John  ◦   Chapter 5

1Some time later, Jesus went to Jerusalem for a Jewish festival.2Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, there is a pool which in Aramaic is called Bethesda, and which is surrounded by five covered porches.3It was here that a great number of people with various diseases or disabilities would gather–the blind, the crippled, and the paralyzed.4They gathered about this pool, because in their desperation for a cure, they had come to believe a superstitious tale–a tale that, sadly, made God appear cruel and arbitrary. They erroneously believed that an angel would periodically come down and stir the waters, and whoever noticed that the waters were stirred, and was first to enter the water, was supposedly healed.5There was one particularly sad case of a man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years.6When Jesus saw him lying there, and learned that he had been in this condition for such a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"

7"Sir," the paralyzed man replied, "I have no one to help me into the water when it is stirred. While I am trying to get in, those who are quicker and faster enter before me."

8Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."9Immediately the man was completely cured: he jumped up, picked up his mat, and walked. This happened on the Sabbath,10and when the legalistic Jews saw the man who had been healed carrying his mat, they said, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat."

11But he defiantly replied, "I was paralyzed for thirty-eight years; and today, a man completely healed me–something you priests and lawyers could never do–and this man told me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.'

12So they asked him, "Who is this man who told you to pick up your mat and walk?"

13The man had no idea who it was, because Jesus had quietly slipped away. Jesus was so humble and meek that he never made a show or sought personal attention, but he always wanted God to be recognized.

14Later, Jesus found the man at the temple and said to him, "You are completely healthy again. Don't go back and engage in selfish behaviors, for such practices actually damage and destroy you, and you could easily damage yourself more severely next time."15The man was glad to find out who had healed him, and went and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

16Because Jesus was healing on the Sabbath, the Jews, who were more concerned with rules and regulations than restoring God's children to health, ridiculed and harassed him, seeking to undermine his ministry.17Jesus said to them, "My Father is always working–always giving of himself for the good of his creation. Today, right now, he continues to work for the healing and restoration of this world, and I too am working–working with him in all he does."18The Jews were outraged after hearing this, and tried even harder to kill him. In their minds, he was not only breaking the Sabbath, but he was also calling God his own Father and claiming equality with God.

19Jesus knew that their minds were darkened with misunderstanding, so he gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, I don't do anything in my own strength or by using my own power; everything I do I am only able to do because my Father in heaven directs and enables me. Everything I do is exactly what my Father would do if he were here in my place.20For my Father loves me and shows me all his ways. And yes, I know this is hard for you to comprehend, but he will show, through me, even greater revelations of his character and the healing methods of his kingdom.21For just as my Father restores the dead to life, so I — his Son — give life to all those who open their hearts and minds to receive the healing truth I bring.22Not only will my Father not judge you, but he has entrusted me, his Son, with revealing the truth necessary for each person to be able to judge whether to accept God's Remedy to sin or not. Thus all judgment is simply a matter of whether a person has accepted the Remedy to sin that I bring and is healed, or rejected the Remedy and remains infected with selfishness.23All those who accept the Remedy to sin that I bring, and experience healing of mind and character, bring honor to me and thus to my Father whom I reveal. But those who reject the Remedy to sin that I bring, reject the only cure for their infected hearts, and their lives do not honor me or my Father who sent me.

24"I tell you the truth: Whoever comprehends what I am saying, and therefore trusts my Father, will experience complete regeneration of heart and mind, and live forever. He is no longer sick and will not be diagnosed as terminal; he has been delivered from certain death to life eternal.25I tell you the truth, the time is now here when all those whose minds are infected with the lies of Satan — that lead only to death — will hear the truth that I, the Son of God, reveal; and all those who understand and accept this truth will have the lies dispelled from their minds and will be reconciled to God, and will live.26Just as the Father has life original, unborrowed, underived, so I — his Son — also have life original, unborrowed, underived.27The Father has given me the responsibility to bring to humanity the Remedy for sin and selfishness, and to diagnose the condition of all people, because I am not only God’s Son, but also the Son of Man.

28"Don't be so shocked by what I am telling you, because a time is coming when all those who are in their graves will hear my voice calling them back to life29and will arise out of their graves. Those who have accepted the truth I reveal and have had God's methods, principles and character restored in them, will arise and live forever; but those who have rejected the healing truth and preferred Satan's methods of selfishness–they will arise, and sadly, have their diagnosis reveal that their condition is terminal.30I do nothing by myself, but everything I do is in harmony with my Father; I diagnose only as I examine the evidence, and my diagnosis is accurate because I am not seeking to make myself happy, but to bring joy to my Father who sent me.

31"If the only evidence of who I am and of the truth I bring was my own proclamations about myself, such evidence would not be reliable.32But there is an abundance of other evidence that verifies that what I say is true, and this evidence is reliable and valid.

33"You already inquired of John, and he has confirmed the truth of who I am.34It is not because I need his testimony that I mention this, but I hope you will accept his testimony and be healed.35John was a source of light — on fire to reveal the truth — and for a time you willingly rejoiced in it.

36"I have evidence more compelling than John's testimony: the very work of revealing the truth of the Father's character and the fact that his principles of love, truth and freedom are the foundation of life, while exposing that Satan's principles of selfishness and survival-of-the-fittest lead only to death. This is the work I am doing, and it is the evidence of who I am and that the Father has sent me.37Not only this, but the Father himself has given evidence that he has sent me. But you have never understood his truth nor comprehended his character,38nor do you have his methods in your hearts, because your minds are so in tune with Satan that the revelation I have brought about the Father is rejected as faulty.39You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that in them you will find some secret that will give you possession of eternal life, but the Scriptures are simply the written revelation about me;40yet you refuse to come to me and accept the healing I offer, and live.

41"Praise from people is not important to me nor does it matter to me,42but I know you. I know you do not love God's methods of self-sacrificing love. You would not be willing to lay your life down for another. No! Instead, you prefer Satan's methods of survival-of-the-fittest, and you would gladly kill to protect yourself.43I have come as a direct revelation of the Father–his thoughts made visible and audible–and you will not accept that the Father is like me, or that I am sent from the Father to reveal him. But if someone comes promoting their own agenda, seeking to make a name for themself, you eagerly accept and praise them because self-promotion is in harmony with your own self-centered hearts.44How can you claim to trust in God when you seek praise from each other, refuse to accept God's truth, and refuse to cooperate with him in the healing of your minds.

45"Stop thinking that I will accuse you before the Father, or that the Father's attitude is what determines your destiny! I and the Father are One, and we do not accuse anyone. Your destiny is determined by the choices you make; and by choosing to reject the Remedy that Moses taught, you accuse yourselves.46You claim to believe in Moses and tout him as your guiding light, but everything Moses wrote was designed to teach you about me.47But since you have already rejected the Remedy he wrote about, how are you going to believe the Remedy now, that I am here?"