The Pool

The pool mentioned at the beginning of this chapter has been found by archaeologists. When people visit St. Anne’s Church in Jerusalem, you will be shown the deep excavation, which reveals the ancient Pool of Bethesda. This name is Hebrew, and it has been spelled various ways. With each variation comes a different meaning. Some say it means “house of mercy” or “house of grace.” Others say it means “place of the two outpourings.” [Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) – New Testament Volume 1- Be Alive (John 1-12) – John – Chapter Five, p. 304] There is both historical and archaeological evidence that two adjacent pools of water served this area in ancient times.


The pool is situated near the northeast corner of the Old City, which is close to the Sheep Gate. and There have been discovered five porticoes or covered colonnades which confirms the accuracy of the description given here in John’s Gospel.


Introduction to John 5

John 5

The Great Physician


We just finished reading John Four, and it revealed Jesus as the Soul Winner. He not only won the Samaritan woman, but many from her village came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The chapter ended with Jesus healing the nobleman’s son who was at death’s door.


My Bible (KJV) divides this chapter into six paragraphs. I have decided not to list the paragraph verses. This reason for this is I may not stay within the boundaries of these paragraphs.

The Nobleman’s Faith

Once again, Jesus is on the move. In His earthly ministry, He does not allow Himself to be distracted. He is on a Divine time line. After staying at Samaria for two days, he moves on to Galilee. His movements take Him back to Cana. Galilee was known as “Galil ha goyim–Galilee of the Gentiles.” [Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) – New Testament Volume 1 – Be Alive (John 1-12 – John – Chapter Four, p. 302] It seemed as though Jesus detected in Judea hostility toward Him. The religious leaders of Judea were upset with Jesus for ministering outside the norm. Real opposition would not manifest itself for some months. In Judea, He was known as the Prophet from Galilee and The response in Jerusalem had been insincere and shallow This area did not honor Him at all.

With this in mind, there arises the question: why did Jesus return to Cana? It may have been that He wanted to cultivate the seed He left there. The “seed” had been planted at the wedding feast. Nathanael came from this place. This could have been the reason too. When Jesus arrives there, He is met by a nobleman from Capernaum which is twenty miles away. It is obvious this man heard of the miracles that Jesus performed. He came that far to speak with Jesus about his son who was dying. This nobleman came by faith. He did not know if Jesus would even speak to him. This was going to be the second miracle at Cana by the request of a father.

We do not know if this man was a Jew or a Gentile. It should be noted that John did not give this man’s name. John was recording another important event in the ministry of Jesus, and that was all that mattered. The nobleman did not waste time talking to Jesus. He wanted Jesus to come to his home to heal his son. He told Jesus that his son was at the point of death. We are not given details concerning the disease that the young man had. This man walked in faith knowing of the miracles Jesus had already performed. Jesus said that “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” John 4:48. The nobleman begged Jesus to come to his house before his son would die. Jesus made no formal or eye-catching announcement. He just told the father to go back to Capernaum. His son shall live. Notice the man’s response. He believed Jesus’ words, and he began his trip back home. When he returned home, his servants told him that his was alive. This nobleman asked when did his son begin to heal. The servants told him what hour the son began to heal. He realized that it was the same hour that Jesus spoke to him. It was the seventh hour. He was standing in front of Jesus at that time. Not only did the nobleman believe in Jesus, but this man’s entire household believed in Jesus. This is declared as the second miracle that was done by Jesus.

Once again Jesus performs a miracle based upon the belief of an individual. This man had such great faith that he believes the spoken word of Jesus.


Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

This speaks of the kind active faith that we need today.

WALKING IN FAITHIt was faith that brought Isaac into Abraham’s arms.

Faith that kept Peter up when he walked on water.

Faith that helped Moses lead the Israelites across the Red Sea.

Faith that healed the blind man calling out to Jesus and faith that restored the health of the bleeding women.

Faith that caused the walls of Jericho to fall and the sun to stand still.

Faith that got Joseph through many years of waiting in the dungeon and David through many years of hiding in the desert.

Faith is such a beautiful thing.

In Hebrews it is defined as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.

