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11. He answered them, He that made me whole," he that made me well,” the same said unto me, Take up thy couch.
He thought that the authority of the person who wrought a miracle was sufficient, to justify him in that which the superstitious Jews deemed a violation of the sabbath.
12. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy couch and walk.
13 And he that was made well wist not,' knew not,”whoit was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place, rather, “ had withdrawn himself from the multitude in that place.”
14. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold thou art made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
The man went into the temple, probably, to return thanks to God for his cure. The words of Jesus seem to imply that his disorder was brought upon him by his vices: for he warns him not to commit the same or a like crime, lest he should expose himself to a severer punishment. Or perhaps his meaning may be; be careful to avoid sin, lest thou bring upon thyself, in the judgments of another world, a much worse evil than this disorder of so long standing.
15. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus which had made him well.
His name he had learnt from some of the by: standers, not knowing Jesus himself.
16. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath-day.
1. In the relief which was afforded to this afflicted man, and in the manner in which it was bestowed, we have a fresh proof of the excellence of Christ's character. Miraculous cures were generally performed only at the request of the diseased person; previous application was required, as a test of his faith in the divine power operating by Jesus, and of the reality of his disorder. But in the present instance the favour is bestowed before it is solicited; and what seems to have recommended this man to such an honourable distinc. tion is the melancholy nature of his disease, which rendered him incapable of moving; the long time it had continued; and his total inability, from the want of money and friends, to procure any relief; circumstances which secured him the compassion of the benevolent Jesus, and induced him to give him assistance unasked. But that there might be no ground for suspecting that ostentation and the love of applause were the causes of this gratuitous act of beneficence, he withdraws himself from observation, as soon as it is performed. After the example of Jesus, let us do all in our power to remove or alleviate the sufferings of the afflicted, and where we cannot afford to all the benefit of our services, let us single out those who are most entitled to compassion from the length or violence of their sufferings. Nor let us always wait till our assistance is asked, but, like him, offer it of our own accord, where evidently wanted; remembering that ignorance bften prevents the afflicted from knowing the means of cure, and that virtuous modesty often pines away in wretchedness, to avoid the appearance of being forward to ask relief.
2. When we read of a man who has been afflicted with a painful disorder during forty years, how thankful should we be for the gift of health! The condition of many of us has been just the reverse of the condition of this man: we have been free from pain and sickness : have had the use of our limbs and senses and other organs, without any material interruption, for the same time that he was deprived of these blessings. Forget not your obligations, then, to divine bounty; and on every day in which you enjoy the benefit, render your praise to him who alone maketh a difference among
3. We behold a striking instance, in the
passage which has been read, of the malignant nature of superstition. Overlooking the extraordinary miracle which had just been wrought, the attention of these Jews is only attracted by the supposed violation of a ceremonial precept, and they enquire with eagerness for the person
who had authorized it, not to gratify curiosity in beholding the author of so extraordinary a work; not to render him homage as a prophet and a divine messenger; but to kill him. So easy is it for men to be strictly exact in ceremonial observances, while they neglect moral duties, and to imagine themselves animated with zeal for God's law, while they are only actuated by their own malignant passions !
John v. 17–32. 17. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
This is the reply which Jesus made to an accusation, brought against him by the Jews, of violating the sabVol. 2.]
bath, because he performed a miraculous cure on that day: he justifies his conduct by the example of the Divine Being, who works on that day as well as on others, in the common operations of nature; in bringing men to life; and in carrying on the other purposes of his beneficence in the natural world. What God thus does with his own power, Jesus thinks it right for him to do with that portion of it entrusted to himself, in order to work miracles. He calls God his Father, probably in reference to that peculiar relation in which he stood to him, as the Messiah and son of David. For God had promised to adopt a descendent of David as his son, which promise the Jews applied to Christ, who was of the seed of David, 2 Sam. vii. 13.
18. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him; not only because he had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his own Father, making himself equal with God, rather, “ like God.”
The additional offence here given to the Jews was not so much by calling God his Father, as by claiming a right to act like him in the exercise of miraculous powers. It is to this objection, therefore, that Jesus replies, by pointing out several instances in which he now acted, or should hereafter act, like God, and showing that this ought to give them no offence, in as much as he claimed no authority to act by his own will, independently of any rule, but merely to imitate the example of his Father.
19. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for what things so ever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
That is, You charge me with setting myself on a level with God; yet it is not to oppose his authority, but to follow his example, and therefore to concur with him in his designs; for I presume to do nothing but what I see him do.
20. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him, that is, “ showeth him how to do,” all things that himself doth, and he will show him, “ show him how to do," greater works than these, that ye may marvel, rather, “ so as to make
What these greater works are he immediately proceeds to inform them. The phrase all things, in the beginning of this verse, cannot be understood in the fullest and unlimited sense; for although the miracles of Christ are various, they cannot be supposed to be so much so as the operations of the Divine Being 21. For as the Father raiseth
the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
This is one of those greater works than healing the sick, which the Father would show him how to perform, to which he before refers; even raising the dead to life. The next is authority to judge mankind.
22. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the
By committing all judgment to the Son, we are here to understand intrusting him with a power of judging all classes of persons, the wicked as well as the good, at the last day, and of rewarding or punishing them according to their characters. With this honour, says