad and miserable life.

The Invalid's Character and the Grace of God

From John's brief account, we begin to get some hints about the invalid's character. Though we'll look deeper at some of these in a moment, it's helpful to list them in one place.

  1. Old. If the life expectancy in those days was maybe 35, and if this man had been afflicted during his childhood, he might have been 40 or 50 by this time -- an old man (5:5).
  2. Dependent. He probably relies on others to bring him, take him home, and support him (5:7). If he couldn't take care of himself well, he was probably dirty and smelly too -- a smelly old man.
  3. Complainer. He complains about how long he's been an invalid. He complains that he doesn't have anyone to help him into the pool (5:5, 7)
  4. Blamer. When confronted by the Jews for carrying his pallet on the Sabbath he blames the person who told him to carry it (5:10-13).
  5. Sinner (5:14), serious enough for Jesus to confront him in the temple.
  6. Ungrateful and disloyal. When he learns Jesus' name, he reports it to the religious leaders. He "tattles" on Jesus rather than being thankful for his healing and loyal to his healer (5:15).
  7. Unrepentant (5:14-15). There's no indication that he accepted and acted on Jesus' rebuke about his sin; rather John tells us that he reports Jesus to the authorities.

Why did Jesus choose to heal this man of all those gathered at the Pool of Bethesda that day? I can only conclude that it was the Father's clear direction (see 5:19) and utter grace! Clearly, this man didn't deserve what he received -- nor did he seem to appreciate it at any depth.

Q1. (John 5:1-16) How would you describe the invalid's character? The invalid's faith? How does Jesus' healing here demonstrate the grace of God? Why do we humans find it difficult to accept grace when it is offered to us? Why do we resist the concept that God's gifts are entirely by grace?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1432-q1-character-and-grace/

"Do you want to get well?" (5:6)

"When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, 'Do you want to get well[210]?'" (5:6)

I've pondered Jesus' question. Why in the world would you ask a seriously ill person if he wants to get well? "Yes!" seems like the obvious answer! But I think Jesus wanted more than a Yes or No answer. He wanted to assess desire and faith.

John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard Fellowship movement and teacher in a class called "Signs, Wonders and Church Growth" (MC510) at Fuller Theological Seminary in the early 1980s, taught students to question those who came to them for healing. Too often we assume that a person wants one thing, while they just aren't where we imagine them to be. Since I learned this, when people come to me for prayer or come forward in a service, I usually ask, "What do you want God to do for you?" It helps me discern how to pray for them. And as I pray to God for wisdom, occasionally I get guidance on how to pray also.

Not all sick people really want to be healed -- or to surrender their lives to Christ -- even though that is their true need. Sometimes their sickness puts them in a place where they get lots of attention, for example. Jesus set the ministry example for us: Ask!

The invalid in our story didn't exactly answer the question. Rather he explained why he hadn't been healed. As mentioned above, his answer tells us something about his character and his faith.

Q2. (John 5:6) Why do you think Jesus asked the invalid if he wanted to get well? Why is it important for us not to make assumptions, but to seek discernment about people's needs before we pray for them?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1433-q2-inquiry-and-prayer/

Get up! Walk! (5:8-9)

Jesus doesn't pray for the man. He commands him with a word of power.

"8  Then Jesus said to him, 'Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.'
9  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked." (5:8-9)

We see this command to "get up" (NIV, ESV), "stand up" (NRSV), "rise" (KJV) a number of places in the Gospels. The word means, "awaken," then, "rise, get up," here, in a command to evoke movement from a fixed position "get up!, come!"[211]We see it with the paralytic when the ceiling of a home was broken up (Matthew 9:5-6; Mark 2:9, 11; Luke 5:23-24), a man in the synagogue with a shriveled hand (Mark 3:3; Luke 6:8), Jairus's daughter who is raised from dead (Mark 5:41; Luke 8:54), blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:49), and the crippled man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple (Acts 3:6).

Is the man obedient to Jesus' command? I'm not sure. He certainly got on his feet "at once" or "immediately,"[212]picked up his pallet, and began to walk. I think (but can't prove) that when Jesus spoke, his legs suddenly strengthened and he found himself standing. It wasn't so much a matter of obedience or faith, but an instinctive response to a sudden healing and the realization -- as he began to stand -- that he indeed had the strength to do so. Hallelujah! Perhaps his attempt to stand was even the trigger for the healing. We read about the 10 lepers who were healed:

"He said, 'Go, show yourselves to the priests.'
And as they went, they were cleansed." (Luke 17:14)

The two other elements of the healing were to pick up[213]his mat and walk. The mat or pallet could have been a bed or couch, or perhaps a stretcher on which friends carried him.[214]The man didn't need to be there any longer, so he took up his pallet and began to walk home -- and that's where he got into trouble.

