I know what you are thinking “Yes! a light day, just one chapter”. Think again twisted sister! John 5 is the turning point in Jesus’ ministry. This is the point where Judean rulers formally set themselves in opposition to Jesus- leading to the Crucifixion.
The Sheep Gate
We glazed over Nehemiah 3 (The Gates), why? because it’s boring (let’s be real people). But look at the map and see where the Sheep Gate is. It is just beside the Temple where the sacrifices would be. When you came to the Temple, you would put your sheep (or animal) there to be held and it would be washed and ready for sacrifice. Really take that in for a moment. Anticipate the Triumphal Entry, Jesus entered the Temple through the Sheep Gate. Oh, the symbolism! The Lamb that will be sacrificed to take away the sins of the World!
Before you read or reread this story let me ask you…Where in the Bible does it say “God will help those who help themselves?” Isn’t that the whole point of the Gospel? God helps those because we can’t help ourselves -contrary to what the Pharisees say. While I am rambling…where does it say “You must get their first, I only take the best”. I think I read somewhere “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.”
I say all that to show you 5:4.
Look at John 5:4. If you have a verse 4…you are old and your BIble is even older! Other scriptures that have been removed are Acts 8:37, 1 John 5:7, and Mark 16:9-20.
The KJV was translated in AD 1611, the New Testament translators of the KJV used a Greek manuscript called the Textus Receptus. Since that time, biblical manuscripts have been discovered that predate the Textus Receptus. The “missing verses” mentioned above are simply not found in some of the oldest and most reliable manuscripts. So, the newer translations remove these verses or placed them in footnotes or in brackets.
So this verse that was removed was “4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.”
At that time there was an “urban legend” telling this story, kind of cruel if you ask me. It was written as a note in the margin and during the writing of the Textus Receptus, it was added in. We know that verse 4 does not line up with the character of the Lord. So if you have a Bible that has that verse cross it out!
Starting at Verse 16-read it like a “court case”– It’s not the trial of the century that is coming up soon, but Jesus testifying about His authority will devise a plan by the Pharisees to persecute him.
18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
- Jesus describes His work as the continuing work of the Father.
- Jesus brings forth witnesses (the Jewish Law requires a witness in Deut 17:6)
- John the Baptist-“You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony, but I mention it that you may be saved.
- His works/signs-“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.
- God-And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
- Scriptures- You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
- Closing argument- the root of the issue- “I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts”
I heard once that the distance between Heaven or Hell is 18 inches. You can have all the knowledge in your head, you can read through the Bible 100 times….but if it is not in your heart, 18 inches below your brain, you will stand condemned.