|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:10-16 Those eased of the punishment of sin, are in danger of returning to sin, when the terror and restraint are over, unless Divine grace dries up the fountain. The misery believers are made whole from, warns us to sin no more, having felt the smart of sin. This is the voice of every providence, Go, and sin no more. Christ saw it necessary to give this caution; for it is common for people, when sick, to promise much; when newly recovered, to perform only something; but after awhile to forget all. Christ spoke of the wrath to come, which is beyond compare worse than the many hours, nay, weeks and years of pain, some wicked men have to suffer in consequence of their unlawful indulgences. And if such afflictions are severe, how dreadful will be the everlasting punishment of the wicked!
Verse 12. - [Then] they asked him, Who is the man (contemptuous use of ἄνθρωπος, as distinct from God's great messengers, or the legislators and prophets of the olden time, who have laid down the eternal Law of God) that said unto thee, Take up [thy bed], and walk? "The Jews" here ignore the work of healing and mercy, and seek to fasten a charge of overt criminality against some person unknown. A technical offence has been clone against the honour of their sacred place. The work of healing is an insignificant compensation for such a disgrace. They would be even with the heretical healer. Saving men by questionable methods is not to be endured. "Who is the man?" "Men and women lying in moral helplessness, not helped by God's priests and rulers, are now standing and moving in the strength their new Teacher has given. They cannot deny it; but can they prevent it? The rabbinic precept which he has crossed shall be applied to stamp out his work and kill him" (Watkins).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then asked they him,.... Suspecting who had made him whole, and gave him this order:
what man is that which said unto thee, take up thy bed and walk? they take no notice of the cure, being unwilling to give any glory to Christ, and still less to spread it; but chose rather that it should be obscured, hid, and unobserved; but they laid hold on that, which they thought might be improved to his reproach and scandal; and they call him a man, as supposing him to be a mere man, and a wicked man too, for giving orders to transgress a tradition of the elders, though no mere man could work such a cure as this was. And so the Jews since, though they cannot find fault with the cure, which they put an "if" upon, yet are highly displeased with the order, to take up his bed and carry it:
"if (say they (a)) he wrought a cure, lo, that is good, but why did he bid him take up his bed?''
the answer may be, to show that he was cured.
(a) Vet. Nizzachon, p. 207.
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