We have to refer back to Chapter Four in order to know what has happened. The phrase “after this” is a transitional phrase. http://ref.ly/Jn5.1 We are given a chronological explanation. There was a religious feast going on, and Jesus attended it. Most believe it was the Passover feast. John records more about Jesus’ activities than the Synoptic Gospels. It is noted that Judea and Jerusalem did not readily accept His ministry. Because of their spiritual significance, it would be thought that they would have readily accepted His ministry. The best reception is found not where you would expect it. Instead, it is unexpected places such as among the Gentiles.
These facts point to the reason for Jesus going to the feast. http://ref.ly/Jn5.1 Once again, we see that Jesus is on a Divine schedule. He is moved from place to place according to the Father’s will. There is a man who has been waiting for the move of the water for years. His efforts are fruitless, but Jesus ends his dismay by coming to the man’s aid. This miracle served as a basis for the message to the people. There would be a lot of people at the feast, and it was a good opportunity to do a miracle there. Note http://ref.ly/Jn5.24. The power of His Word and the gift of life are revealed to this crowd.
One thing I would like to mention at this point. Jesus was not seeking to be a crowd-pleaser. He was about getting the message of hope and eternal life to as many people as He possibly could. He knew He had only three and one-half years to minister and get His message across. He was diligent in His mission. That is the reason behind His ministry to the crowds. There are, of course, times when He did a miracle in the privacy of a believer’s home. This calls to mind the miracle of the young child being raised from the dead. The people outside the home laughed when He said the child was sleeping. These miracles were performed to help the people involved to build their faith in the words and works of the Messiah. These miracles had one of two results. Either the audience would accept the miracles of Jesus, and their faith would grow or they would hate Jesus, and they would make plans to have Him killed. Jesus knew the heart of man, and He did not allow Himself to be captured until His time came.
In the five porticos lay many infirmed people. Some were blind, halt, or had withered limbs. http://ref.ly/Jn5.3 The reason why they were situated around the pool was so they could be healed. It was reported that once a year an angelic visitation happened. Whoever stepped into the pool first would be healed. This is the reason why the man with a long-time infirmity will be addressed in the following verses.