1Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish feasts.2In Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate is a pool. In the Aramaic language it is called Bethesda. It is surrounded by five rows of columns with a roof over them.3-4Here a great number of disabled people used to lie down. Among them were those who were blind, those who could not walk, and those who could hardly move.5One person was there who had not been able to walk for 38 years.6Jesus saw him lying there. He knew that the man had been in that condition for a long time. So he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’7‘Sir’, the disabled man replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when an angel stirs up the water. I try to get in, but someone else always goes down ahead of me.’8Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’9The man was healed right away. He picked up his mat and walked. This happened on a Sabbath day.10So the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, ‘It is the Sabbath day. The law does not allow you to carry your mat.’11But he replied, ‘The one who made me well said to me, “Pick up your mat and walk.” ’12They asked him, ‘Who is this fellow? Who told you to pick it up and walk?’13The one who was healed had no idea who it was. Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.14Later Jesus found him at the temple. Jesus said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning, or something worse may happen to you.’15The man went away. He told the Jewish leaders it was Jesus who had made him well.
The authority of the Son
16Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath day. So the Jewish leaders began to oppose him.17Jesus defended himself. He said to them, ‘My Father is always doing his work. He is working right up to this day. I am working too.’18For this reason the Jewish leaders tried even harder to kill him. According to them, Jesus was not only breaking the law of the Sabbath day. He was even calling God his own Father. He was making himself equal with God.19Jesus answered, ‘What I’m about to tell you is true. The Son can do nothing by himself. He can do only what he sees his Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does.20This is because the Father loves the Son. The Father shows him everything he does. Yes, and the Father will show the Son even greater works than these. And you will be amazed.21The Father raises the dead and gives them life. In the same way, the Son gives life to anyone he wants to.22Also, the Father does not judge anyone. He has given the Son the task of judging.23Then all people will honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent him.24‘What I’m about to tell you is true. Anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. They will not be judged. They have crossed over from death to life.25What I’m about to tell you is true. A time is coming for me to give life. In fact, it has already begun. The dead will hear the voice of the Son of God. Those who hear it will live.26The Father has life in himself. He has allowed the Son also to have life in himself.27And the Father has given him the authority to judge. This is because he is the Son of Man.28‘Do not be amazed at this. A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice.29They will all come out of their graves. People who have done what is good will rise and live again. People who have done what is evil will rise and be found guilty.30I can do nothing by myself. I judge only as I hear. And my judging is fair. I do not try to please myself. I try to please the one who sent me.
Being a witness about Jesus
31‘If I am a witness about myself, what I say is not true.32There is someone else who is a witness in my favour. And I know that what he says about me is true.33‘You have sent people to John the Baptist. He has been a witness to the truth.34I do not accept what a person says. I only talk about what John says so that you can be saved.35John was like a lamp that burned and gave light. For a while you chose to enjoy his light.36‘What I say about myself is more important than what John says about me. I am doing the works the Father gave me to finish. These works are a witness that the Father has sent me.37The Father who sent me is himself a witness about me. You have never heard his voice. You have never seen what he really looks like.38And his word does not live in you. That’s because you do not believe the one he sent.39You study the Scriptures carefully. You study them because you think they will give you eternal life. The Scriptures you study are a witness about me.40But you refuse to come to me and receive life.41‘I do not accept praise from human beings.42But I know you. I know that you do not have love for God in your hearts.43I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me. But if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.44You accept praise from one another. But you do not seek the praise that comes from the only God. So how can you believe?45‘Do not think I will bring charges against you in front of the Father. Moses is the one who does that. And he is the one you build your hopes on.46Do you believe Moses? Then you should believe me. He wrote about me.47But you do not believe what he wrote. So how are you going to believe what I say?’