14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
Later Jesus found the paralyzed man in the temple. Jesus did not hide from the man but sought him out.
Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well.
Jesus did not forget about this man. He took the initiative to find the healed paralytic man. He did not reproach the healed man but simply reminded him of his healing and the cause for his paralysis. Jesus could have rebuked the man for betraying Him to the Jews but did not take this approach.
“Have been made well” is in a tense in the Greek that means the healing of this man was permanent (perfect tense). His healing lasted, not like many temporary healings of today.
Sin no more,
This statement clearly indicates that this man had sinned and continued to sin as a lifestyle. Jesus indicated that this man’s sin brought on his paralysis. Continued sin may bring on a much worse condition. Evidently this sickness was connected to his sinful life.
lest a worse thing come upon you.”
In many places the Bible does not relate a given sin to suffering because of that sin. Sickness is not always the result of sin in the Bible, but sometimes it is (Ac 5:1-11; 1 Co 11:30). Here, however, Jesus said that the man’s lameness was due to sin.
The “worse thing” here is eternal suffering for sin. That is far “worse” than this man’s 38 years of paralysis.
The issue of heaven and hell is a sobering thought.
It is important that we give a sober warning to those who are heading to a Christless eternity. There is no comparison between suffering in time to suffering in eternity.
The Word of God generally does not connect specific sins to physical problems; however, at times it does. There are some situations where the Bible ties a specific sin to particular suffering.
How can a man who is paralyzed for 38 years was living a lifestyle of sin ,a man who cannot even move into the pool to get healed?????
Cajetan, Christ healed this man to give a clear demonstration of His deity. It was an act of His unadulterated grace. He does not heal on the basis of our merit but due to His sovereign plan.
Cajetan Fernandes, I could be totally paralyzed and sin. We sin in our hearts and our mind all the time. Remember when Jesus was talking about murder and adultery in Matthew 5:21-30; “You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And you have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Is it also possible that sin caused his paralysis because of something he did — like drunkeness and falling off a cliff; anger leading to a physical fight; etc.?
MissNan, the Bible does not indicate anything of that nature. It would be dangerous to speculate on something that is not explicitly stated in Scripture.
When Jesus had noticed him laying there at the pool, Jesus took the initiative and asked him, Do you want to be healed?
The man did not answer Jesus but gave a long sob story of how long he has been waiting there to be healed. Jesus then heals him and later finds him in the Temple and not once did he thank Jesus for his healing.
It is thus not unreasonable to presume that the possible sin which Jesus is cautioning him about is to be aware of the sin of a hardened heart as did the Israelites for 40 years in the dessert. This man did not know who Jesus was and in the context the Pharisees had hardened hearts who did not recognize the Messiah in their very mists.
I come in my Father’s name and yet you do not accept me but someone else will come in his own name and he you will accept.
I love how non-disabled people go on about our impure souls when we are the ones who are mass murdered. This verse accuses so many people of being evil with no evidence whatsoever.
Jordan, thanks for your post.
This verse does not say that “many people” are evil. That is an extrapolation on your part. This verse explicitly deals with one case, of which Jesus was aware of the details but He did not reveal to others. The condition of all disabled people is not due to sin.
John 5:14 implies that disability is caused by sin. Alternatively, 2 Samuel 5:29 implies that disability is caused by the sin of family or ancestors. Neither is a very good option. As for the “many people” aspect, disabled individuals make up a very large fraction of the global human population. There are approximately 40 million disabled citizens in the United States alone. That makes the conversation around disability in religion a very important one. The prominence of disability and the prominence of Christianity in the U.S. and the world makes verses like John 5:14 critical. From my perspective, John 5 simply cannot be factual. There are so many disabled individuals who choose to follow Christianity. All of whom remain disabled.
I agree completely that it is necessary to clarify the meaning of this passage to anyone with any kind of suffering, mental or physical.
The onus of proof lies on the person who makes the assertion. You said that this man’s case is true for all people, but this passage does not claim that. John 5 has to do with a specific case. Jesus made it clear that all illness is not always an immediate result of personal sin (Jn 9:1-3). Jesus in John 9 makes it abundantly clear that physical illness is not caused by sin. He does not say that they are never caused by sin.
In interpretation, it is possible to undershoot the runway or overshoot it. It is important to exegete what it says, not what we want it to say. To read into the text something exterior to what it says, is interpolation. Interpolation is reading one’s ideas into the text. In your case, you have read something more into the text than what it says.
See my studies on Jn 9 here beginning with this study: https://versebyversecommentary.com/2017/06/05/john-91f/ Note the next study in particular: https://versebyversecommentary.com/2017/06/06/john-93/
It is sad that you would prefer to impose an incorrect interpretation on this passage to justify the idea that a passage of Scripture cannot be trusted.
Rubbing mud on a person’s eyes? That’s great. I stand by my point that no disabled person has been made non-disabled except for in the bible. People believe these stories of healing, they pray for it themselves, and nothing happens. I am not saying that John 5 applies to every disabled person; I am saying that it applies to no one. Not one disabled person has been made non-disabled other than in the bible — not through prayer, not through baptism, not by attending church. In John 9:3, Jesus does say that neither the blind man nor his parents were responsible for the blindness. Jesus says that the man was born blind so that others could witness his healing. Here I restate that there is no sign of disabled individuals becoming non-disabled in today’s world.
Jordan, I agree with you that there is no healing today like Jesus healed the blind man. John 5 and 9 do not claim that it will happen outside the first century. If your concern is that people may put their hope in that kind of healing today, I agree, because the Bible does not promise that.
Also, people who do not believe the Bible are negative volition to God’s revelation. We cannot expect them to believe with their perception that the Bible is a human document with fallacious thoughts. The ultimate presupposition of their worldview is something other than Christianity. The problem is the modus operandi they choose for finding truth, a humanistic approach to reality or a revelation approach.