It’s having confidence that God will come through for us even when nothing in our life gives us reason to prove that He will.

It’s believing that He will answer your prayer for a…

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The Ripple Effect

Have you ever thrown a stone into a pond? It produces a small ripple in the water. The ripple spreads into larger ripples. This is what happens when it comes to witnessing. John truly shows in this chapter that Jesus is a soul winner. It begins with the woman, and it ends with possibly her entire village coming to see Jesus. This is a perfect example of effective witnessing. Can we say that our witness is this effective?

The woman’s testimony caused many of the Samaritans to believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. She said that Jesus told her about her life. When the citizens of that village heard this, they came to Jesus to see and hear for themselves. They asked Jesus to stay with them for a while. Verse 40 states that Jesus stayed there for two days. It is important that new believers be rooted and grounded in the Word of God. In those two days, Jesus fed them spiritually. There is no such thing as “second hand salvation.” People must come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ for themselves. Then many more received salvation. Those who received salvation told the woman they believed the words of Jesus. They heard for themselves. Their belief and faith came not from her testimony. Her words stirred up their curiosity. They accepted Jesus as the Christ, the Savior. Verse 42.

Do you see how important your witnessing will become? You may be saying that your witness is not that strong. You may have excuses for the reason you do not witness. “I cannot speak well. I do not know the scriptures that well.” You must realize that God will give you the words to say to that individual. This means you must read and study God’s Word. You must pray to the Father for help in witnessing. As I stated earlier, you cannot use a template to witness to people. You must be in touch with the Holy Spirit so He can give you the right words to say. You are not alone. The Holy Spirit is your Comforter and Your Guide. He will bring all things back to your remembrance. That is a part of His ministry in your life. Read the following verses:


Note, which states that people shall be witnesses in Samaria. This is true even though the Jews despised these people. Nobody is left out when it comes to salvation. Jesus died for the world. If we faithfully follow Jesus, He will give us the harvest. We have no idea how many came to the Lord in Samaria because of this woman’s witness. She bore much fruit for the kingdom of God!


The Harvesting

Jesus now teaches with the illustration of sowing and reaping. The image of the harvest is a familiar one. It often applies to the ministry of winning souls. Notice that Jesus gave a visible example of this process with the woman of Samaria. Now He teaches it with a new illustration. Jesus does not jump from one topic to another without completing the picture.

The Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Tares relate to this theme. Paul used it in his letters After four months comes the harvest. Jesus tells them that harvest is ready to be reaped. The fields are white and ready.  There is a need for people to work in the fields. Is there a certain time to witness? I know I keep bringing this up, but this is what these verses are pointing out. There is a need for people to go out into the world and reap what has been sown.

Jesus goes on in verse 36 that the one who reaps will receive wages. This individual will be gathering fruit, which pertains to eternal life. The sower and the reaper will rejoice together. Souls are being brought into the kingdom of God. One has sown the Word of God into the hearts of those who will hear. Another reaps what has been sown. Another reaps that soul. You may witness to someone, and the seed you plant in their heart another shall see the fruit of it.

It takes faith to sow the seed of eternal life. This must be done in the good times as well in the bad times. We should never allow the enemy to stop us from sowing the good seed of eternal life. Note Take this to heart! We have entered into the labors of others.


Leading A Soul to Salvation

The disciples came with food from the city. They saw Jesus talking to the woman, but they did not ask Him anything about it. They are beginning to understand that Jesus does things outside the norm. Jesus tells them that He has meat that they know nothing about. Once again, they did not understand what He was talking about. Jesus was speaking of the meat of obedience and following the Father’s will. In this case, Jesus was speaking of the Father’s will. He was leading the woman to salvation. This was true nourishment for His soul. He was satisfied with accomplishing the Father’s work. Is this the nourishment that we seek when opportunity knocks? Is what we are doing bringing satisfaction spiritually? If not, we are not doing the will of the Father. This is another question we should be asking ourselves. Are we walking in the will of the Father?

