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The impotent man, in)
[the pool of Bethesda,
called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, CHAP. V.
having five porches. AFTER this there was a feast of the 3 In these lay a great multitude of
Jews; and Jesus went up to Je- impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, rusalem.
waiting for the moving of the water. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem by 4 For an angel went down at a certhe sheep market a pool, which is tain season into the pool, and troubled
EXPOSITION-Chap. IV. Continued. miracle which Jesus had here wrought, in ever; for his faith carried him no farther turning water into wine, with other mira- than to the brink of the grave, and there cles which followed, had spread through gave up all for lost..... It was meet that the surrounding country, and naturally he should be taught to enlarge his ideas occasioned the present application. The of the power and grace of the Redeemer, two days he had been detained in Samaria as extending to universal space, and to being expired, Jesus now proceeds to Ga- every possible state of things. This seems lilee; but not to Nazareth, which he avoided, to be the only rational interpretation which and passed on to Cana, because he himself can be given of the apparent coldness of bare witness that “a prophet hath no the reception given him by our Loril. luhonour in his own country." (See Matt. stead of his usual promptitude to fly to xiii. 57, 58.) When he came to Galilee, the relief of distress, the importunate however, be was joyfully and gratefully father meets, from the lips of Christ, with received, and his object in calling at Cana a seemingly upgracious reflection, which might be (as has been suggested) to visit had nearly chilled his heart. Then said the newly married couple, and give them Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs his blessing. But he is applied to by a and wonders ye will not believe.' nobleman at Capernaum, one of Herod's Parental affection perseveres in following immediate attendants (as the word seems up the request. He tacitly admits the justo imply), and not improbably Chusa, tice of Christ's censure, but waves discusHerod's steward, whose wife became after- sion, and in the anguish of his soul renews wards an attendant upon our Lord (Luke his application. 'Sir, come down viii. 3); and it has been supposed, in conse- ere my child die!' Where the heart is quence of the miracle wrought upon her deeply interested tbe words are few; but, son. As to this nobleman, it is said, that oh, how forcible! The feelings of a parent “himself believed, with his whole bouse,” are seen with approbation by the friend of though we hear nothing further of him as mankind, to whom nothing that affects hua disciple of our Saviour. If he returned manity can be a matter of indifference." to court, it was not a place friendly to the Jesus saith unto him, “Go thy way, thy son cultivation of religion, nor was Herod liveth.' ... . . He receives his son as one a master likely to countenance religious alive from the dead; he learns to correct servants. As to his faith (as Dr. Henry his false ideas of the power of Christ, and Hunter observes), it appears to have been to submit implicitly to his decisions. And “bleuded with much infirmity. He re- the man believed the word that Jesus had posed confidence in the power of Christ spoken unto him, and he went his way.""' to heal the sick; but he weakly imagined (Sac. Biog. vol. vii. p. 404–6.) By the that his power could operate only on the way, however, a servant met him with the spot. Under this impression he travels joyful news of bis son's recovery, and from Capernaum to Cana, iu hope of being upon enquiring the time, it was found that able to persuade Jesus to accompany him the fever left him at the very hour when to the former city. . . . He besought him Jesus spoke the word. Thus in the world that he would come down and heal his son, of Grace, as in that of Nature, “ He spake, for be was at the point of death." He and it was done: he commanded, and it urges the importance of dispatch, lest death was established." should interpose and extinguish bope for
NOTES. CHAP. V. Ver. 1. A feast of the Jews.--Gene. Ver. 4. For an angel went down, &c.—This versi rally understood to be the Passover. So Doddridge. is admitted to be wanting in the Vatican, the Ephrem
Ver. 2. By the sheep-market. So Doddr.; but and Cambridge MSS. and in others is marked a Camp. renders it " sheep-gate;" because (he says) doubtful; but it is found in all other MSS.(including we have good evidence that one of the gates was the Alexandrian), the Syriac, and other ancient ver called the sheep-gate (Neh. iij. 1, 32 ; xii. 39), but sions; and its connexion with verse 7 (which is no no evidence that there was a sheep-market." See, wanting) renders it impossible to make sense of thi however, Note on chap. ii.
narrative without it. In our humble opinion,
cured of ] CHAP. V.
