Daily Gospel Reading – John 5:1-16
1 After this, there was a feast[b] of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep [Gate][c] a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. 3 In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.[d] [4 ][e] 5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” 9 Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.
Now that day was a sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” 11 He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” 13 The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away since there was a crowd there. 14 [f]After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. 16 Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.
5:1–47 The self-revelation of Jesus continues in Jerusalem at a feast. The third sign (cf. Jn 2:11; 4:54) is performed, the cure of a paralytic by Jesus’ life-giving word. The water of the pool fails to bring life; Jesus’ word does.
5:1 The reference in Jn 5:45–46 to Moses suggests that the feast was Pentecost. The connection of that feast with the giving of the law to Moses on Sinai, attested in later Judaism, may already have been made in the first century. The feast could also be Passover (cf. Jn 6:4). John stresses that the day was a sabbath (Jn 5:9).
5:2 There is no noun with Sheep. “Gate” is supplied on the grounds that there must have been a gate in the NE wall of the temple area where animals for sacrifice were brought in; cf. Neh 3:1, 32; 12:39. Hebrew: more precisely, Aramaic. Bethesda: preferred to variants “Be(th)zatha” and “Bethsaida”; bêt-’ešdatayīn is given as the name of a double pool northeast of the temple area in the Qumran Copper Roll. Five porticoes: a pool excavated in Jerusalem actually has five porticoes.
5:3 The Caesarean and Western recensions, followed by the Vulgate, add “waiting for the movement of the water.” Apparently an intermittent spring in the pool bubbled up occasionally (see Jn 5:7). This turbulence was believed to cure.
5:4 Toward the end of the second century in the West and among the fourth-century Greek Fathers, an additional verse was known: “For [from time to time] an angel of the Lord used to come down into the pool, and the water was stirred up, so the first one to get in [after the stirring of the water] was healed of whatever disease afflicted him.” The angel was a popular explanation of the turbulence and the healing powers attributed to it. This verse is missing from all early Greek manuscripts and the earliest versions, including the original Vulgate. Its vocabulary is markedly non-Johannine.
5:14 While the cure of the paralytic in Mk 2:1–12 is associated with the forgiveness of sins, Jesus never drew a one-to-one connection between sin and suffering (cf. Jn 9:3; Lk 12:1–5), as did Ez 18:20.