John 5: "I Am Come in My Father's Name"

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 79–80

About a year after Jesus met the woman at the well in Samaria (see John 4), He went back to Jerusalem because it was the time of the Passover again. What Jesus did in the year between those two visits to Jerusalem is recorded in Matthew 5–11 and Luke 6–8. John 5 begins the account of what Jesus said and did during that second Passover at Jerusalem.

Understanding the Scriptures

John 5

Impotent folk (v. 3)People without strength, powerless 
Halt (v. 3)Lame 
Withered (v. 3)Difficulty using arms or legs 
Infirmity (v. 5)Disease or handicap 
Whole (vv. 6, 9, 11, 14–15)Healthy, well 
Conveyed himself away (v. 13)Gone to a different place secretly 
Committed (v. 22)Given authority for 

John 5:4—“An Angel Went Down … and Troubled the Water”

It appears that the pool of Bethesda came from a spring that occasionally bubbled up. The tradition was that unseen angels caused the water to bubble and whoever was first to get in the pool after the water was “troubled,” or rippled, would be healed. This was just a superstition, but many seemed eager to try it, perhaps because they were hoping for an easy solution to their problem, or perhaps because they had tried everything else they knew of.

John 5:25, 28—“The Dead Shall Hear the Voice of the Son of God”

There are many prophecies in the Old Testament about the spirits in spirit prison who would be visited by the Son of God (see Psalm 88:10; Isaiah 24:22; 61:1). As recorded in John 5:25, 28, Jesus announced that He would soon fulfill those prophecies. He fulfilled them when He went to the spirit world after His crucifixion (see D&C 138:11–22, 29–35).

John 5:29—“They That Have Done Good, unto the Resurrection of Life”

While working on his inspired revision of the Bible, the Prophet Joseph Smith asked Heavenly Father about the meaning of John 5:29. In response, he received the vision now recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 76.

Studying the Scriptures

Do one of the following activities (A–B) as you study John 5.

Activity A iconLessons from a Miracle

As is true for most of the miracles recorded in the New Testament, we can learn spiritual truths from what Jesus and people who participated in the miracle did or said. The following questions should help you focus on some of the truths that could be learned from the story in John 5:1–16.

Christ at Bethesda
  1. 1.

    What seems to be the reason why Jesus chose that man to be healed? (see vv. 5–6).

  2. 2.

    What does that teach us about Jesus?

  3. 3.

    How is the man like all who sin?

  4. 4.

    How is what Jesus said and did for the man similar to what He can and will do for all who sin and repent?

  5. 5.

    What did Jesus say could cause something worse than the handicap the man in the story had? (see v. 14).

  6. 6.

    Write the kinds of things you think the man said when he spoke to the Jews (see v. 15).

Activity B iconLike Father, Like Son

  1. 1.

    List the truths Jesus taught in John 5:17–47 about Himself and about Heavenly Father.

  2. 2.

    What impresses you most about what Jesus taught? Why?

  3. 3.

    How do these teachings show how Jesus and His Father in Heaven could not logically be the same Being?