Jesus did not see His witnessing to this woman as a heavy burden. What He was doing came naturally. Are we doing what would come naturally in the spiritual sense? If so, then we are living according to the will of the Father. Note The Samaritan woman was doing the will of the Father, and its fruit was manifested in her village’s response. Our lives should be filled with excitement and enrichment. Jesus makes the change from food to that of a harvest.


Forgiving Your Enemy


This chapter discusses what king David did concerning Mephibosheth. He was the son of Saul—David’s enemy. David became Saul’s archenemy when he won so many battles. The Israelites began to sing praises to David because of this. This made Saul angry toward David. He tried to kill David, but he was able to escape Saul. Saul searched for David to kill him, but God protected David. David had an opportunity to kill Saul, but David respected Saul as king.


          David wanted to know if there were any of Saul’s descendants left. He was doing this for Jonathan’s sake. Verse 1. It was found out that there was a servant of Saul living whose name was Ziba. David sent a messenger to him wanting to know if he was the same servant of Saul. He inquired of Ziba. He wanted to know if there were any Saul’s descendants alive. He wanted to show kindness toward anybody who remained. This showed that David held no animosity toward Saul or his family. This is how we should respond to our enemies. We should not hate those who are relatives of our enemy. Although their relative did us wrong, we should still extend hospitality toward their family. We must accept what they did without a root of bitterness. This is the way God expects us to behave toward those who may have offended us.


          When David heard about Mephibosheth, David invited him to live with him. This man was lame, and David placed him at the king’s table. Because David forgave Saul, he was able to extend hospitality to Mephibosheth.


          Some of you may be saying that this is a hard thing to do. Let me give you an example of forgiveness. Many years ago, I was spiritually abused by my pastor. By right, I should have forgiven him, but I had a hard time forgiving him. I prayed to Jesus asking Him to help me forgive this pastor. After that prayer, time went by. One morning my phone rang around 7:30 a.m. When I asked who was calling, it was that pastor. He began to weep, and so did I. He asked me to forgive him, and I did right away. While he continued to weep and talk, I realized that the Lord had given me the strength to forgive him. When I got off the phone, I praised God for giving me the strength to forgive him. We were both set free from this incident. I can now pray for him that God will restore him to his former ministry. This is what forgiveness is all about. If you are having a hard time forgiving someone, tell the Father about it. He will help you to forgive that individual.

Misuse of Anger

Nobody is exempt from anger. How you handle the heat is the key to dealing with this volatile emotion. The initial spark of anger that could be used for good, if snuffed out. It can keep anger from accomplishing its designated purpose. You and I need to examine ourselves whether we are handling this emotion properly.

Proverbs 29:8 (NASB)
(8) Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger.

Prolonged Anger

It is like simmering stew. This means anger is being held inside for a long time. This results from an unforgiving heart. This is because there is some past offense and offender. Unforgiveness results in resentment and deep bitterness that has an effect on other relationships.


“I’ll never forgive the way he spoke to me years ago.” This is long and brooding. This should never have happened. It should have been dealt with at the very beginning of the offense. The root of bitterness–

Pressed down Anger

This is described as being like a “pressure cooker.”

This is denied or hidden anger. It is the result from fear of facing negative emotions. It can create a deceitful heart. It leads to untruthfulness with others. Failure to honestly deal with this type of anger can result in self-pity, self-contempt, and self-doubt. This can sabotage most relationships.


Have you ever said, “I never get angry…maybe just a little irritated at times.”

Provoked Anger

Also known as the “short fuse.”

This kind of anger is quick and impatient. This causes an individual to be instantly irritated or incensed. It is expressed with criticism or sarcasm under the guise of teasing.


“I can’t believe you said that! You’re so childish!”

Profuse Anger

The “volatile volcano” is the result of this type of anger. It is powerful, destructive, and hard to control. It is characterized by contempt, violence, and abuse toward others.


“You stupid fool–if you ever do that again, you’ll wish you’d never been born!”

Look at the warning that comes from Jesus.

For your information, this lesson comes from Biblical Counseling Library. It is a part of my WordSearch software. I purchased it as a separate e-book for my collection of books on my software. I am so happy that I made the choice to purchase it. It has been a great help to me as I ministered to people. I will continue to use it as such information as needed.