[his infirmity. the water: whusoever then first after day: it is not lawful for thee to carry the troubling of the water stepped in thy bed. was made whole of whatsoever disease 11 He answered them, He that he had.
made me whole, the same said unto 5 And a certain man was there, me, Take up thy bed and walk. which had an infirmity thirty and eight 12 Then asked they him, What man years.
is that which said unto thee, Take up 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and thy bed, and walk? knew that he had been now a long 13 And he that was healed wist nut time in that case, he saith unto him, who it was: for Jesus had conveyed Wilt thou be made whule ?
himself away, a multitude being in 7 The impotent man answered him, that place. Sir, I have no man, when the water is 14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in troubled, tv put me into the pool : but the temple, and said unto him, Behold, while I am coming, another steppeth thou art made whole: sin nu mure, lest down before me.
a worse thing come unto thee. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take 15 The man departed, and told the up thy bed and walk.
Jews that it was Jesus, which had 9 And immediately the man was made bim whole. made whole, and took up his bed, and 16 And therefore did the Jews perwalked : and on the same day was the secute Jesus, and sought to slay him, sabbath.
because he had done these things un 10 The Jews therefore said unto the sabbath day. (N) him that was cured, It is the sabbath
2. But the most remarkable part of this (W) Ver. 1–16. The lame man cured at parrative respects the descent of an angel the pool of Bethesda.—This is considered at certain times to disturb the water, which as voe of the most difficult narratives to gave it a sanative or healing quality. It explain in all the gospels. We shall con- seems to be generally supposed that this
water possessed medicinal properties, 1. The pool itsell, which was called which, at certain times (perhaps at the Bethesda, or the House of Mercy, being changes of the moon), were rendered the a kind of infirmary where there was a more effective by a certain agitation of bath for the benefit of the poor, of which them, which the Jews piously attributed there are some remains to the present day. to the agency of an angel; and how far Maundrell describes it as 120 paces long, the agency of angels may be employed in 40 broad, and 8 deep. At its west end, he producing the phenomena of nature is not adds, may be discovered some old arches for us, in the present state, to ascertain : which are now dammed up, which are but the most extraordinary circumstance supposed to be the remains of the porches attending this agitation was the transient or cloisters built round it for the conve- efficacy of the waters, so that only the few nience of the poor who came to bathe; persons that immediately entered the pool but the pool is supposed to bave been for: while thus agitated were cured. We do not merly employed to wash the sacrifices for see the necessity, however, of supposing the temple,
its virtues were confined to a single indi
NOTES. mision of this verse (and in some MSS. the con- (which) doth drill between the stones of the northelading clause of the third verse)only shows that the ward wall, and stealeth away almost undiscovered." toppists were as much perplexed as we are to un- This he supposes was the water bere alluded to, derstand the passage-The late ingenious Editor of which lost its eflicacy as soon as it mingled with the Calmet (Me Taylor) was of opinion, that here were pool.- Fragments to Calmet, No. lxvi. o Taters: the one in which the cattle were washed Ver. 13. Conveyed himself away.--Doddr. “ slipbefore they were sent to the market, or to the priests; ated in this the poor were pernitted to bathe : but
ped away.” According to Casaubon, the word has be thinks there was another water, far more effica
an allusion to swimmers, who glide through the eisus, which ran only periodically, and in small
water without leaving any impression in it.-A quantities. This Mr. Sandys, in the beginning of was in that place,
multitude being — Marg, from the multitude that the 17th century, describes as “ a barren spring
Jesus claims equality] S. JOHN.
[with the Father, 17 But Jesus answered them, My greater works than these, that ye may Father worketh hitherto, and I work. marvel.
