A Commentary on
by Cooper Abrams
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The Lame Man Healed John 5:1-9
We must remember that the Gospel of John is not a Synoptic Gospel and covers about twenty-two days in the life of Christ. The Synoptic Gospels cover the major events of Jesus' three and a half year ministry. God's intent in inspiring John to pen this Gospel was to address specific events in the context of Israel rejecting the Lord as their Messiah and revealing the spiritual condition of the Jews. Chapter Five begins by stating that there was a feast of the Jews and that Jesus went up to Jerusalem. The Synoptic Gospels do not tell us much about Jesus' trips to Judaea, but John specifically mentions His three trips there to observe the Passover. John 2:13, 23 mentions the first Passover He observed in Jerusalem. John 5:1, although not specifically named, probably records the second, and John 6:4 records the third Passover. His last Passover is recorded in John 13:1 before His crucifixion.
In Jerusalem there was a gate into the city called the Sheep Gate. That was where the sheep that were to be sacrificed in the temple were brought into the city. The building of this gate is mentioned in Nehemiah 3:1, 32; 12:39 and thought to be located near the northeast corner of the city.
John says that by the Sheep Gate there was a pool of water called in Hebrew "Bethesda." Bethesda means a house of kindness, grace or mercy.1 This was a pool that had Roman arch supported porches and was believed to be outside the Jerusalem wall below the Tower of Antonia discovered in 1888. Archaeologists unearthed a rectangular pool with a portico on each side and a fifth one dividing the pool into two separate compartments that fits the Bible's description.
"In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had" (John 5:3-4).
Gathered around the pool were many people with various ailments such as the blind, crippled or lame, and those who had palsy that withered up some part of their body. This pool was supplied by water from underground springs. We are not told what it was used for other than the tradition that at times an angel would "trouble" or stir up the waters. The belief was that an angel would come and stir up the waters and the first person who entered the pool when waters were stirred up would be healed of their infirmities. Nothing like this is recorded in the Bible and it is believed to have been more a tradition than fact. The source of the myth could have come from the waters of the pool having a mineral content with medicinal properties. The waters of the spring would be occasionally agitated by the release of these minerals and healing effected. John states the belief of those gathered at the pool without an explanation, so we just do not know. What is important is that those there believed they could be healed if they were the first into the pool. The lame man like others were there hoping to be healed.
Those who have chronic diseases will go to great lengths to find relief and healing. When Jesus approached the pool, he saw a man there who had been crippled for thirty-eight years. Jesus being omniscient knew the man had been there a long time and asked him if he wanted to be whole. That question is an important one for those who have physical infirmities, but more importantly for those who being lost in their sins have the need of being made spiritually whole. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners and whosoever will believe in Him will be saved. But throughout the ages few have been saved. The reason is because most do not want to be spiritually cleansed.
Healing only comes for those who want it. This man wanted to be healed and he was patiently waiting by the pool. Evidently the man could get around to some degree, but was not fast enough to be the first into the pool. This had happened several times before, but it showed the man had character in his persistence. He kept trying and did not give up. As difficult as the task was in getting up and getting into the pool, he was not deterred. The man could have said, "It is no use. I will go home and die." God had a plan for this man.
Some might suppose that God imposed His will on the lame man and made him persistent, but a better explanation is that God knew the man's character and this made his healing possible. This does not mean the man deserved to be healed, but the man exercised a great faith in the healing properties of the pool. Jesus knew the man's humility and saw this was fertile ground for receiving saving faith. Of all those by the pool desiring to be healed, Jesus only chose this man.
Instantly, as Jesus spoke the words, the man was completely healed. To show he was fully healed, Jesus told him to pick up his bed and walk. He did not need to go to "rehab" to learn to walk again. He was healed mind and body and such is a true miracle healing by God.
