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Healing the Nobleman's Son



Return to Jerusalem












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Return to Jerusalem

Not in this book

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6th Sunday of Easter, Year C


Not in Lectionary





Quotes & Notes on:     John 5:1   

  • John Wesley's Notes:
    A feast-Pentecost.

  • Treasury of Scripture Knowledge:

     Joh 2:13; Ex 23:14-17; 34:23; Le 23:2-4; De 16:16; Mt 3:15; Ga 4:4

  • Adam Clarke's Commentary:

       This is generally supposed, by the best critics, to have been the feast of the passover, which was the most eminent feast among the Jews. In several excellent MSS. the article is added, h eorth, THE feast, the grand, the principal festival. Petavius supposes that the feast of Purim, or lots, is here meant; and one MS. reads h skhnophgia, the feast of Tabernacles. Several of the primitive fathers believe Pentecost to be intended; and they are followed by many of the moderns, because, in Joh 7:2, mention is made of the feast of Tabernacles, which followed Pentecost, and was about the latter end of our September; and, in Joh 10:22, mention is made of the feast of Dedication, which was held about the latter end of November. See Bp. Pearce. See Joh 10:22.

    Calmet, however, argues that there is no other feast with which all the circumstances marked here so well agree as with the passover; and Bp. Newcome, who is of Calmet's opinion, thinks Bp. Pearce's argument concerning the succession of the feasts to be inconclusive; because it is assumed, not proved, that the three feasts which he mentions above must have happened in the same year. See much on the same subject in Bp. Newcome's notes to his Harmony, p. 15, &c.

    Lightfoot has observed, that the other evangelists speak very sparingly of our Lord's acts in Judea. They mention nothing of the passovers, from our Lord's baptism till his death, excepting the very last: but John points at them all. The first he speaks of, Joh 2:13; the third, Joh 6:4; the fourth, Joh 13:1; and the second in this place: for although he does not call it the passover, but a feast in general, yet the circumstances agree best with this feast; and our Lord's words, Joh 4:35, seem to cast light on this subject. See the note there.

  • Family Bible Notes:

     (No comment on this verse).

  • 1599 Geneva Bible Notes:
    (No comment on this verse).

  • People's New Testament Commentary:

      There was a feast of the Jews. Probably the second passover attended by the Lord after his ministry began. Such is the view of Irenaeus, Eusebius, Lightfoot, Neander, Gresswell, Andrews and Dr. Wm. Milligan.

  • Robertson's Word Pictures:
       After these things (meta tauta). John is fond of this vague phrase (Joh 3:22; 6:1). He does not mean that this incident follows immediately. He is supplementing the Synoptic Gospels and does not attempt a full story of the work of Jesus. Some scholars needlessly put chapter 5 after chapter 6 because in chapter 6 Jesus is in Galilee as at the end of chapter 4. But surely it is not incongruous to think of Jesus making a visit to Jerusalem before the events in chapter 6 which undoubtedly come within a year of the end (Joh 6:4). A feast of the Jews (heortê tôn Ioudaiôn). Some manuscripts have the article (hê) "the feast" which would naturally mean the passover. As a matter of fact there is no way of telling what feast it was which Jesus here attended. Even if it was not the passover, there may well be another passover not mentioned besides the three named by John (Joh 2:13,23; 6:1; 12:1). Went up (anebê). Second aorist active indicative of anabainô. It was up towards Jerusalem from every direction save from Hebron.

  • Albert Barnes' Commentary:

        A feast. Probably the Passover, though it is not certain. There were two other feasts--the Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles--at which all the males were required to be present, and it might have been one of them. It is of no consequence, however, which of them is intended.

    {a} "A feast" Le 23:2; De 16:16; Joh 2:3

  • Jamieson-Faussett Brown:

     a feast of the Jews--What feast? No question has more divided the Harmonists of the Gospels, and the duration of our Lord's ministry may be said to hinge on it. For if, as the majority have thought (until of late years) it was a Passover, His ministry lasted three and a half years; if not, probably a year less. Those who are dissatisfied with the Passover-view all differ among themselves what other feast it was, and some of the most acute think there are no grounds for deciding. In our judgment the evidence is in favor of its being a Passover, but the reasons cannot be stated here.

