Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

John 5:14 (NIV)

Among the Gospels, I’d have to say that my favorite is John. As I was reading through this today, several verses stuck out to me in chapter 5. One of which is verse 4, which may or may not be in your Bible, depending upon your translation. Of the 25+ versions that I normally review on, thirteen contain this verse. If you’re reading a printed form of the Bible then you’re likely to have a footnote where verse 4 should be explaining that some manuscripts have this verse in them while others do not, unless your version has this verse. The verse that’s been left out in many versions is here below:

for an angel went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was made whole of whatever disease he had. John 5:4 (Word English Bible)

What stuck out to me today, when reading this chapter, was that I knew what the “missing” verse in question said before I noted what it said by looking at the footnote. How, I wondered, did I know this? I first went to my NIV1984 Bible since it had been my reading staple for many years. I saw that it was footnoted and moved on to check my other Bibles and found several that did have this verse included. Although my primary Bible over the years has been the NIV, which only has a footnote, I suppose that I remember this verse through teaching and studying.

This verse isn’t included in some versions of the text because it’s believed to not be part of the original text written by John. I found a good article on this missing verse here if you’d like to read more about it.

Jesus later finds the man He had healed, at the pool, in the temple, and tells him to “stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” (John 5:14 NIV). This stood out to me today and I wasn’t sure why, at first, so I compared it to other versions. The English Standard Version (ESV) states, to “sin no more, that nothing worse may happen.” There was just something about the way that the word “sin” was used in the NIV that caused me to take notice.

Some might have thought that the man at the pool was a paralytic because of his sin. We don’t know what caused him to become paralyzed. We do know that he wasn’t born that way since he was made “well again.” We can deduce since the man “had been an invalid for thirty-eight years” that there was a time when he hadn’t been afflicted. (John 5:5 NIV). I believe that the man’s affliction had little to do with his personal sin, like the man who had been born blind. Instead, like all of the pain and suffering in this life, it’s a product of sin being in the world. Furthermore, I don’t believe that the man, upon being healed, would be more prone to sin because he can walk. As long as we have active hearts and minds we are prone to sin. I think it’s important to note that Jesus found the man, not in a brothel or tavern, but in the temple. The man chose, with his newfound mobility, to go to where God could be found.

This man, whom Jesus healed, didn’t know that it was Jesus who healed him (John 5:13). However, after being healed, he went to the temple of God. I believe that he went there to honor the one that he recognized as healing him and found Jesus there. I believe that we can look to this man’s healing, and Jesus’ statement to “sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you” in the way that we, as Believers, look to our new life in Christ. We who believe in Christ have been delivered from a life of bondage into a life of freedom in Christ. Jesus had not yet been glorified when He healed this man, and yet the man had been delivered from bondage. He had been freed. In this freedom, Jesus encourages him to not sin, because the worse thing, than being in that bondage for thirty-eight years, would be to go on to eternal damnation. This is the message, I think, that we are to take from Jesus’ admonishment.

Today seems to be a day looking at specific words and what they mean. Jesus was questioned by the Jewish leaders because He had been performing miracles on the Sabbath. When talking to these leaders He uses the word, “dead” twice to describe two different fundamental states of being as we see it. I believe that most of us when we think of something as being dead think of physical death. Jesus says to the Jewish leaders “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so, the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it” (John 5:21 NIV). The meaning here for the dead is for those who were once physically alive that God brings back to life. Jesus, on the other hand, gives life to those who are spiritually dead while being physically alive, that was you and me, before being saved. We can see this clarification when Jesus tells the leaders:

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.”

John 5:24-25 (NIV)

Finally, Jesus speaks of what will happen to all of those who have died, in the body, and have been buried. “Those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:29 NIV).

We have seen that those who walk in the bondage of sin can be delivered and set free to walk in the life that Jesus promises to all who believe. Like the man at the pool, we have a choice. We can walk in the freedom of Christ living lives that are holy and pleasing to God or we can be selfish in our salvation and tell no one, those who are not yet saved, of the freedom we have in Christ. Allow me to encourage you, my brothers and sisters, to tell someone today what God has done for you.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.