This incident gives us some insight into the wicked hearts of the religious Jews. They witnessed the healing of the lame man, but instead of rejoicing with him, they rebuked him for carrying his bed on the Sabbath. Clearly, this healing was done not only to heal the man, but to show the hardness of the hearts of these religious Jews. If a true believer saw a great miracle of God, certainly they would be rejoicing with the man and praising God for the healing. Yet, the first thing in the minds of these blind Jews was it was the Sabbath and work was forbidden. Jesus had broken one of their "sacred" laws. By denouncing the miracle because it was done on the Sabbath, the Jews showed their true spiritual condition. They held to the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law as Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 3:6. "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." (2 Corinthians 3:6)
Exodus 16:23-29 records the first mention of the keeping of the Sabbath by the Jews. After Moses led Israel out of Egypt, God told them to gather enough manna on the sixth day of the week to cover the seventh day, which was the Sabbath. God instructed them to keep the Sabbath day holy, which means it was a day of worship and not for working to provide themselves substance. God was teaching them to rely upon Him and the importance of the day of rest and worship. On the sixth day God provided manna for the Sabbath. Keeping the Sabbath was never given as a sacrament, which means a ritual having saving properties. The Jews had turned keeping the Sabbath into a religious act they thought would savingly justify them before the Lord. However, works do not save. One is saved by faith in God and believing in His promises.
Exodus 31:12-18 states that God gave the Sabbath to Israel as a special sign between Himself and Israel.
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed." (Exodus 31:12-17)
The Sabbath was a sign to teach Israel to live by faith dependent on the Lord. It reminded them of God's purpose in creating them as a nation set apart (sanctified). Keeping the Sabbath was a sign also to the world that revealed God was our Creator.
Although the Sabbath was a special day given by God to Israel, the principle of believers today of observing a day of rest and worship is still valid. Because Christ arose on the first day of the week, early Christians and those of today worship on Sunday. Sabbath keeping was a part of the Mosaic law God gave to Israel and was not given to Christians in this dispensation of the Church Age. In the Creation, God rested on the seventh day, but it was God's rest, not man's, and He gave no instructions for man to keep the Sabbath. The Bible does not record that man kept the Sabbath until God gave it as a special sign to Israel. Paul repeatedly told the early Christians they were not under the Mosaic law. (Rom. 16:14-15, Gal. 3:23-26) Colossians 2:16 specifically states "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days" (Colossians 2:16) (See Rom. 14:5-6)
Matthew 12:1-13 records that Jesus and his disciples were hungering on the Sabbath day and they plucked ears of corn.2 When the Pharisees saw it, they accused Jesus, the author of the Sabbath day, of being unlawful in gathering barley on the Sabbath. Jesus immediately rebuked them by reminding them that David and his men, when hungry ate the shew bread in the Tabernacle. That too was unlawful, but because of the circumstances was not wrong. He also reminded them that their priests profaned the Sabbath day by carrying on their temple duties, and under the law they were blameless. In verse 9-12, Jesus went into a synagogue and the Jews brought to Him a man with a withered hand. They ask Him was it lawful to heal the man on the Sabbath. Jesus exposes their calloused hearts by reminding them that the law required that a man be merciful to his animals. He reminded them that if one sheep fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, would not they lift it out? Jesus asked them if a man was better than a sheep. He then said, "How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days" (Matthew 12:12). The Jews had perverted the Mosaic law to such an extent that they had removed any showing of mercy or benevolence on the Sabbath. Jesus said in verse eight, "For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day" (Matthew 12:8). This further incensed the Jews and who then plotted how to kill Him and shows how far in sin they were. The hypocrite is a dangerous being when his hypocrisy is exposed. "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" (John 3:20).
Jesus later strongly rebuked the Pharisees telling them, "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel" (Matthew 23:24). Paul explained, "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (2 Corinthians 3:6). The Jews prided themselves in their self-righteousness. The outward keeping of the law was their badge of their religious zeal. They had no concept of the spiritual nature of God and of true believers. Therefore when they saw someone supposedly breaking the law, they would piously and vehemently attack them as being "law breakers." They thought this showed them to be better than others. Paul wrote, "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." (Romans 10:2) Jesus said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).