Trouble with the "Sabbath Police" (5:9b-13)

We read in the news that in certain Middle Eastern countries there are self-appointed men who police how women must cover themselves -- or even drive a car themselves.

John tells us that this healing took place on a Sabbath. Apparently, in Jerusalem some of the strict Jews, probably Pharisees who interpreted the Law quite strictly, saw this man carrying his pallet home, and took it upon themselves to confront him.

"9b The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10  and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, 'It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.'" (5:9-10)

The law indeed was clear about observing the Sabbath. The Fourth Commandment says:

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God." (Exodus 20:8-10a)

Of course, the intent was that God's people should rest on the Sabbath and not pursue their normal work. But then the lawyers took over. There is a large tractate in the Mishnah that details just what is allowed and disallowed on the Sabbath. Accordingly it was allowable to carry a man on a bed on the Sabbath, but not to carry a bed without a man on it.[215]

As you may recall, Jesus was severely criticized for healing on the Sabbath (Luke 12:14; John 5:16; 9:14-16; etc.) and allowing his disciples to eat heads of grain they plucked as they walked ("harvesting," Matthew 12:2). Yes, carrying loads for your work was indeed prohibited (Jeremiah 17:21-22; Mark 11:16), but a healed man carrying home his pallet? That's not work!

The healed man's defense is to shift blame from himself to Jesus. "He told me to do it!"

"11  But he replied, 'The man who made me well said to me, "Pick up your mat and walk."'
12  So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?"
13  The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there." (5:11-13)

It's interesting that the healed man didn't learn Jesus' name. You would think that he would have been exceedingly grateful and thank Jesus. But, apparently, his only thought was his own healing. He didn't turn to Jesus with thanksgiving.

The text says that Jesus "slipped away" (NIV), "disappeared" (NRSV), "conveyed himself away" (KJV) "had withdrawn" (ESV), translating the verb ekneuō, "to draw away from, turn aside, withdraw."[216]This is in keeping with Jesus' style of not trying to use the spectacular to promote himself. He often told people not to tell anyone about a miracle (Matthew 8:4; 17:9; Mark 1:43; 3:12; 5:43; 7:36; etc.), and told his disciples not to reveal that he was the Messiah (Matthew 16:20).

How unlike him we often are! We seek the praise of men (5:41) and the free publicity that comes with the spectacular. We want to exploit the public relations value of anything we can. On the other hand, we do know that God often uses miracles to draw people to Christ. Many mass-healing campaigns overseas have swelled from word-of-mouth testimony and many have come to Christ as a result. My point is to check our motive. If it's pride -- and this is often one of our hidden motives -- we're not emulating Christ. God help us!

Q3. (John 5:9-13) Why are the "sabbath police" (the Pharisees) so upset at the man who is healed? How can a person be so intent on rules that they miss what God is doing? Have you ever caught yourself doing that? Has someone in your church been so intent on "how we do things here" that they couldn't see God at work? What is the sin of the Pharisees here?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1434-q3-spiritual-blindness/

Stop Sinning (5:14)

Later, perhaps that day or the next[217]-- we're not told -- Jesus sees the healed man in the temple. Perhaps he has come to offer a thank offering for his healing.

"14  Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, 'See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.' 15  The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well." (5:14-15)

Notice that Jesus spots[218]the man in the temple, not the other way around, even though there was probably a crowd of people around Jesus.

Jesus goes to the man and confronts him about his sin. We don't know what his sin was -- slander, cheating, sexual sin. We're not told. But it doesn't seem to be some kind of garden-variety weakness, but serious sin. Jesus commands him to stop sinning.[219]The verb is in the present imperative, suggesting that the man is continuing to sin -- it's not just a slip or single occurrence. It is his way of life.

Jesus tells him of the consequence if he doesn't stop sinning. "... Lest something worse may happen to you" (5:14b).[220]

You might ask, What would be worse[221]than being crippled for 38 years? Hell -- forever and throughout eternity, that is what Jesus is doubtless referring to.

Repentance

Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached, "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2; 4:17). It is very clear that repentance from sin is necessary to believe in Christ (Matthew 11:20; 21:32; Mark 6:12). The only reason we find this shocking is that we have embraced a gospel of grace without repentance. Just pray the sinner's prayer and be forgiven, we tell people. But faith without repentance is an oxymoron. It isn't biblical!