  • Spurgeon Devotional Commentary:

    Honoring his Father's law, and at the same time availing himself of the concourse of people to spread the gospel.


  • Spurgeon Commentary on Matthew:
    (No comment on this verse).


  • William Burkitt's Notes:

    (No comment on this verse).

  • Matthew Henry's  Commentary:

      (No comment on this verse).


  • Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary:

     (No comment on this verse).

  • The Fourfold Gospel:

          After these things there was a feast of the Jews. Though every feast in the Jewish calendar has found some one to advocate its claim to be this unnamed feast, yet the vast majority of commentators choose either the feast of Purim, which came in March, or the Passover, which came in April. Older commentators pretty unanimously regarded it as the Passover, while the later school favor the feast of Purim. Joh 4:35 locates Jesus in Samaria in December, and Joh 6:4 finds him on the shores of Galilee just before a Passover. If, then, this was the feast of Purim, the Passover of Joh 6:4 was the second in Jesus' ministry, and that ministry lasted but two years and a fraction. But if the feast here mentioned was a Passover, then the one at Joh 6:4 would be the third Passover, and the ministry of Jesus lasted three years and a fraction. Since, then, the length of Jesus' ministry is largely to be determined by what the feast was, it becomes important for us to fix the feast, if possible. That it was not Purim the following arguments may be urged. 1. Purim was not a Mosaic feast, but one established by human laws; hence Jesus would not be likely to observe it. True, we find him at the feast of Dedication, which was also of human origin, but he did not "go up" to attend it; he appears to have attended because he was already in Jerusalem (Joh 10:22). 2. Here the pregnant juxtaposition of "feast" and "went up" indicates that Jesus was drawn to Jerusalem by this feast, but Purim was celebrated by the Jews everywhere, and did not require that any one should go to Jerusalem, as did the three great festivals--Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. 3. It was kept in a boisterous, riotous manner, and was therefore not such a feast as Jesus would honor. 4. It came early in the year, when the weather was too rigorous and inclement for sick people to frequent porticos. 5. It did not include a Sabbath Day. 6. As Purim was just a month before the Passover, Jesus would hardly have returned to Galilee before the Passover (Joh 6:4) unless he intended to miss the Passover, which he would hardly do for the sake of attending Purim in Jerusalem. Those contending that it was not the Passover, present several arguments, which we note and answer as follows: 1. Since John gives the name of other Passovers, he would have named this also, had it been one. But the conclusion is inferential, and not logical; and the answer is to be twofold: first, perhaps John did give the name by prefixing the article to it, and calling it "the feast," for being the oldest--older than the law and the Sabbath--and most important of all feasts, it was rightly called by pre-eminence "the feast." Since the Sinaitic manuscript gives the article, and calls it "the feast," the manuscript authority for and against this reading is pretty evenly balanced. Second, if John did not name it, there is probably this reason for his silence. Where he names the feast elsewhere it is thought that the incidents narrated take color from, or have some references to, the particular festal occasion which is named; but here there is no such local color, and failure to name the feast prevents mistaken attempts to find such local color. 2. Again it is objected that if this is a different Passover from Joh 6:4, then John skips a year in the life of Jesus. He probably does so skip, and this is not strange when the supplemental nature of his Gospel is considered. In favor of its being the Passover we submit two points: 1. Daniel seems to forecast the ministry of the Messiah as lasting one-half of a week of years (Da 9:27). 2. It fits better in the chronological arrangement, for in the next scene we find the disciples plucking grain, and the Sabbath question is still at full heat. But the harvest season opens with the Passover.





Updated:   Wednesday, March 06, 2013 at 03:52 AM



Status of Gospel Harmony Project

  • Preparing study notes on a weekly basis for the current 6 pm Sunday Eve. Bible Study at Mt. Carmel UMC

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  • Setting up event pages and linking the section groupings to them

  • Several sections of events have pages with notes from previous preaching occasions



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