The lame man responded that the man who healed him told him to take up his bed and walk. Verse 13 explains that the man did not know who Jesus was and that Jesus as soon as He had healed the man had slipped away because of the multitude in the place. Jesus apparently moved away from the man, who did not have time to even ask who it was that had healed him. Probably seeking to avoid a confrontation with the Jews and a possible riot, Jesus left the area.
After healing the man Jesus went to the temple and found the man. The man did not know who Jesus was, but he knew it was God that had healed him. So, he immediately went to the temple to give thanks to God for making him whole. It shows the man believed in God and wanted to give Him thanks for the blessing he had received. As mentioned earlier this is probably why Jesus chooses him to be healed over the many others there.
Jesus finding the man tells him that he is made whole and to go and sin no more. Jesus' statement to the man addressed his spiritual condition. Jesus said he had been made physically whole, to now go and sin no more which referred to being spiritually made whole as well. Many believed that his being lame was the result of past sins and Jesus was showing him He knew the past and the future. Jesus was giving a stern warning. Being lame was a terrible thing, but being spiritually dead was much worse. Sin separates us from God and eternal life. Thirty-eight years of being lame was bad, but a lot worse was being unrepentant and losing one's soul. There was no comparison between being lame all those years and spending eternity in hell.
The man then went and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. It is doubtful that the man had any ill intent in returning to the Jewish leaders and telling them who had healed him. Rather it was probably because he wanted to give Jesus the credit for this miracle that had been performed on him. The Jews had attacked the man for carrying his bed on the Sabbath, so the man went to them to explain who it was who had healed him and told him to take up his bed.
It is a serious and dangerous thing to irritate a hypocrite. The Jewish leaders knew their true spiritual condition. A man who is an unsaved sinner, who feigns a profession in Jesus Christ, knows he is a fake. If you bring light to such people they will often balk and seek to destroy you. As a pastor of many years now, I have seen this ugly spirit twice in two of the churches that I pastored. Presenting God's truth turns a bright and revealing light on the unsaved hypocrite and they will almost always lash out to defend themselves. They vehemently resent being exposed.
When they heard it was Jesus who had healed the man, telling him to take up his bed, they were infuriated. Jesus had taken upon himself the authority to tell someone to violate the Sabbath. They had seen His miracle and heard his preaching, which authenticated that He was the Messiah, but they refused to accept the truth. Nicodemus, a Pharisee himself, revealed what everyone knew, that " . . . no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." (John 3:1) These religious leaders knew it as well. Their response, however, was not to recognize this obvious truth, or even to inquire of it, but to offhandedly reject it and seek to silence Jesus by killing Him.
This time Jesus did not avoid the conflict with them. His response was that God the Father had His work to do and on an equal par with God He too had His work. This is an absolute declaration of Jesus' deity. Some have falsely suggested that Jesus never claimed to be God. Jesus' response refutes that misguided idea. The evidence is clear in this passage. The Jews certainly understood His statement and sought more fervently to kill Him because in their own words, " . . . he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his father, making himself equal with God." (John 5:18)
There was no reason why the Jews were blind to who was Jesus. Jesus never hid His identity, but repeatedly by His message, miracles and statements revealed to Israel that He was God their Messiah. If Jesus was not God, then He was guilty of blasphemy in making Himself equal with God. According to the Mosaic law, if He was not God He was to suffer the penalty of death for making such a claim.
Verses 19-47 records Jesus' long reply to the Jewish leaders who were seeking to kill Him. Jesus gave them a stunning declaration of His deity and ministry. He began His reply with the words, "Verily, verily" which mean "amen and amen" or "so be it, so be it." The Jews were blinded by their sinful pride and self-righteous religious zeal. Jesus explains plainly what they refused to see, and exposes their blindness to the truth. He had stated in verse 17 that His ministry and purpose were equal with God the Father. He now explains this truth further.
Jesus declares that the Son can do nothing independent or separate from God the Father. Bear in mind that Jesus stated He was equal with the Father. His point is that He cannot do anything contrary to God, because He is God. He cannot do anything that would oppose Himself. Jesus in His humanity before His crucifixion dreaded the terrible suffering He was about to undergo, but He stated, "nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."3 Being God, Jesus could not act contrary to His nature of being absolutely righteous in all things.