This doesn't mean we don't sometimes fall into sin. That we're not sometimes rebellious. That we don't need continual forgiveness purchased at great cost by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins (1 John 1:8-10; 2:1-2). We do. But we must repent from a lifestyle of sin. St. Paul is very clear that if we don't repent of sinful lifestyles, we are kidding ourselves if we think we're going to heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21). Jesus required this man -- and the woman taken in adultery (John 8:11) -- to stop sinning, to repent and to begin to live a different way.

The story of the healing of the man at the Pool of Bethesda is all of grace -- he didn't deserve anything, in fact, he wasn't a very good man to start with. But it is all about repentance also. If we try to separate grace from repentance we severely distort the gospel that Jesus and the apostles taught.

Former slave ship captain John Newton penned these immortal words:

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found,
Was blind, but now I see."

It follows, that if we can now "see," then we now avoid the things we used to be blind to and blunder into.

Sin and Sickness (5:14)

Verse 14 implies that there can be a relationship between sin and sickness.

"Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, 'See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.'" (5:14)

A number of times in the Bible we find instances where God does afflict people with sickness as a punishment.[222]With the paralytic let down by his friends into the house where Jesus was speaking, Jesus linked sin with illness (Mark 2:9). Does that mean that all sickness is a result of sin? No. We shouldn't generalize. Clearly, most of the time, Satan and demons bring illness (Luke 13:10-13). And with the man born blind, Jesus specifically states an instance where a man's sickness was absolutely not the result of sin at all (9:2-3).

The Healed Man Tattles on Jesus (5:15)

Did the healed man heed Jesus' rebuke to "stop sinning"? I don't think so. John records what happened next:

"The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well." (5:15)

Is it possible that the man repented later on? Yes, it's possible. But here his actions don't show belief in the Healer, but passing on blame and persecution to Jesus so he can avoid it himself, hardly the mark of a disciple. There's another such sad story in the Gospels, that of the rich young ruler. The man had a problem with a love of money Jesus had to confront that he might be saved:

"Jesus looked at him and loved him. 'One thing you lack,' he said. 'Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.' 22  At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth." (Mark 10:21-22)

This kind of story makes us both sad and uncomfortable. The fact is, that we do what we believe is in our greatest interest at the time. Will you repent, my friend, or only pretend that you truly "believe."

Q4. (John 5:14-15) Is it possible to be blessed outwardly, but lost inwardly? Why did Jesus confront the healed man in the temple with his sin? How was this necessary for a full healing, his salvation? Does the man seem to respond with faith to Jesus' rebuke?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1435-q4-inner-and-outer-healing/

Conflict with the Jewish Leaders and Pharisees (5:16-18)

Our passage closes by explaining that Jesus' death was due to the same kind of blind legalism that the Pharisees often exhibited.

"16  So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews[223] persecuted him. 17  Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18  For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God." (5:16-18)

They could see an astounding miracle, but criticize Jesus for not obeying their interpretation of the law.

The discourse that follows, explaining Jesus' relation to the Father is closely related to the story of the healing of the man at the Pool of Bethesda, but we'll consider it by itself in the next lesson.

Lessons for Disciples

There are several clear lessons for disciples found in our text:

  1. God's grace. God can work miracles without any bit of merit, earning, or deserving on our part.
  2. Outward blessing, can accompany inner death. Paradoxically, the man at the pool of Bethesda is healed outwardly, but apparently is never healed inwardly, because he shows no evidence of repentance when Jesus calls him to it.
  3. Ask a discerning question (verse 6). When you pray, ask what people want, in order to assess their needs and desires.
  4. God-awareness (verses 16-18). Some people, like the Pharisees, are so obsessed with their rules that they miss the miracle.
  5. Jesus expects repentance (verse 14). It is possible to repent and turn from our sins. We can change and improve, even if we don't become perfect in this life.
John's Gospel: A Discipleship Journey with Jesus, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Entire study is available in paperback, Kindle, and PDF formats.

This story is about healing. Even if you aren't suffering from a chronic physical ailment like the man at the pool, we all need healing. As Matthew Henry put it:

"We are all by nature impotent folk in spiritual things, blind, halt, and withered; but full provision is made for our cure, if we attend to it."

Prayer

Father, we are such spiritually dull people sometimes. We receive bountiful blessings from you and yet respond so ungratefully. It's not just the healed man in our story, but it's us! Forgive us. Change our hearts. Put in us faith and gratitude, we pray. And thank you for your grace that covers all our sins. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Key Verses

"[Jesus] asked him, 'Do you want to get well?'" (John 5:6, NIV)

"Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, 'See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.'" (John 5:14, NIV)

Endnotes

[197]"Some time later" (NIV) is a bit of an over-translation. It's more accurately translated, "after this" (NRSV, KJV, ESV).The Greek is meta tauta. Meta with the accusative is a "marker of time after another point of time, after" (BDAG 637, B2c).

