John 5:7-12
John 5:7 (KJB)
The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
The man states his condition is such that he is unable to get himself into the water plus he has no one there to help him in. It is obviously the first one in the water is the first one who gets healed and then comes an extensive waiting period until the angel comes again to disturb or agitate the water. Since the man is extremely infirm, this same scenario would play out every time the water was stirred. When the water stirred and he tried to crawl down into the pool, another would always beat him. This scenario also points to the situation man is in concerning salvation. He can come to the precipice of salvation by learning the Scriptures and everything there is to know about God but because man is spiritually dead, intellectual understanding does not lead to salvation since salvation is a spiritual event. Man is as spiritually impotent as the man at the pool was physically impotent but things were about to change because Jesus was on the scene.
John 5:8 (KJB)
Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
Jesus now gives this man three commands within this one verse. The words “rise, take up, and walk” are all in the imperative mood. First of all, the command was to rise and after being infirm for 38 years, can you imagine what may have gone through this man’s mind? All this man knew for 38 years was to lay by the pool and hope to be healed, now Jesus comes on the scene and gives three words of command. So the man rose, then he took up his bed. He no longer would use the bed to lay on as an infirm person but would now use it for sleeping as a healed person. Then the third command was to walk. He was no longer among the infirm and was healed, so he was to walk away from that pool. This describes the Christian when they come to salvation. First we are to rise from the dead, spiritually dead that is, then we are to go from the dormant position of spiritual death which is represented by the sick bed, and then walk in newness of life. The Christian walks through this life and does not stay inactive.
John 5:9 (KJB)
And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
Whole - Well
This impotent man was immediately made well and he followed the command of Christ to take up his bed and walk. There was no progressive healing as the man was instantly made whole. This is a great picture of salvation. When Christ saves a person, they are immediately saved and there is nothing else to add to a person’s salvation. Salvation is instantaneous but possessional sanctification is a process. At salvation we have positional sanctification, that means we as Christians, are set apart from the unbeliever in this world unto God. Possessional means that we continue to grow in the faith. As we grow in the faith, we want less of the world and more of God. We can see a small picture of possessional sanctification as the man takes up his bed and then walks. The Christian also begins to walk in the faith after salvation, which is like being raised from the sick bed and resuming or beginning to take an active part in society. Then this verse goes on to say that it was the Sabbath and under the law the Sabbath was a day of rest and only special work was to take place. However, the leaders of Israel for hundreds of years had added many of their own laws and regulations to God’s law. When Jesus came on the scene the true law of God was hardly visible under all the additions.
John 5:10 (KJB)
The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
Do you notice the absence of something? It was an appreciation of the fact that a man was impotent for 38 years and Jesus heals him and the only thing the Jews can say to this man was it is not lawful for you to carry your bed on the Sabbath. They said nothing, absolutely nothing, about the fact that the man was totally healed after 38 years of infirmity. This is the essence of religion, it is cold and hard, and in its finality, leads a steady path to hell. This is why God hates religion because it does not represent Him in truth, instead it obfuscates the truth about God, especially the fact that He is a merciful God. (Psa 103:8 KJV) The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
Some things which are taught in Scripture about the Sabbath. First the Sabbath is a great picture of the rest the believer has in Christ. Just as the physical bodies rested on the seventh day, the soul of the Christian finds eternal rest in Christ. This is why the fourth commandment is absent from the New Testament while the other nine are listed. Secondly, we find in Mark 2:27 that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27 KJV) And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: It was made so they could attend worship in the Temple and focus upon God and to give their bodies a rest. Works of necessity were not forbidden on the Sabbath. (Luke 14:5 KJV) And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? Thirdly, they were allowed to do good deeds on the Sabbath. (Mark 3:4 KJV) And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. If they refused to do good on the Sabbath, then that means they would be doing evil by refusing to do good. Fourthly, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath and would not lead anyone into sin. (Mark 2:28 KJV) Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
John 5:11 (KJB)
He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
Here the man answers the Jews that the same one who healed me commanded me to take up my bed and walk. Since Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath, He had the right to command that man to carry the bed because it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. This man made sure they knew that he was totally cured from his infirmity. The Jews did not focus on that but they focused on their legalism.
John 5:12 (KJB)
Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
Now they wanted to know who this man was. They either wanted to have him punished or to question him about the miracle that happened. One of the chief accusations made against Jesus was that He taught people to disobey the law of Moses. (Luke 6:7 KJV) And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.