Re: ??? Man healed by the pool
- Hi Charles,
Though I am new to this group, I will jump in and try to begin an
answer to your questions.
The temple has been mentioned before 5:14 only in 2:14f. where the
context is also a feast of the Jews (2:13, where Passover is the
feast). So the feast of the Jews in 5:1, along with the sabbath of
5:9ff., would be reasons why the healed man ends up in the temple. I
think also the transition from being a lonely outcast for decades to
being a healed "center of attention" led him to the center of the
feast and sabbath, viz., the temple.
As to why Jesus tracked him down, there are again some connections
with 2:14. In 5:14, it says "Jesus found him in the temple." Cf.
2:14 ("In the temple he found those who were selling . . .") Jesus
finds people in order to confront them with the truth. Note also
1:43 where Jesus found Philip and told him, "Follow me."
The earlier confrontation in the temple between Jesus and the Jews
also prepares the reader for further confrontation there between
Jesus, the Jews, and the healed man. This has become part of the
story since 5:10 when the Jews confront the man with his breaking the
law on the sabbath. (The Jews here are leaders, probably Pharisees,
who had a special concern for their oral traditions about the
sabbath.) In 5:11 the man tries to put the blame on the one who
healed him, showing fear of the Jews. He is not just giving
information but is responding to their accusation.
Thus in 5:14 when Jesus finds him in the temple celebrating the feast
and sabbath of the Jews, he tells him to stop sinning or worse will
happen to him. His sinning so far has been to fear the Jews, and
then honoring them more than Jesus by trying to put the blame on
Jesus so the man himself can be cleared. Jesus' confronts him in the
temple to warn him that if he continues "under" the Jews, afraid of
their judgment, a worse thing will happen. The worse thing is Jesus'
own judgment, declared in Jesus' confrontation with the Jews in
5:22ff. Those who do not honor the Son and who do evil (sin) will
finally face the resurrection of judgment (5:23,29).
You also asked about parallel passages. The closest parallel passage
is Jn. 9 where Jesus heals the blind man. This man also faces the
Jews/Pharisees in 9:13, who again raise the issue of healing on the
sabbath (9:14,16). Also, like the healed man of Jn. 5, the healed
blind man tells the Pharisees that Jesus healed him. But this is not
done to escape their blame, since in 9:17, when they ask him what he
thinks of Jesus, he replies "He is a prophet."
When the healed blind man's parents are then questioned, they respond
more like the healed man of Jn. 5. They become afraid of the Jews,
knowing the Jews had agreed that if any confessed Christ, they would
be put out of the synagogue (9:22).
On the other hand, the healed blind man becomes even more bold as the
Jews question him further, even asking them (satirically) if they
want to hear his story again because they too want to become Jesus'
disciples (9:27). So this man is a definite contrast to the healed
man of Jn. 5.
The result of his confronting the Jews and standing up for Jesus is
his being thrown out by the Jews (9:34; what his parents feared
earlier). But in 9:35, Jesus "found" him and revealed further truth
to him such that he ends up worshiping Jesus (9:38).
The two healed men of Jn. 5 and 9 are contrasts, representative of
those who experience miracles/signs and see, or don't see, the fuller
truth about Jesus and the eternal life he gives.
--- In johannine_literature@y..., CStarWrk@a... wrote:
> Does anyone have any insight to what was going on in John 5:14-15?
> the conclusion of the story of the man by the pool that was
> comes to the man afterward and tells him to stop sinning and the
> the Jews who had healed him.
> The traditional commentaries just aren't very helpful.
> What story is being told?
> I have misplaced my Moloney book and don't quickly have access to
> may have said.
> A lot of questions pop up...
> Why was the man in the temple? Surely this is an important part of
> story, but the fact isn't incorporated into any of the explanations
> commentaries I am aware of.
> Why did Jesus track him down?
> What was the sin that Jesus referred to?
> It seems logical to suggest that when Jesus told the man to stop
> the man turned around and told the Jews who Jesus was that the man
> following Jesus' orders. Most commentaries called the man a
> ungrateful scoundrel. I see nothing in the text to think that the
> ungrateful or that he intended to cause problems for Jesus...
> What can be determined about how to analyze this passage from other
> passages in John?
> Charles Starkey
> MDIV Fuller Theological Seminary
> High School Math Teacher
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear Charles,
<<<Does anyone have any insight to what was going on in John
5:14-15? This is the conclusion of the story of the man by the
pool that was healed. Jesus comes to the man afterward and
tells him to stop sinning and the man tells the Jews who had
The traditional commentaries just aren't very helpful.
What story is being told?>>>
I am not sure how much I can tell you about the story being told
but I believe there are significant structural issues for this
passage. Realize, however, that I am arguing from my own
understanding of the structure. It is not a position that has
received scholarly acceptance (yet). A now fairly primitive
edition of my work may be found at
<<<A lot of questions pop up...
Why was the man in the temple? Surely this is an important part
of the story, but the fact isn't incorporated into any of the
explanations by the commentaries I am aware of.
Why did Jesus track him down?
What was the sin that Jesus referred to?>>>
It may be that because of his disability the man had not been
able to go to the temple for a long time. If this is so it is only
logical to find him there. We could expect that he would want to
give thanks for his healing. For some reason Jesus avoided the
crowd at Bethzatha pool; his tracking down of the man was
obviously because was concerned for his spiritual health, not
just his physical health. The sin is not disclosed and I think there
is little value in speculating about it.
Structurally, however, the man's being in the temple is very
significant. Not present on my web-site but a new section I am
currently adding to the book is a chapter on the macro-chiasm of
the Signs and Discourses section of John (1:1-11:44). I was
motivated to look at this section after reading (and further
developing) Wayne Brouwer's book on the chiastic structure of
the Farewell Discourse (Chs 13-17).
From my own work there are 41 chiastic formations that make up
the Signs and discourses section (70 for the whole gospel).
Thirteen of these are the specific Signs and Discourses, one of
which is the healing of the lame man from 5:1-9a. The rest of the
story is found in a usual seven-fold structure (vv 9b-18). The
structures which are neither the signs nor the particular
discourses which shape this section, i.e. the remaining 28
structures form a macro-chiasm using the same central
structure as the Sign and Discourses, i.e. Discourse 3
6:48-51. On either side of the central structure, the
complementary structures which make up the macro-chiasm
have matching themes, words and phrases. The complementary
structure for 5:9b-18 is 8:2-20 where we find Jesus, in the
temple, this time with a woman, and, with exactly the same
words as 5:14 (not used anywhere else) saying, "Go and do not
sin again" (MHKETI hAMARTANE).
Not only is it significant that John has a man and a woman
receiving the same instruction from Jesus, but the match
confirms the place of the later story, the woman caught in
adultery, in the original text.
<<<It seems logical to suggest that when Jesus told the man to
stop sinning and the man turned around and told the Jews who
Jesus was that the man was following Jesus' orders. Most
commentaries called the man a turncoat or ungrateful
scoundrel. I see nothing in the text to think that the man was
ungrateful or that he intended to cause problems for Jesus...>>>
I do not think that such conclusions about the man are
necessary. Jesus gave him no prohibitions apart from not
sinning and so he was simply answering the question that,
previously, he had not been able to answer (5:12).
<<<What can be determined about how to analyze this passage
from other parallel passages in John?>>>
Besides the structural parallels, there are obvious similarities
with the healing of the blind man in ch 9.