|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!
Verses 15, 16. - The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him whole. Therefore the Jews persecuted Jesus, (and sought to slay him ), because he was doing these things on the sabbath. The motive of the man may have been one of gratitude, or may have arisen from a sense of duty, seeing that he had not answered the question of the Jews, and had been himself charged with doing the unlawful thing (Weiss). He may have sought to win from his interlocutors some reverence for his Healer; but everything points the other way. He was a loveless being; he seems to have been nettled by the charge and warning he had just received, and went with the name of his Benefactor on his lips to those who in his hearing had already condemned the Saviour's conduct. The connection is close between the two facts, viz. the man's eager implication of his Healer in the responsibility of his own act, which was said by "the Jews" to be unlawful; and the course of cruel persecution and deadly hate which was there and then inaugurated against the Saviour of the world. The sixteenth verse represents a course of conduct on the part of the Jews which led to open conflict with the dominant party. Christ's view of the sabbath lay, indeed, in the heart of the old Law, and was even recognized by some of the wisest and noblest spirits of Judaism; but it ran counter to the current traditionary interpretation, and cut as with a sharp sabre through the knots and entanglement of the schools. It was the unpardonable sin that ideas and rules which sustained and fed the authority of the hierarchical party should be swept away as valueless and perilous accumulations, and as fungoid encrustations upon the Law of Moses. Weiss justly remarks that there is no colour for the charge that the fourth evangelist antedated the sabbath controversy, for Mark (Mark 3:6) shows that it had already commenced in Galilee. In John 4:1-3 we see that the Pharisaic party distrusted Jesus; here we see that the authorities are in arms against him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The man departed,.... From Christ, and from the temple, not through displeasure, or as resenting what was said to him, but as highly delighted that he had found his kind benefactor and physician; and went either to Bethesda, where the miracle was wrought, and where a multitude of people were, and where he might expect to find some of the persons that had questioned him about carrying his bed, and who it was that bid him do it; or rather to the sanhedrim; see John 5:33 compared with John 1:19;
and told the Jews; the members of that great council, the chief priests, "scribes", and elders, whose business it was to judge of a prophet, and of anyone that should set up for the Messiah:
that it was Jesus; of Nazareth, of whom so much talk was about his doctrines and miracles, and who was thought to be the Messiah:
which had made him whole; this he did, not out of any ill will to Christ, with any bad design upon him, to impeach and accuse him as a violator of the sabbath, for what he had said and done to him; for this would have been most ungrateful, and even barbarous, brutish, and diabolical; but with a good intention, that Jesus might have the glory of the cure, and that others of his fellow creatures in distress might know where, and from whom to have relief; and chiefly that the sanhedrim might be induced hereby to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and to declare and patronize him as such: and that his end was good, is clear from this, that he does not say it was Jesus that bid him take up his bed and walk, which was what the Jews cavilled at, not caring to hear of the cure; but that made him whole: he observes the miracle to them with a grateful spirit, to the honour of his physician, and that he might be thought to be what he really was.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. The man departed, and told, &c.—little thinking how unwelcome his grateful and eager testimony would be. "The darkness received not the light which was pouring its rays upon it" (Joh 1:5, 11) [Olshausen].
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