Abiding in the Lord: John Ch. 5

(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)


By singing praises and hymns, awake your soul, open your heart to the Lord, and prepare yourself to welcome the presence of God and receive the Word of God that will be given to you.



Petition with thanksgiving to God for a wonderful day and pray sincerely for a focused Scripture reading time! (Do not rush into reading the Bible without starting with prayers!) (e.g., you may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what will you be speaking to me today?)


Scripture Reading

Get the following items ready in advance: your devotional notebook, paper, pen, and/or electronic devotional articles so that you can easily write down the Bible verses, questions, and thoughts you have noticed! You are encouraged to open your Bible and vocally read out the scriptures (Try to practice this reading method daily or once a week)!

Scripture Reading: John Ch. 5 (ESV)



Take a moment to quietly reflect on today’s Scriptures. Through such exercises, let God’s Word be gradually written into our hearts and be inscribed to our mind.



Read the devotional articles prepared by CBCLWA (*Read the Bible first before reading any devotional materials.)


(vv. 1-18) The third miracle performed by Jesus is recorded in the Gospel of John; this miracle occurred at a pool named Bethesda. A saying in those days was that angels would stir the water in the pool from time to time, and as soon the water starts moving, “whoever goes down first, no matter what the disease is, he would be healed.” Because of this, there were many people gathered there waiting for healing. The National Institute of Medicine (NIH) in the premier medical research facility in the United States happens to be located in Maryland, also in a city called Bethesda. I had the opportunity to go there once for a seminar! One is the place where Jesus performed miracles, and the other is a stronghold for high-end scientific research! 

On that day, Jesus came to the Pool of Bethesda and saw a man who had been sick for 38 years, and the sickness appears to limit mobility, because he said, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred.” But now, because of the words of Jesus, “Get up, pick up your mat and walk,” this invalid man listened and obeyed. He was able to pick up the mat and got up and walked away, as if it was no big deal. This was not the end of the matter; later in the temple, Jesus met him again and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you” What sins did he commit in the past? We will never know, only that we saw Jesus specifically remind him again not to sin again, or it will be worse than before. 

From the first time Jesus asked this man, “Do you want to be healed?” To when He said to him in the temple, “See, you are well! Sin no more,” not only was Jesus’ aim for him to receive a complete healing, from his body to his soul. What Jesus was more concerned about was the impact of sin on him. Brothers and sisters, God desires to give us is a renewed life; let us not squander his good intentions and grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30-32). 

Because of the healing on the Sabbath, and because Jesus’ declaration that he was equal to God, the Jews increasingly wanted to kill Jesus. This also leads into the His following proclamation! 

(vv. 19-30) In this section, Jesus repeats the phrase “truly, truly I say to you” three separate times, interspersed throughout His personal declaration, to reveal His divinity and the truth that he is equal to the Father: 

  1. Doing the same work of the Father: The Son also does what the Father does (v. 19, 20) 
  2. Having the same authority as the Father: As the Father raises the dead, so the Son raises the dead as he pleases (v. 21, 28-29) 
  3. Sharing in the same judgment as the Father: The Father entrusts the judgment to the Son (v. 22, 27, 30) 
  4. Receiving the same honor as the Father: The Son is honored as the Father is honored (v. 23) 
  5. Giving the same life as the Father: Those who believe in the Son, whom the Father sends, have eternal life (v. 24, 25) 
  6. Possessing the same life as the Father: As the Father has life in himself, so the Son of Man has life in himself also (v. 26)

Philippians 2:6-8 states that “He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” We see that Jesus was the Son of God, that He was in the form of God, possessing all the authority and power of God. However, He did not ask for His own will to be done, but asked for the Father’s will be done instead. As we follow the Lord on our respective paths, let us learn to strive in obedience in the Father’s will, humbling ourselves all the more as we walk with Him. 

(vv. 31-47) After Jesus declared that He was equal to God, He then presented strong evidence to the Jews to testify to the truthfulness of His words: 

  1. John’s testimony: John testified about Jesus, saying that Jesus is the Lamb of God; while John is but a lamp that burns and shines, Jesus is the Light of the world. 
  2. What Jesus did: The very works of Jesus themselves proved that He was sent by God (as Nicodemus said in John 3:2: “For none can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”) 
  3. The testimony of the Father: When Jesus was baptized, the Father testified: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) 
  4. Biblical testimony: The messianic prophecies of Moses and the prophets from Scripture were fulfilled in Jesus successively when He came. 

The testimony as presented by Jesus is strong and powerful, combining witness accounts and material evidence, and even divine testimony. Is there anyone else who can testify? Yes! You own life testimony of how you came to saving faith in Christ, and how you changed after believing in the Lord, both can help people see Jesus! Let us join the ranks of witnessing Jesus! 

One additional point worth reflecting on: what kind of people were these Jews? Although they studied the scriptures and pursued eternal life, they did not have the Word of God in their hearts; they believed in God yet did not believe in the one whom God sent; they loved the lamp but did not love the Light; they refused to come to Jesus, but sought after their own glory, and the love of God was not within their hearts. Do you think they can believe in the Lord despite being in this condition? Try this self-assessment today: have you also made the same mistakes as they did? May this be a reminder to ourselves. Anyone who has ears to hear, let them hear! 



Give thanks to God for His enabling us to read the Scriptures and for our response for living out the Word of God today! (e.g., You may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what/where are you going to lead me to today?”)