18 Therefore the Jews sought the 21 For as the Father raiseth up the mure to kill him, because he not only dead, and quickeneth them; even su had broken the sabbath, but said also the Son quickeneth whom he will. that God was his Father, making him- 22 For the Father judgeth no man, self equal with God.
but hath committed all judgment unto 19 Then answered Jesus and said the Son: unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto 23 That all men should honour the you, The Son can do nothing of him- Sun, even as they honour the Father. self, but what he seeth the Father du: He that honoureth not the Son hofor what things soever he doeth, these noureth not the Father which hath alsu dueth the Son likewise.
sent him. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, and sheweth him all things that him. He that heareth my word, and beself dueth: and he will shew him lieveth on him that sent me, hath ever
EXPOSITION-Chap. V. Continued. vidual, but to the few only that entered the to be lifted from place to place; and whebath during its agitation, which this poor ther he carried it upon his arm or his man was not able to do on account of his shoulder, could make no difference to the extreme debility, which lad lasted, it law, since it was probably of less weight should seem, almost forty years, though than the robes of the Pharisee, when full nothing is said of the time he had here dressed for prayers. Jesus, however, had waited. The narrative is certainly full of withdrawn from the crowd without making mystery, in whatever way it may be viewed. himself known, either to the man or to Dr. Hammond supposes it might bave the people; when, therefore, they enderived its medicinal virtues from washing quired of him-not, Who made him whole? the sacrifices; we should rather suspect bnt who dared to bid him carry bis bed? that the springs which supplied the bath he very properly replied, “ He ihat made might have some secret connexion either me whole, the same said unto me, take up with a subterraneous sea, or an exhausted thy bed, and walk.” And, surely, he who volcano. Thus much is certain, that the was able to work such a miracle, had a dead sea, at no great distance from Jeru- right to be obeyed. salem, is remarkable for the quantity of Soon after this, however, Jesus findiug salt and bitumen which it coutains. Leav- the poor man in the temple, where he ing these circumstauces, however, in that doubtless came to return thanks to God, mystery in which nature is often shrouded, after carrying home his bed, he made himwe must now devote our attention to the self known to him; and the man, probasignal miracle which our Saviour wrought bly with a view to do him honour, told the upon this miserable invalid.
Jews that it was Jesus-not, who had bid Jesus asked no question of the man, but him carry his bed, but who had made whether he was willing to be cured, and him whole. Our Lord, at the same time then immediately commanded him to take as he thus made himself known, added up his bed and walk. This command, how. this friendly caution-"Sin no more, lest ever, was delivered on the sabbath, and a worse thing come unto thee." From this gave such offence to the Jews, as to raise it has been inferred, that the poor man's their enmity, and excite a persecution long affliction of 38 years, bad arisen out against him, on pretence that he violated of some sin committed in his early days the sabbath. But what was this poor man's (at wbich it were in vain to guess), and he bed? Perhaps only his byke, or upper gar- is cautioned against a like folly," Jest a ment; or a piece only of old carpeting; or, worse thing," namely, than total helplessat most, an old mattress stuffed with hay or ness and poverty,
" should befal him;" straw, on which he had been accustomed which, we conceive, can intend nothing and announces himself ] CHAP. V.
NOTES—Chap. V. Con. Ver. 18. His Father.-Doddr. and Camp. “ Flis God peculiariy his father, (he) had equalled himself onn Father.” The former says, " This is the plain with God.” and literal sense of the original-Patera idion. See Ver. 19. Nothing of himself.-That is, indeLake vi. 41; X. 34; Acts iv. 32; 1 Cor. vii. 2. pendently, or without his concurrence, Equal with God.-Camp. renders it, “ By calling
[as Judge of the world. lasting life, and shall not come into is the Son of man. condemnation; but is passed from 28 Marvel not at this : for the huur death unto life.
