TODAY’S READING: John 5
Jesus’ second visit to Jerusalem (according to John’s Gospel) was likely during the feast of Pentecost. The first visit (John 2:13, 23) was at Passover, and the next feast was Tabernacles, traditionally associated with Moses receiving the law in Saudi Arabia on Mount Sinai. This is likely why Jesus referred to the teaching of Moses at the end of the chapter (5:39, 45–47).
It’s interesting that Jesus was at the pool of Bethesda, for it wasn’t an orthodox place to be. In ancient times, there were pools of healing where the lame and sick sought help from gods like Asclepius or Apollo. Why Jesus was strolling through a place pagan in praxis on a calm Sabbath (non-work) day is instructive—He obviously liked to be where people were lost and lame. Jesus showed His divine power and declared it obviously, for His critics had no confusion about His making Himself equal with God (v. 18). There is a trend in some missionary contextualization to withhold the proclamation of the deity of Jesus until later in the witnessing relationship. There are even some who have removed familial language (Father and Son) from their translations of the Bible. Jesus took no such precautions and they are, in fact, an insult to His worth. Jesus led with His deity. Inflammatory as it was to radically monotheistic Jews of the first century, Jesus declared early and often that He was God.
Why do we soften the deity of Jesus when He made no effort to veil it? We approach the Scriptures trying to prove that Jesus was fully God. Jesus was so sure that He was God and so evident in His claims that He seems to put more energy into proving He was fully man. He just launched His ministry and He says that “all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father” (5:23). Which is merely an extension of His introduction by John the Baptist who said, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (3:36). Neither John nor Jesus began by cloaking Jesus’ divinity. Jesus continued, saying that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live” (5:25) and that He has life in Himself and authority for He is the Son of Man (v. 27). Again, this title Son of Man originated in Daniel 7 and is connected to the Ancient of Days and the Messiah who is Lord over all the nations.
Jesus went to pagan places where a great multitude of sick were found. He directly asserted He was God, Lord over all nations. He clearly said that the dead (from any people and place) who hear His voice will come forth (vv. 28–29)! Jesus did not hide His divinity, and neither should we. Jesus was not shy about Him bringing life to all who are dead, and neither should we be. The missionary spirit announces and broadcasts that Jesus is God, that He has all authority and power, and that He brings life from the dead. The missionary Spirit does not hide nor delay broadcast of the deity of Jesus. Jesus led with His deity, so should we. Let God bear witness of God. Let all come to the Son of Man that they may have life. Let us always exalt Jesus as God and not commit the treason of “not immediately.”
 The Chronological Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 1137.