I found this neat blog called: Greek to Me
It looks to be dormant (I suspect it is a lot of work to translate the LXX!) but I wanted to share it with you…
The Sunday of the Paralytic
TEXT [In Greek and English]*: John 5:1-15
1 Μετὰ ταῦτα ἦν ἡ ἑορτὴ τῶν ̓Ιουδαίων, καὶ ἀνέβη ὁ ̓Ιησοῦς εἰς ̔Ιεροσόλυμα. ἔστι δὲ ἐν τοῖς ̔Ιεροσολύμοις ἐπὶ τῇ προβατικῇ κολυμβήθρα, ἡ ἐπιλεγομένη Ἑβραϊστὶ Βηθεσδά, πέντε στοὰς ἔχουσα. 3 ἐν ταύταις κατέκειτο πλῆθος πολὺ τῶν ἀσθενούντων, τυφλῶν, χωλῶν, ξηρῶν, ἐκδεχομένων τὴν τοῦ ὕδατος κίνησιν. 4 ἄγγελος γὰρ κατὰ καιρὸν κατέβαινεν ἐν τῇ κολυμβήθρᾳ, καὶ ἐταράσσετο τὸ ὕδωρ· ὁ οὖν πρῶτος ἐμβὰς μετὰ τὴν ταραχὴν τοῦ ὕδατος ὑγιὴς ἐγίνετο ᾧ δήποτε κατείχετο νοσήματι. 5 ἦν δέ τις ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖ τριάκοντα καὶ ὀκτὼ ἔτη ἔχων ἐν τῇ ἀσθενείᾳ αὐτοῦ. 6 τοῦτον ἰδὼν ὁ ̓Ιησοῦς κατακείμενον, καὶ γνοὺς ὅτι πολὺν ἤδη χρόνον ἔχει, λέγει αὐτῷ· θέλεις ὑγιὴς γενέσθαι; 7 ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ ὁ ἀσθενῶν· Κύριε, ἄνθρωπον οὐκ ἔχω, ἵνα ὅταν ταραχθῇ τὸ ὕδωρ, βάλῃ με εἰς τὴν κολυμβήθραν· ἐν ᾧ δὲ ἔρχομαι ἐγώ, ἄλλος πρὸ ἐμοῦ καταβαίνει. 8 λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ̓Ιησοῦς· ἔγειρε, ἆρον τὸν κράβαττόν σου καὶ περιπάτει. 9 καὶ εὐθέως ἐγένετο ὑγιὴς ὁ ἄνθρωπος, καὶ ἦρε τὸν κράβαττον αὐτοῦ καὶ περιεπάτει. ἦν δὲ σάββατον ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ. 10 ἔλεγον οὖν οἱ ̓Ιουδαῖοι τῷ τεθεραπευμένῳ· σάββατόν ἐστιν· οὐκ ἔξεστί σοι ἆραι τὸν κράβαττον. 11 ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς· ὁ ποιήσας με ὑγιῆ, ἐκεῖνός μοι εἶπεν· ἆρον τὸν κράβαττόν σου καὶ περιπάτει. 12 ἠρώτησαν οὖν αὐτόν· τίς ἐστιν ὁ ἄνθρωπος ὁ εἰπών σοι, ἆρον τὸν κράβαττόν σου καὶ περιπάτει; 13 ὁ δὲ ἰαθεὶς οὐκ ᾔδει τίς ἐστιν· ὁ γὰρ ̓Ιησοῦς ἐξένευσεν ὄχλου ὄντος ἐν τῷ τόπῳ. 14 μετὰ ταῦτα εὑρίσκει αὐτὸν ὁ ̓Ιησοῦς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ἴδε ὑγιὴς γέγονας· μηκέτι ἁμάρτανε, ἵνα μὴ χεῖρόν σοί τι γένηται. 15 ἀπῆλθεν ὁ ἄνθρωπος καὶ ἀνήγγειλε τοῖς ̓Ιουδαίοις ὅτι ̓Ιησοῦς ἐστιν ὁ ποιήσας αὐτὸν ὑγιῆ.
