The Believer’s Eternal Security

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It would be unwise to leave all your money or valuables on your front door mat. Why is that? Such an act is an open invitation for people to take that which you deem precious. It really is no surprise that security and safety are very important to us. Money or valuables will be stored in a bank or in some secure place in people’s homes. Security guards, safes, and secret locations are specific ways in which people will keep their goods secure. Security is important for us privately and nationally. But despite all our efforts there is no way in which we can manufacture perfect security. However, there is one kind of security that is safe, impenetrable and perfect and we will consider this as we examine our passage in this post. Continue reading The Believer’s Eternal Security

Plain Proof Jesus is the Son of God

 

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Most scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus Christ was an historical figure, yet not all are in agreement concerning His identity. It is without question that no other individual has had such an impact on the world. It is estimated that there are over two billion people in the world who profess to believe in Jesus Christ. If you were to take time to read the Gospel accounts of the ministry of Jesus it will become clear that He was not an individual that you could ignore. What were His claims? Jesus Christ made the clear and bold claim that He is the promised Messiah and the Son of God. Continue reading Plain Proof Jesus is the Son of God

Unmasking False Teachers – Part 1

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One of the common conversations taking place in back seat of my car is a discussion between my children asking, “What does that road sign mean?” One of the very interesting signs you see on the road is warning signs. Warning signs on the road are important because they help regulate our driving activity, but they also inform us of a potential danger so that we can be protected.

 

As you take time to read the Scriptures you will come across many warnings signs. One of a regular warning signs that appear and you cannot miss is a warning concerning false teaching. Have you ever noticed how much of the Scripture is devoted to warning again false prophets, false teachers and false shepherds? These warnings assume the fact that there will be individuals in the church who are going to claim to be Christians and authorized teachers.

 

Just as we ought to be thankful for clear warning signs on the road, we ought to be especially grateful and familiar with the warning signs in Scripture. They are there to help regulate our thinking and warn us against impending danger. In my next two posts I will discuss the methods of a false teacher and the marks of a false teacher. Continue reading Unmasking False Teachers – Part 1

How the Modern “Gift” of Healing Undervalues the Biblical Gift of Healing – Part 2

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As stated in the previous post, the Gospel of John contains seven selected signs. These signs were designed to prove that Jesus is the Son of God. Though they had physical benefits for the recipient, each of them contained a spiritual lesson. Four of the seven signs in John were healings (). Let us now consider these four acts of healing (two in this post and two in the next) and see why each sign is significant. In the next post, in addition to looking at the final two acts of healing, we will provide some important principles with regard to modern “faith healers” and why their erronous acts undermine the biblical gift .

THE HEALING OF THE OFFICIAL’S SON ()
In this brief passage we read about the miracle Jesus performed by healing an official’s son. In this story all appeared to be beyond hope, yet Jesus does what no other person could do, He restored this child to full health. This event began with a desperate situation () in which the man travelled at least half a day’s journey to ask Jesus for help. Jesus then gives an unexpected answer, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe” (). Interestingly, the word “you” (which appears twice in this verse) is actually plural. Here Jesus is providing a public lesson to all who are listening on what true saving faith is. The official repeats his request for Jesus to come before it is too late.

This brings the reader to the display of the supernatural (). Jesus responds simply by saying, “Go; your son will live” (4:50a). Why didn’t Jesus go on the journey with Him and heal the man’s son like the healing of Jairus’ daughter ()? The reason is because He is giving a lesson on what saving faith is. Saving faith must take the Lord at His word without the need for signs and wonders. After Jesus said this, we are told, “the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way” (b).

Due to reasons unknown to us, he was unable to leave until the following day. As he set off on his journey some of his slaves meet him and shared the exciting news that his son is recovering. He asked them at what hour did this happen? They answered him “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him” (4:52). At that moment he knew that this occurred right when Jesus spoke the words “Your son will live“. The response is amazing – “And he himself believed, and all his household” (4:53b). That was not a shallow superficial belief; it was genuine saving faith. I don’t know how many were in his household, but by God’s grace they all believed.

Finally, we see in this passage the declaration of the sign, “This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee” (). Remember that the signs performed by Jesus are intended to point to a greater reality than the miracle itself. What does this amazing sign point to? It declares two realities: like this ill boy, humanity has a problem. The problem that all people share is spiritual one. We are all separated from Christ due to our sin. However, there is no barrier too big for a sinner to receive salvation. Why? Secondly, Jesus Christ has made a provision in which lost sinners can find eternal life. Our separation is not too far for Him to intervene in our lives. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you have come from. The Lord Jesus Christ can save you from all your sins. That is the lesson of this miraculous healing.