is coming, in the which all that are in 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, the graves shall hear his voice, The hour is coming, and now is, when 29 And shall come forth; they that the dead shall hear the voice of the have done good, unto the resurrection Son of God: and they that hear shall of life; and they that have done evil, live.
unto the resurrection of damnativn. 26 For as the Father hath life in 30 I can of mine uwn self do nohimself; so hath he given to the Son thing: as I hear, I judge ; and my to have life in himself;
judgment is just; because I seek not 27 And hath given him authority mine own will, but the will of the Fato execute judgment also, because he ther which hath sent me. (O)
EXPOSITION. short of the miseries of an eternal state. take to think that the sabbath can be This discovery of Jesus, however, exposed sanctified by sloth and idleness. To beal him to the malice of bis enemies, who the sick, to relieve the poor, and to instruct even now sought his death, and would the ignorant, were the employments of the gladly have procured it, either by legal or Son of God, and are duties incumbent, not illegal means. They hated the light, be- only on all his ministers, but also on all cause their minds were full of darkness. his followers, as they have ability and op
portunity. But Jesus called God “his (0) Ver. 17–30. Jesus maintains the Father," with a familiarity which implied divinity of his character. The charge is a peculiar relation to him as his own now turned from the poor patient who had Father. (See Note on ver. 17.) This they been cured, to the good Physician who had thought blasphemous, and it would have Wrought the cure. The Jews sought to been so, had he been a mere man, as they slay him because he had done these things : supposed. -not only for his direction to his patient Dr. Waterland justly remarks, that had to carry his bed, but because he had their inference been unjust, he would have wrough this and other cures upon the had only to deny it; whereas, in the folsabbath day. This seeins to have been the lowing verses, he not ouly admits but jusway in which they endeavoured to get rid of tifies it, and claims honour equal to the the evidence in favour of his divine charac- Father. ter and mission, by accusing him as a sab- Jn attempting to expound our Lord's bath breaker. 'Jesus now enters on his doctrinal discourses relative to the divine defence,~"My Father worketh hitherto, Being, we feel a peculiar awe, lest we and I work.” It is true that the Almighty should step beyond the boundary of Reverested from his work of creation on the lation, which we believe has been the true sabbath day, and left us both precept and cause of all the theological errors with erumple to do the same : but has the Deity which the church has been afflicted : in Ceased from works of benevolence to men ? truth, we would rather stop short than step Are not his infinite energies perpetually beyond. We have already suggested our exerted on our behalf ?“ My Father opinion that St. John, in the first chapter, Worketh hitherto, and I work, and what bas an allusion to Solomon's beautiful are my works but an imitation of bis inti- allegory in the 8th chapter of Proverbs, nite benevolence? He causes his sun to where Wisdom is represented as the firstshine, and his rains to descend, both upon born of God the Father, brought up under the evil and the good; I exert the like bis immediate care, and, as a darling child, benevolence in healing the sick, and in witnessing the mysterious process of thé structing the ignorant." It is a grand mis- creation. When he prepared the heavens John the Baptist]
NOTES. Ver. 26. Given to the Son to have life.-" Those have all we received,” &c. See chap. i. 4, 16. So who admit the doctrine of eternal generation, con- Dr. Guise, sider the Father as the fountain of Deity, and all the Ver. 27. Because he is the Son of man.- Camp. divine attributes of the Son, as consequently derived " A Son of man," the Greek here omitting the usual from him ; but we doubt if this passage have that article. The first version implies, because he was meaning. We consider it as referring to the Logos, “ the Messiah ;" the second, because he was a man : in his mediatorial character. “In bim was life, and but the difference is not great. See Dan, vii. 9-14, the life was the light of men: and out of his fullness Phil. ii. 5–11.
