I. The time when this cure was wrought: it was at a feast of the Jews, that is, the passover, for that was the most celebrated feast. Christ, though residing in Galilee, yet went up to Jerusalem at the feast, v. 1. 1. Because it was an ordinance of God, which, as a subject, he would observe, being made under the law; though as a Son he might have pleaded an exemption. Thus he would teach us to attend religious assemblies.
The duration of it was tedious: Thirty-eight years. He was lame longer than most live.
He asked him, Wilt thou be made whole? A strange question to be asked one that had been so long ill. Some indeed would not be made whole, because their sores serve them to beg by and serve them for an excuse for idleness; but this poor man was as unable to go a begging as to work, yet Christ put it to him, (1.) To express his own pity and concern for him. Christ is tenderly inquisitive concerning the desires of those that are in affliction, and is willing to know what is their petition: “What shall I do for you?” (2.) To try him whether he would be beholden for a cure to him against whom the great people were so prejudiced and sought to prejudice others. (3.) To teach him to value the mercy, and to excite in him desires after it. In spiritual cases, people are not willing to be cured of their sins, are loth to part with them. If this point therefore were but gained, if people were willing to be made whole, the work were half done, for Christ is willing to heal, if we be but willing to be healed, Mt. 8:3.
The poor impotent man takes this opportunity to renew his complaint, and to set forth the misery of his case, which makes his cure the more illustrious: Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool, v. 7. He seems to take Christ’s question as an imputation of carelessness and neglect: “If thou hadst had a mind to be healed, thou wouldest have looked better to thy hits, and have got into the healing waters long before now.” “No, Master,” saith the poor man, “It is not for want of a good will, but of a good friend, that I am unhealed. I have done what I could to help myself, but in vain, for no one else will help me.” (1.) He does not think of any other way of being cured than by these waters, and desires no other friendship than to be helped into them; therefore, when Christ cured him, his imagination or expectation could not contribute to it, for he thought of no such thing. (2.) He complains for want of friends to help him in: “I have no man, no friend to do me that kindness.” One would think that some of those who had been themselves healed should have lent him a hand; but it is common for the poor to be destitute of friends; no man careth for their soul. To the sick and impotent it is as true a piece of charity to work for them as to relieve them; and thus the poor are capable of being charitable to one another, and ought to be so, though we seldom find that they are so; I speak it to their shame. (3.) He bewails his infelicity, that very often when he was coming another stepped in before him. But a step between him and a cure, and yet he continues impotent. None had the charity to say, “Your case is worse than mine, do you go in now, and I will stay till the next time;” for there is no getting over the old maxim, Every one for himself. Having been so often disappointed, he begins to despair, and now is Christ’s time to come to his relief; he delights to help in desperate cases. Observe, How mildly this man speaks of the unkindness of those about him, without any peevish reflections. As we should be thankful for the least kindness, so we should be patient under the greatest contempts; and, let our resentments be ever so just, yet our expressions should ever be calm. And observe further, to his praise, that, though he had waited so long in vain, yet still he continued lying by the pool side, hoping that some time or other help would come, Hab. 2:3.
Our Lord Jesus hereupon cures him with a word speaking, though he neither asked it nor thought of it.
…The notice which the poor simple man gave to the Jews concerning Christ, v. 15. He told them it was Jesus that had made him whole. We have reason to think that he intended this for the honour of Christ and the benefit of the Jews, little thinking that he who had so much power and goodness could have any enemies; but those who wish well to Christ’s kingdom must have the wisdom of the serpent, lest they do more hurt than good with their zeal, and must not cast pearls before swine…
摘录过马太亨利的注释之后，我们来看看当代神学家D.A.Carson的注释：The Gospel according to John (The Pillar New Testament Commentary)。他的领带很是拉风。
The truth of the matter is that we do not know what feast John has in mind. If the other feasts are named, it is because the context in each case finds Jesus doing or saying something that picks up a theme related to it. By implication, if the feast in John 5 is not named, it is probably because the material in John 5 is not meant to be thematically related to it. Mention of a feast of the Jews in that case becomes little more than an historical marker to explain Jesus’ presence in Jerusalem.