THE HEALING OF THE LAME MAN ()
John records that near the Jewish temple were shelters in which there was “a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed” (). Here is a group of people who for various reasons have disabilities and they are all waiting by this pool for the hope of a miracle. Sadly, I often hear of people who are in conditions like this and false religions and false teachers make them false promises and don’t deliver. That is devastating and deceptive!

The focus in moves from this group of invalids to a particular individual. We learn that he “had been an invalid for thirty-eight years” (). For almost four decades this man had experienced the debilitating disadvantage of not being mobile. I can only imagine how limited his opportunities in life were. The fact that for all these years that no one was there to help him (cf. ) also indicates that he was a lonely man.

This is what leads us to the miraculous compassionate act. We are told, “When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?'” (). This is truly amazing. The fact that Jesus “knew that he had already been there a long time” is a reminder that He is the Sovereign Saviour. This man has been in this condition since before Jesus was born, however, because He is the eternal Son of God He has this thorough knowledge. He asked the lame man a simple and direct question, “Do you want to be healed?” The assumed reply would be “yes!” But this man goes on to share his helpless situation,

Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me” ().

After hearing this it is clear that he didn’t expect or believe Jesus to be able to heal him. This man had been living with the hope that when the water was stirred up he would be healed. However, because he had no one to help him he never made it to the water. Living with the hope for all those years that he would be healed yet here he is revealing to Jesus is complete inability. This is an amazing picture of those who look to things like church attendance, prayer time, Scripture reading, and participation in church events as a means to obtain salvation. As importance as all those things are, they do not save anybody.

I’m sure he wasn’t expecting what happens next. Perhaps he thought that Jesus might help get him into the water the next time it stirs. Jesus says, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk” (5:8). Those are the words of Divine authority. By means of His power He was able to command this man who had been lame for 38 years to stand up and walk. Understand what is involved here. Due to his condition, the muscles in this man’s legs have wasted away. If it were possible for medical treatment he would need to build up strength in his legs. But Jesus simply commands, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk“. We are told that “at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked” (). This was a miracle. Significantly, John points out that when this miracle occurred. He writes, “Now that day was the Sabbath” (5:9b).

Sadly, this compassionate act was followed by a controversial aftermath (). When these leaders saw the man walking along with his bed, they said, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed” (). The law they had in mind was a man made tradition added to the Mosaic Law.

It is interesting how this man responds to this rebuke, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk’” (). He shifts the blame to “that man“. Curious as to whom this man was, they wanted to know who said this (). The man pleaded ignorant, as he didn’t even take notice of who it was due to the large crowds ().

Sometime after, by Divine appointment Jesus found this man and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you” (). In the act of healing Jesus demonstrated that the impotence of external religion and the omnipotence of God. Jesus reminded this man of his new physical condition (“See, you are well!“). Then he issues a call to repentance by saying, “Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you“. This means that after the healing the man was not a follower of Christ. Some are troubled by the statement, “that nothing worse may happen to you” thinking that this means all sickness is the result of personal sin. That can’t be true because when the disciples inquired about the cause of the blind man’s condition, Jesus made it clear that no human’s sin was responsible for his condition (). However, in the case of this man, certain sicknesses do come as a result of sin. The point here is that if he doesn’t repent, he will receive an outcome worse than being lame for 38 years – he will receive eternal punishment. What Jesus says in is very serious. J C Ryle says it like this, “a sick bed is a sorrowful place, but hell is much worse”.

It is interesting how this man responds. We are told, “The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him” (). This man was ignorant of who Jesus was (), and even when he knew what He could do and called for repentance he displayed ingratitude towards what Jesus has done (). This is a picture of Israel and particularly the religious leaders at that time. John told us in the prologue, “He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him” (). This man’s response is a picture of external religion. This section concludes, “And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath” (). Why did Jesus choose to do this miracle on the Sabbath? Surely He could have done it any other day of the week. The man didn’t even ask for it. Jesus chose to do this miracle on the Sabbath so as to expose the impotence and hopelessness of man-made religion and to demonstrate that He alone has the power to save. That is the significance of this healing.

43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

John 5:1-16

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

John 9:1-12

9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

John 11:38-44

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.

41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.

54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”

And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath.

10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.”

11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’

12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”

13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.

14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.

15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.

15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.

16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.