The Jews were denying that what Jesus was doing was from God. They knew that only God could heal as Christ did, but in their blindness to their self-righteous works and religion they refused to accept that Jesus was doing the Father's will. Jesus points this out saying that the Father was showing to them Himself through Jesus and His miracles. The healing of the lame was a great miracle, but Jesus tells them that the Father would do even greater works through Him that they might marvel. Jesus reminds them that only God could raise the dead and make them alive. The word "quickeneth" means to "make alive." He tells them that the Son will also raise from the dead whomever He desires.
The Bible does not reveal the reaction of the Jews to this discourse, but it must have been shocking to them. Jesus boldly tells them that God the Father judges no one, but has given that responsibility to the Son. Jesus was telling them that He was the One who would be judging them at the final judgment. As the Judge, Jesus tells them He should be honored in the same way that the Father is honored. He makes the emphatic statement that those that do not honor the Son do not honor the Father. There can be absolutely no mistake that Jesus was proclaiming Himself to be equal with God in that He deserved the same honor due the Father.
Jesus plainly tells them that the only way to receive eternal life and avoid condemnation was to believe in Him. He states those who believe in Him shall pass from death unto life. The Jews, even in the blindness of their false religion, recognized that only God can forgive sins. Thus Jesus again is declaring that He is God, because those that believe in Him will have their sins forgiven. That was only an act that God could do.
Again, Jesus emphasizes the importance of His words saying "Verily, verily." He proclaims that the hour is coming and now is that the dead shall hear His voice, and they that hear shall live. The Jews believed that the resurrection of the dead would occur when the Messiah came. Jesus' reference to the "hour is coming and now is" was announcing He the Messiah was come. Therefore, Jesus was telling them that He was the Messiah and His message was proclaiming salvation through belief in Himself. He says that those that hear shall live. He is implying that all the spiritually dead hear the message of salvation, but those that hear and respond in faith are the ones who will be saved. His reference to life is not simply being alive, but being spiritually alive. There can be no real life apart from Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus told Nicodemus He must be born again, meaning to inherit the Kingdom of God one must be spiritually born.
Once again Jesus declares His deity as being equal with the Father. Life can only come from life. As God is life only He can give spiritual life, God has given the Son life and the authority to execute judgment. Jesus was warning them of the consequences of their actions of not believing Him. Jesus is the life giver as our Creator and He is also our judge.4 Jesus said in verse 22 that the Father judges no man, but the Son is the Judge. Jesus is saying He has the authority to execute judgment "because he is the Son of man." He was referring to His humanity. He was wholly man and therefore it was Jesus the God-man that would be the judge of men. Man would be judged by Jesus, the man.
To emphasize that He is the Judge, He tells them to not marvel at what He has said, because the hour was coming in which the dead would hear His voice and come forth. All men both saved and lost will be resurrected and it will be Jesus Christ who resurrects them.5 Everyone will stand before Jesus in judgment after He resurrects them.5
Those that have done good, meaning those who have believed in Jesus Christ and repented of their sins, will be resurrected to a spiritual life. Having believed, they are "born again" of God and given eternal life. However, the dead who have done evil, meaning those who refused to believe and rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior and rejected God's free offer of redemption, these unsaved will be resurrected at the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:15-18 to be judged according to their works and then cast into the eternal Lake of Fire.
When Lazarus died, Martha his sister questioned as to why Jesus had delayed coming. He explained to her, " . . . I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" (John 11:25-26) Jesus is seeking the lost to offer them forgiveness of sins and eternal life. "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). It is a tragedy that Jesus was offering these Jews eternal life and they were callously rejecting Him. Even today, men are rejecting Jesus Christ as their Savior. The evidence is clear that all who will hear and receive Him by simple faith will have their sins forgiven and receive eternal life. What blessing the Lord becomes to those who trust Him and are saved, and how tragic that those who ignore and reject Him will one day bow before Him in judgment.