[bare witness to Christ. 31 | If I bear witness of myself, my light: and ye were willing for a season witness is not true.
to rejoice in his light. 32 There is another that beareth wit- 36 But I have greater witness than ness of me; and I know that the wit- that of John : for the works which the ness which he witnesseth of me is true. Father hath given me to finish, the
33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare same works that I do, bear witness of witness unto the truth.
me, that the Father hath sent me. 34 But I receive not testimony from 37 And the Father himself, which man : but these things I say, that hath sent me, hath borne witness of might be saved,
Ye have neither heard his voice 35 He was a burning and a shining at any time, nor seen his shape.
EXPOSITION-Chap. V. Coutinued. —when he appointed the foundations of the houour the Son, even as they honour the earth. Then (says Wisdom) I was by him, Father." as one brought up with him," and wit- The nibblings of criticism are here utnessed all his works. (Prov, viii. 22–31.) terlyin vain, and only show a particular ten. Thus our apostle, speaking of the divine derness in some persons, lest they should Logos, says, “ The Son can do nothing of offend the Father by rendering too much himself, but what he seeth the Father do: honour to the Sou. But nothing like this for what things soever he doeth, these doeth is to be found in the inspired writers: they the Son likewise.” Did the Father create represent the Lord Jesus as he whom the all things in the beginning ? No less true Father “ delights to honour"--whom he is it of the Word, or Son of God: “All hath clothed in his own robes of light and things were made by him, and without him glory-whom he hath placed upon his own was not any thing made that was made." throne, and hath statioued his own angels (Chap, i. 3.)
to attend him ; and, finally, he bath so“ For the Father loveth the Son, and lemnly declared, before earth and heaven, sheweth him all things that himself doeth that " he that hovoureth not the Son, ho(as already instanced in creation); and be noureth not the Father which hath sent will shew him greater things than these, him.” (Compare Matt. xvi. 27; xxiv. that ye may marvel." Then our Lord goes 30, 31.) ou to state his participation in the most When our Saviour declares that “ the mysterious works of the resurrection and hour is coming, and now is, when the dead future judgment : “ For as the Father shall hear his voice,” he is generally (and raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, we think justly) understood to speak with even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." a double reference; first, to the quickening And as to the last judgment, “ the Father power of divine grace attending his minis judgeth po man; but hath committed all try on earth, and rendering it successful judgment to the Son.” And wherefore is
among men dead in trespasses and sius all this? Is it to show that the Son is in- (Ephes. ii. 1); and secondly, to the resurferior to the Father ? Most assuredly not. rection of certain individuals from the It is, that notwithstanding, and, indeed, grave, as the widow's son, Lazarus, &c.; because, the Son hath “ humbled himself and he tells them they need not wonder at and become of no reputation"-because he this, as the time would hereafter come, “became obedient to death, even the death when “ ALL the dead” should bear his of the cross, “ therefore bath God (the voice, and obey it. Father) exalted him, and given him a Nor let it be supposed, that any of name above every name (Phil. ii. 7-9), us are uninterested in this great event; for, “ that all (men and angels loo) should at the last day, all that are in their graves
NOTES-Chap. V. Con. Ver. 31. My nitness is not true.-Wesley, “ Not Ver. 37. Ye have neither heurd, &c.—The dif. valid.” A man may bear a true witness concerning ferent reading we have given above, depends merely himself, but because it is his own, therefore is it in- on the insertion of two marks of interrogation; and admissible in evidence. See cb. viii, 13-18; also their insertion seems to have been first suggested Parkhurst in Alethes, iii.
by Mr. Turner, of Wakefield, in Dr. Priestley's Har. Ver. 34. I receive not.--The Greek verb (lambano) mony: it is adopted and ably'defended by Dr. Campis often used for taking in the hand, as bread or bell, and since by Dr. Boothroyd.--Nor seen his fishes. Camp. renders it exegetically, “I need no shape.-The Gr. cidos, evidently signifies any ohject human testimony."
of sight, even when no definite image has been visj. Ver. 35. He was a burning and a shining light. ble; so it is used by the lxx. Exod. xxiv. 17; Nam, Comp. Matt. v. 14-16.
ix. 15, 16; xii. . Comp. Deut.iv. 1%.