1 After these [things] it was the feast of the Judeans, and Jesus went up into Jerusalem. 2 And there is among the Jerusalemites near the Sheep Gate a pool that is called in Hebrew ‘Bethesda,’ having five porches. 3 Among these [porches] lay a great many sick, blind, lame, and withered waiting for the moving of the water.** 4 For an angel at a certain time came down in the pool, and he moved the water; then the first person who went into the water after the moving of the water was healed of whatever sickness he had. 5 And there was a certain man there who had been sick for 38 years. 6 When Jesus saw this one lying [there], and knowing that he had already many years [of sickness], said to him, “Do you desire to become healthy?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Lord, I do not have a man, so that when the water is moved, he might put me into the pool; and when I myself go to it, another goes down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Rise. Take your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man became healthy, and he took up his bed and walked. But it was the sabbath that day. 10 Then the Judeans said to the man who had been healed, “It is the sabbath! It is not acceptable for you to carry the bed!” 11 He answered them, “The man who made me healthy, that one said to me, “Take up your bed and walk.” 12 Then they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk?’” 13 But the man who was cured did not known who He was, for Jesus had slipped away quietly, a crowd being in that place. 14 After these things, Jesus found [the man] in the temple and He said to him, “Behold! You are become healthy! Sin no longer, lest something worse happen to you.” 15 The man went out and reported to the Judeans that it was Jesus who had mad him healthy.
** The italicized portion is present in the Patriarchal Text, but not in critical editions.
Great is the profit of divine Scriptures, and all sufficient is the aid which comes from them… for the divine oracles are a treasury of all manner of medicines. Whether it be needful to quench pride, to lull passion to sleep, to tread under foot the love of money, to despise pain, to inspire confidence, to gain patience – in the Scriptures we may find abundant resource. For what man of those who struggle with long poverty or who are nailed by a grievous disease will not, when he reads the passage before us, receive much comfort? Since this man had been a paralytic for thirty eight years, and he saw others delivered each year, and himself bound by his disease, not even so did he fall back and despair, though in truth not merely despondency for the past, but also hopelessness for the future was sufficient to overstrain him… Yes, Lord, he says, but I have no man… to put me in the pool. What can be more pitiable than these words? … Do you see a heart crushed through long sickness? Do you see all violence subdued?… He did not curse his day… but replied gently… Yes, Lord; yet he did not know who it was who asked him.
- St. John Chrysostom (Homily 37 on John 5)
What was it the sick man at the pool needed? It is very clear in the Greek: he needed a man. He needed a friend, an assistant, a helper. He needed someone else – someone who was not sick and withered as he was. He needed someone whole who might put him into the water when it was moved.
The eternal Word of God became what that man needed for his salvation and healing: a man. There before this sick man was what he needed: not a bodiless angel, but a man (verse 7). What is more, Jesus is a whole man. While we are all sick and blind and lame and withered as plants without water, only one can be found whole (ὑγιὴς): Christ our Lord. He is the man we need, a whole and healthy man, to provide us with wholeness and health by mysteriously uniting us to His own perfect humanity and divinity.
What is more, St. John tells us that this all happened on the Sabbath. Even if a whole man might be found for this 38-years-sick man, it would not be lawful for such a man to pick him up and put him into the water; one does not carry anything on the Sabbath. Here we see the true perversion of the law once given to the Hebrew people; that day of rest which was to prefigure the great and glorious eternal rest of God’s people – a never-ending day of health and wholeness – had become the one day on which this sick man could not expect any health or wholeness.
How often are the great things of God transformed by discriminating thought, comparison of one man’s righteousness with another, empty legalism, or ritual maximalism into the very opposite for which they are intended?
Nevertheless, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. He brings that eternal Day and Kingdom in and with Himself to the sick and the lame, the suffering and the withered. The Sabbath, and indeed every aeon, belongs to Christ and is made perfect in Christ. So He heals the man with a word. With His words, “Take up your bed and walk,” the Sabbath breaks forth on the sabbath.
Perhaps the Lord has given you respite from your labours, health and wholeness in your brokenness in some special way known only to you. How do you respond? This man went to the temple. For 38 years he had been away, but now he goes gladly to worship his Lord. There his Lord finds him, whole and healthy, but with a warning: “Sin no longer! Lest something worse happen to you!” In this way, Jesus reminds the man that our experience of the eternal Sabbath, breaking forth into our broken present age and world, is not fully realized. Even in rest there is the noetic warfare and struggle against sin, but we know that on the Last Day, when the Kingdom is fully realized among us and we rise gloriously free forever from corruption, then we shall have rest even from this spiritual struggle. For now, though, we enjoy graciously bestowed wholeness and health mingled with warfare, rest mingled with effort, and hope mingled with our sorrows.
* Greek Text is the Patriarchal Text; English Text is my translation.