The miracles that Jesus performed were done in accordance with God the Father's will and in His power. Jesus is God come in the flesh, and as the doctrine of the Trinity reveals He and the Father are One. They are One yet Jesus was separate and independent of the Father. His responsibility, as the Son in the Godhead, in His Oneness with the Father, was to accomplish the will of God the Father. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One. Jesus' purpose was to fulfill God's plans. With Jesus the Son, and God the Father, there was complete unity. Jesus' point in this passage was to emphasize that as God, come in the flesh, all He did was in accord with the Father. The Jews claimed that they knew God the Father and worshiped Him, yet they were blinded by their sin and religious pride. They did not know God the Father.
Later Jesus made it clear that the reason they did not know Him was because they did not know God the Father. "Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also" (John 8:19). The Lord Jesus was referring to His ministry of preaching the Kingdom and doing the miracles as being a testimony of His coming from the Father and going about His Father's business. 6 Once again Jesus was exposing the hypocrisy of the Jews. There was no love of God or their fellow man in their hearts. Their religious zeal was in vain being rooted in their sinful pride.
"Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not" (John 5:33-38).
In John 1:19-28 the religious rulers of the Jews in Jerusalem had sent a delegation to John the Baptist asking who he was. He testified that he was not the Messiah, but the forerunner of the Messiah. He said he was as Elijah, who was prophesied in Malachi 4:5 as the one who would proclaim the coming of the Messiah. John the Baptist also quoted Isaiah 40:3 that he would "make straight the way of the Lord." Jesus reminded the Jews that John had testified of His coming and that at His baptism, God the Father had confirmed John's testimony as true when He spoke and the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove. The Jews at first received John's testimony of announcing the promised kingdom, but only for a season or short time.
In verse 36, Jesus directs them to consider His miracles or "greater works than these" that clearly were the work of God the Father. Jesus said His miracles without question proved who he was and who had sent Him.
Once again He rebuked them telling them they did not have God's word abiding in them because they refused to believe in Him in spite of all the evidence they clearly saw. He unmistakably demonstrated that He was the Messiah, but they would not accept it. How baffling it is to reach out to the lost by giving them the wonderful news of the Gospel and have it fall on deaf ears. How frustrating it is to tell people that they can have all their sins forgiven and be given everlasting life, and spend eternity in Heaven with God our Creator, and yet have them reject this truth or simply ignore it. There is a reason men do and Jesus explained that in John 3:19-22. Men do not come to the light of God's truth because of willful sin in their lives and they reject God and His wonderful promises in order to continue in their evil ways. However, it is very encouraging that some do believe and reap the wonderful blessing of salvation in Jesus Christ. Jesus was offering the love of God to the Jews, but only a handful would accept Him.
The Jews claimed the source of their faith was the Old Testament scriptures, and Jesus appealed to them to search the scriptures. He said the scriptures testified of Him. In October 2002 I visited Israel and Jerusalem. Our tour took us to the Western wall, or Wailing Wall, that is part of the old temple mound in Jerusalem. There I watched as the Jews stood before the wall reading what I thought was the scriptures. Two rabbis came up to me recognizing my Jewish name from my name tag and being an American. They took me into a large room on the left of the wall and showed me several large Torah's enclosed in elaborate enclosures. However, I later found out that they were not reading the Old Testament (Torah), but rather the Talmud.
The Talmud is a collection of rabbinic teachings in past centuries written in a commentary. It is from the Talmud the Jews get their interpretation of the Old Testament. The Talmud is comprised of two parts, the Mishnah and the Germara. The Talmud is the written oral tradition of the Jewish rabbis transmitted down through the centuries. Among the Jews the study of the Talmud is elevated above the study of the Bible that is seen as being inferior. The religion of the Jews in Jesus' day as today is based not on the Old Testament scriptures but on the oral traditions of the teachings of the rabbis. They are following the teachings of men, in the same way as they were doing in New Testament times.
Jesus appealed to them to search the word of God. The Talmud although held in higher esteem than the Bible is not referred to as "scripture." Therefore Jesus was directing them to God's word and away from their oral traditions that formed their religion and perverted it.