[198]John does specify that Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Unleavened Bread and Passover (4:45; 6:4; 13:1; 11:56; 12:12, 20) and the Festival of Tabernacles or Booths (7:2, 8, 10, 14, 37).

[199]"Bethesda" (NIV, ESV, NASB, NJB, KJV) is attested by A C Θ 078 f1, 13Byzantine texts. "Beth-zatha" (NRSV, RSV) is also well-supported by early manuscripts (Aleph 33 Eusebius L D it), and was selected as "the least unsatisfactory reading" by the Editorial Committee of the United Bible Societies, which gives it a {D} or "doubtful" designation. Metzger, Textual Commentary, p. 208.

[200]Brown, John 1:207; Urban C. von Wahlde, "Archaeology and John's Gospel," in Charlesworth, Jesus & Archaeology, p. 560-566.

[201]Stoa, BDAG 945.

[202]Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary.

[203]"Disabled people"(NIV), "invalids" (NRSV), "impotent folk" (KJV) is the participle of  astheneō, "to suffer a debilitating illness, be sick" (BDAG 142, 1), also in verse 7.

[204]"Lame" is chōlos, "lame, crippled" (BDAG 1093).

[205]"Paralyzed" (NIV, NRSV), withered" (KJV) is xēros, "dry, withered up," figuratively, "pertaining to being shrunken or withered and therefore immobile because of disease, withered, shrunken, paralyzed" (BDAG 685, 2).

[206]Verses 3b-4 are missing on the earliest and most important manuscripts, including, p56,75Aleph B C* D Wa. The Editorial Committee of the United Bible Societies, Greek New Testament gave the omission an {A} or "virtually certain" rating (Metzger, Textual Commentary, p. 209).

[207]Edersheim, Life and Times, 3:466.

[208]"Stirred" (NIV), "troubled" is tarassō, "to cause movement by shaking or stirring, shake together, stir up," of water (in verses 3, 4, and 7).

[209]Astheneia, BDAG 142, 1.

[210]"Get well" (NIV), "healed" (ESV), "made well" (NRSV), "made whole" (KJV) is two words, ginomai, "to become" and hygiēs (from which root we get our word "hygiene"), "pertaining to being physically well or sound, 'healthy, sound.'" The adjective hygiēs occurs in verses 4, 6, 9, 14, as well as 5:11, 15; 7:23 (BDAG 102, 1a).

[211]Egeirō, BDAG 272, 13a.

[212]"At once" (NIV, NRSV), "immediately" (KJV) is eutheōs, "at once, immediately" (BDAG 405).

[213]"Pick/take up" is airō, "to lift up and move from one place to another," here, "carry away, remove" (BDAG 28, 2b).

[214]"Mat" (NIV, NRSV), "bed" (ESV, KJV) is krabbatos, "mattress, pallet" (BDAG 563) (Mark 2:4, 9, 11; 6:55). In Acts 5:15 the sick are laid on "beds (klinē) and mats (krabbatos)". There "bed" is klinē, "bed, couch," or "pallet, stretcher" on which a sick man was carried, probably not differentiated from "bed" (Matthew 9:2, 6; Luke 5:18; BDAG 549, 1).

[215]Beasley-Murray, John, p. 70, cites Strack and Billerbeck, 1:454-461.

[216]Ekneuō, BDAG 307.

[217]"Later" (NIV, NRSV), "afterward" (KJV, ESV) is, literally, "after (meta) these things." We're not told the interval of time.

[218]The verb is heuriskō, "to come upon something either through purposeful search or accidentally, find" (BDAG 411, 1b).

[219]"Stop sinning" (NIV), "do not sin any more" (NRSV),  "sin no more" (KJV, ESV) is two words: mēketi, "no longer, not from now on" (BDAG 647, fα), and hamartanō in the imperative present tense, "to commit a wrong, to sin" (in the sense 'transgress' against divinity, custom, or law (BDAG 49, 1a).

[220]This future is not certain, for the verb is in the subjunctive rather than the future tense.

[221]"Worse" is cheirōn, "worse, more severe" (BDAG 1083).

[222]Some instances of God afflicting people with sickness as a punishment are: disobedient Israelites, Deuteronomy 28:59; 29:22; Nabal, 1 Samuel 25:38; Gehazi, 2 Kings 5:27; Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 26:19-20.

[223]For John's use of "the Jews" to refer to Jewish leaders, see Appendix 2. "'The Jews' in John's Gospel."


Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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