John does not identify the invalid’s illness, but from v.7 we must think of him as paralysed, lame or exceedingly weak.
Jesus’ question, ‘Do you want to get well?’, is often given a ‘psychologizing’ interpretation: Jesus is establishing that the first step toward wholeness is always deep desire for it (e.g. Barclay). But John does not develop the narrative in that direction (cf. following note). Jesus’ question is best taken as one of the elliptical offers he is constantly making in this Gospel (e.g. 4:10; 6:32,33).
But John’s deft portrait of the invalid throughout this chapter paints him in far more dour hues. He tries to avoid difficulties with the authorities by blaming the one who has healed him (v.11); he is so dull he has not even discovered his benefactor’s name (v.13); once he finds out he reports Jesus to the authorities (v.15). In this light, v.7 reads less as an apt and subtle response to Jesus’ question than as the crotchety grumblings of an old and not very perceptive man who thinks he is answering a stupid question. As in 4:11,15, kyrie means no more than a civil ‘Sir’ In terms of initiative, quick-wittedness, eager faith and a questing mind, this invalid is the painful opposite of everything that characterizes the wonderful character in John 9.
“An apt and subtle response to Jesus’ question”——对主耶稣问题恰当而微妙的回复。
Jesus’ command is nicely paralleled by Mark 2:11, though many other features of the two narratives differ. Probably the command was particularly suited to healed paralytics…
11-13 The man defends himself by blaming the one who told him to do it. It is a doubtful exegesis that understands the man to be defending Jesus, as if he were saying that anyone with the authority to heal certainly has the authority to interpret the law authoritatively. He is simply ‘ducking’ the authorities; he will shortly go so far as to try to ingratiate himself with them (v.15)
这人很是“灵巧”，难以相信他在为主辩护，15节中他也确实“揭发、报告当局了”。和9章中那位生来瞎眼的人相比，“this invalid is the painful opposite of everything that characterizes the wonderful character in John 9”。
约翰福音查经 第35讲 …所以我思想这些话的时候，耶稣对那个病人说：“你要痊愈吗？”其实这句话可问可不问，因为他本来就是想要痊愈，就是盼望痊愈。但是当耶稣问的时候，和他的盼望是两件不同的事情，他的盼望是常人的一种回应，跟他得到对回应的回应的消极性相比――他盼望得到痊愈，有病以后我们就回应――我不要病，我要痊愈。这种回应呢，一年两年到三十八年，都得不到真正的回应。他盼望还有，所以他还在这里，但是他盼望没有了，他也不能离开，所以耶稣说：“你要痊愈吗？”当耶稣这样讲的时候，是把一个新的契机带来，把一个新的生命的观念带来，好像说什么呢，“我在这里，我会帮你医治，你要得着医治吗？你愿意吗？你要现在就得着医治吗？伟大的医治者现在就在这里。”耶稣要把他的盼望从错误的被卡住的绝望中间带出来，但是容易不容易啊？我告诉你们，我对你们讲过的，世界最难做的工作之一就是观念的改正。耶稣说，你要痊愈吗？他怎么回答呢，：“每一次水动的时候我要上去，就被别人先进去了。”他没有回答说，我要痊愈。为什么呢？他知道他本来就是要痊愈，他知道耶稣也知道他要痊愈，所以他不必这要回答，“我要，但是从来没有达到，因为每次水动的时候，就被别人先下去了。我要是要，但是我从来没有达到。”所以他不是正面回答耶稣的问题，他是在把他没有达到盼望的痛苦再重复一次，这句话不知道他讲了多少次了，每个人问他都会这样讲。“你来这里多久了？”“几年了。”有没有看过水动啊？“有啊！”有没有下去啊？“有啊！”后来怎么样？“后来被别人先下去了。”每个人问同样问题。我告诉你一直答同样问题的人是很有耐性的。