There are fifty-two times that the Old Testament uses the title the "Angel of the Lord." Twenty of these refer to appearances or are references to God's messenger to Israel. These references are to pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus Christ.7 For example, in Genesis 16:13, Moses who God used to write the Pentateuch, relates to the appearance of the "Angel of the Lord" to Hagar calling Him Jehovah. This name is never used of any created being and always refers to God. Thus Moses identified the "Angel of the Lord" as the Lord Jesus Christ who is Jehovah. Thus Jesus had appeared to Israel many times in their history, but in New Testament times they did not recognize Him because of their unbelief and lack of knowledge of the word of God. Many people struggle with accepting the Trinity for the same reason. They do not know the word of God. (To read my article "Understanding the Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity" go to http://bible-truth.org/Trinity.html)
Plainly stating He was the source of life, Jesus told them they would not come to Him and receive life because they did not love God. They loved their religion, not God. Jesus knew their hearts, that they followed the teachings of rabbis rather than the word of God.
Explaining to them that they did not love God, Jesus pointed out the obvious truth. They accepted the teachings of men, but He coming in God the Father's name, they would not receive. He pointed out the paradox that they would accept another who would come in his own name, but not one coming in the Father's name. The Jews in Jesus' day followed the teachers of past ages who were divided into three basic groups. These three groups according to Josephus were the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Essenes.8 Neither of these groups were practicing the teachings of the Old Testament, but rather the teaching of different sects of the Jewish rabbis.
The Jews openly followed these false teachers and rejectedGod's word. Modern times are no different. The pagan religions follow such teachers as Confucius, Mohammad, and Buddha. Most of Christendom is following the teachings of men such as Luther, Calvin, Wesley, the traditions of the Roman Catholics. The Christian cults form their doctrines on the men such men as Joseph Smith, Alexander Campbell, Charles Russell, Ellen G. White and a host of other false teachers. They all had the word of God available to them to learn but instead chose to follow these self-appointed religious leaders and reject God's truth.
The Jews, like the religious groups today, bestowed great honor on their religious leaders while rejecting God and the honor that is due Him. Men willingly believe the lie, following Satan and dishonoring God and His truth. 9
Jesus then strongly rebuked them by referring them to Moses, who they supposedly held in such high esteem. They claimed they believed and revered Moses, but once again Jesus told them that Moses had spoken of Him. Moses was used by God to write the first five books of the Old Testament. Jesus' reference to Moses was to the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament. They said they followed Moses (the Old Testament) but in reality they did not. Jesus exposed their unbelief in God's word, saying if they really believed in Moses they would believe in Him, because Moses spoke of Him.10 He concludes His answer to them saying if you will not believe Moses, meaning the Old Testament, how will you believe in me. The answer is rhetorical, they did not really believe God's word and therefore they would not believe in Him.
The key to knowing the Lord Jesus Christ and who he is is found in the Old Testament. There are around three hundred prophetic statements concerning the Messiah in the Old Testament. Jesus came and fulfilled each one to the letter. It would take but a little investigation to establish this truth from the scripture. Sadly, blinded by their pride, the Jews continued in their false Judaism and rejected God's word and subsequently their promised Messiah.
It is worth noting that all the false and apostate branches of modern Christianity all claim they know and represent God. They all strongly affirm their beliefs are based on the Bible. Yet, like the Jews, they really do not follow or believe in the Bible, because if they did it would expose and condemn their false beliefs. It is the foundation of a biblical God-believing and honoring believer and assembly that its basic tenet is to accept only the word of God as its sole authority for its faith and practice.
2 "Ears of corn." The word corn in old English means a grain. Therefore the King James Bible translates this word that means a sowed field as corn meaning a grain. The grain was probably barley that would be ripe at the end of March and early April. The barley harvest was at the time of the Passover and the wheat harvest coincided with the Feast of Pentecost.
7 A preincarnate appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament is call a “Theophany” (appearance of God) or a “Christophany” (an appearance of Jesus). All appearances of God in the Old Testament refer to appearances of Jesus Christ.