Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Heals a Man at Bethesda

John 5:1-18

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. Luke 19:10

Opening Prayer

The Healing Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-4)
    Where did Jesus go at the beginning of His second year of ministry and why?
      John 5:1 = To Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover (feast of the Jews)
    Where was the pool of Bethesda?
      John 5:2 = In Jerusalem, north of the Sheep gate
    Where was the Sheep Gate?
      Nehemiah 3:1 (12:38-39) = NE corner of city wall, Due north of the temple

    What did the name Bethesda mean?
      John 5:2 = House of mercy or House of grace
    What did Bethesda look like? = Excavated in 1888, 55' x 12', steep & winding steps
      John 5:2 = Two spring-fed pools surrounded by 4 porches & separated by a fifth
    What kind of people hung out at Bethesda?
      John 5:3 = The disabled - blind, lame, paralyzed
    Why? = Faded fresco found on excavated wall shows angel troubling the water
      John 5:4 = Waited for angel to stir waters. First one in was healed.

Jesus Reaches Out (John 5:5-6)
    Who did Jesus choose out of all the disabled He saw at Bethesda?
      John 5:5 = An invalid of 38 years, hopeless without God's grace
    Who claims they were chosen by God despite their hopeless condition?
      1 Timothy 1:12-14 = Paul appointed by grace tho blasphemer, persecutor & violent
    Why does Paul believe he was picked out?
      1 Timothy 1:15-16 = To show Jesus' patience & mercy to His chosen
    Who else has been chosen by God despite their hopeless condition?
      Romans 5:6-8 = Us! When we were still powerless ... sinners, Christ died for us

    What did Jesus ask the man?
      John 5:6 = Do you want to get well?
    Was this a stupid question? = Jesus says He is the Sheep Gate
      John 10:7-10 = Jesus calls His sheep, if they listen & enter they will have full life
    How are we to respond when Jesus calls us and offers His grace?
      Hebrews 12:25 = Do not refuse Him
      John 12:47-50 = The Father will judge those who reject the Son's call

Fruitless Efforts (John 5:7)
    Did the man answer Jesus with a Yes or a No?
      John 5:7 = Neither, he gave an excuse why he had been unable to heal himself
    How are we like the man in our ability to justify and save ourselves?
      Galatians 2:15-16 = We're not justified by works of the law, but by faith in Jesus
    Do our righteous efforts have any merit or are they useless like the man's efforts to get in?
      Isaiah 64:6 = We earn nothing by them - All our righteous acts are like filthy rags
    How did Paul react when he heard that the Galatians were trying to be justified by the law?
      Galatians 3:1-5 = He reprimanded them to live by faith instead of by the law
    What works must we do to obey God and be considered righteous?
      John 6:28-29 = The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent

The Grace of Jesus (John 5:8-9)
    How did this man differ from the man who needed healing in last week's study?
      Mark 10:46-51 = Bartimaeus pleaded for Jesus' mercy & healing, direct answer
    Since the man at Bethesda didn't ask Jesus to heal him, did Jesus pass him by?
      John 5:8 = No, He gave His healing anyway
    What lesson from an earlier class explains Jesus' actions?
      Luke 19:10 = The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

    Did the man wait for Jesus to carry him to the troubled water for healing?
      John 5:9a = No, he picked up his mat & walked
    What risk was there to the man by obeying Jesus?
      John 5:9a = Falling down and getting hurt, or at least embarrassment
    How do we respond when Jesus asks us to pick up our mat, even when others may laugh?
      Luke 9:23-26 = Take up our cross daily without being ashamed of Jesus

Knowing Jesus (John 5:12-14)
    How was this man's response similar to that of Bartimaeus?
      Mark 10:52 = His faith made him well
    Was his saving faith in Jesus as the Messiah?
      John 5:12-13 = No, he didn't even know who Jesus was
    Don't we need to acknowledge and know Jesus before we can receive His blessings?
      Romans 9:15-16 = No, God gives mercy to whoever He wants, regardless of merit
    What parable did Jesus tell that makes this point?
      Matthew 20:12-15 (1-16) = Workers in the Vineyard

    How did Jesus later reveal Himself and His purpose to the man?
      John 5:14 = Later Jesus found him, told him to stop sinning
    What did Jesus mean by something worse may happen to you?
      Romans 8:5-6, 13 = Live by the sinful nature leads to death, by Spirit leads to life

Jesus Works on the Sabbath (John 5:9-12, 15-18)
    How did the Jews respond to this great miracle of healing a 38-year invalid?
      John 5:9-10 = They complained that the man was carrying a mat on the Sabbath
    See Working on the Sabbath notes at end of lesson

    What excuse did the man give for his horrible sin of carrying his mat?
      John 5:11 = The man who healed me told me to carry it
    What became more important to the Jews than getting the man to put down his mat?
      John 5:12, 15-16 = Punishing the man who dares to heal on the Sabbath
    How did Jesus respond to their reprimand?
      John 5:17 = My Father & I are both at work, even on the Sabbath
    How did this make the Jews even more upset?
      John 5:18 = He not only broke the Sabbath, but claimed to be equal with God

    Did Jesus have any other conflicts with Jewish leaders because of healing on the Sabbath?
      Luke 13:10-17 = He healed a woman who had been crippled for 18 years
      Matthew 12:9-14 = Healed a man with a shriveled hand
    What else did Jesus do on the Sabbath that got the Pharisees mad?
      Matthew 12:1-8 = Picking & eating grains of wheat from field
    How did Jesus try to put the Sabbath in perspective?
      Mark 2:27 = The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath

The Third Commandment - Luther's Small Catechism
    What is the Third Commandment?
      Exodus 20:8 = Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
    What does this mean?
      We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

    Does God require that we Christians of the New testament observe the Sabbath?
      Colossians 2:16-17 = Sabbath & other holy days were abolished by God Himself
    Did God command us Christians to observe any day?
      Romans 14:5-6 (Galatians 4:10-11) = God did not command us to keep any day
    Why, then, do we observe Sunday and other church festivals?
      Hebrews 10:25 (Acts 2:42) = To have time & opportunity for public worship
    What does God require of us in the Third Commandment?
      1 Thessalonians 2:13 = Hold preaching & the Word of God sacred
      Luke 11:28 = Hear it, learn it & meditate on it
      Galatians 6:6-7 = Honor & support the preaching & teaching of the Word of God
      Mark 16:15 = Diligently spread the Word of God

Closing Prayer

Working on the Sabbath Notes:
    Jews identified 39 works which were prohibited on the Sabbath by the Scripture
      Each of these father-works had many descendant-works defined by rabbis

    Examples Father-Work
    Digging (dragging a chair might make a rut)
    (rubbing foot on pavement is ok, not on dirt)
    Carrying a burden
    Wearing false teeth or extra clothing
    Walking on stilts (crutch or wooden leg ok)
    Tailor carrying needle, Scribe carrying pen
    Plucking a head of wheat
    Pulling out a gray hair (don't look in mirror)

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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