After our Lord had healed the man at the pool of Bethesda, there being a great crowd there, He conveyed Himself away. The man did not know Who He was nor could he find Him to show others who had healed him.
(Vs. 14) Afterwards the Lord found him in the temple and told him to "sin no more," or to walk in righteousness, faith, and the light of Christ which had been revealed to him, "lest a worse thing" than being crippled come upon him; that is, eternal condemnation (Heb. 10:38-39).
(Vs. 15) The man then found the Jews who had inquired of him, "Who told you to take up your bed and walk?" and told them that it was Jesus the Christ Who made him whole. There was the danger of persecution and excommunication involved here; but he not only was not ashamed of Christ, but wanted to confess Him and be identified with Him (John 9:33-38; John 16:1-4).
(Vs. 16) How this verse reveals the awful depravity of human nature, even the blindness and tradition of carnal religion! Here was a man, well-known, who had been afflicted for 38 years, who had lain helplessly by this pool until by the power of the Son of God he was made wholestrong enough to carry his bed! There was no doubt of the cure, of a wonderful miracle that they could not deny. Instead of being filled with joy, praise, and faith in the Messiah, they were filled with hatred and sought to kill Him. They used as an excuse the fact that He had violated their Sabbath laws. Their tradition was more important to them than the glory of God or the welfare of sinners.
(Vs. 17-27) Beginning at Verse 17 and continuing through Verse 27, the Lord Jesus sets forth before these Jews HIS ABSOLUTE EQUALITY AND ONENESS WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER! He gives a seven-fold proof of His deity. Evidently when the man identified Jesus Christ as the One Who had healed him and told him to take up his bed and walk, the Jews said something to Him; for Verse 17 says that HE ANSWERED THEM!
1. IN REDEMPTIVE WORK HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER (Vs. 17). From the foundation of the world the Father has been working His will to redeem a people out of every nation (Rom. 8:28; Eph. 2:8-10). The Jews knew what He was saying, for they sought to kill Him for making Himself EQUAL WITH GOD (John 10:30-33).
2. IN WILL AND PURPOSE HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER (Vs. 19). "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do" does not restrict nor limit His power; but He is saying that the Son does not and cannot act INDEPENDENTLY of the Father, for they are ONE in will and purpose.
3. IN KNOWLEDGE HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER (Vs. 20). There is no creature who is capable of knowing and understanding all the ways and workings of God (Rom. 11:33-34). But the Son knows, for He was with Him in the beginning (Prov. 8:24-30). He will yet reveal greater things IN and THROUGH the Son, "that ye may marvel" (John 6:61-62; II Tim. 1:10).
4. IN SOVEREIGN RIGHTS HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER (Vs. 21). This verse presents the fourth proof of Christ's deity. He lays claim to Divine sovereignty. When He healed a lame man, He did not heal them all but singled out one and made him whole. The Son, like the Father, will quicken and give life to whom He willthat ends the matter. It is not to be reasoned about, but believed (Exo. 33:18-19; Rom. 9:13-16).
5. IN DIVINE HONOR AND WORSHIP HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER (Vs. 22-23). The Father is the One Whom we might most naturally expect to be the Judge. He has been sinned against, wronged, and His claims denied. But the Father has committed all judgment of Satan, men, and this world to the Son (Acts 17:31). The reason for this is "that all should honor the Son even as they honor the Father" (Col. 1:14-18).
6. IN IMPARTING LIFE HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER (Vs. 24-26). Once more He links Himself in perfect union with the Father. Those who hear My word, hear HIS word! Those who believe on Me, believe on HIM Who sent me! And they HAVE PASSED from death to life; for the hearing ear and the seeing eye are not qualifications for obtaining life, but are evidences and consequences of having God-given life which is given by Father and Son (Vs. 26). All the elect who were dead in sin shall hear His voice and live (Eph. 2:1).
7. IN JUDICIAL POWER AND AUTHORITY HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER (Vs. 27). The Father has appointed the Lord Jesus to have all judicial power and authority "because He is the Son of man." It was BECAUSE the Son of God became clothed with flesh and walked this earth as man that He was despised, rejected, and crucified, His Divine glory denied and disowned! Therefore, the despised One shall have the place of supreme honor and authority. All will be compelled to bow the knee to Him and confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Acts 2:36; Phil. 2:5-11; Matt. 28:18; John 17:1-2).