In the healing of the crippled man at Bethesda (John 5:1-16), the man clearly desires to be healed, but no one would help him down to the pool (verse 7). The Bible's mention of this detail is an intentional rebuke of the heartlessness and meanness of human nature. It was every man for himself.
Despite the man's frustration, he still maintains good manners by acknowledging Jesus as "Sir." This word, the Greek kurios, appears over 700 times in the New Testament. Hundreds of times it is translated as "Lord" or "lord," but as "Sir" only about a dozen times. The term shows respect and honor for Christ. In today's society, we see quite a contrast to this example. The opposite attitude is usually present when people address each other, and even when children address parents.
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Cripple by a Pool (Part Two)
This was a case of chronic illness. This was not a healing that needed to be done immediately—Jesus could have waited until the Sabbath was over. It would not have made any difference at all to this man if he was blind or crippled for another day or a few more hours. However, Jesus did not wait because He wanted to teach us a right and proper use of the Sabbath. It is a time to relieve burdens, to heal, to make life a bit easier for others.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part 3)
Jesus' healing of the crippled man beside the pool called Bethesda is one of nine healing miracles involving water and one of seven performed on the Sabbath. Only the apostle John records it (John 5:1-16). It is impossible to be sure when the miracle occurred other than it happened on a Sabbath day.
John's reference to "a feast of the Jews" (John 5:1) rather than a "feast of the Lord" (Exodus 12:14; Leviticus 23:2, 37) illustrates the spiritual decline that had occurred among the Jews regarding God's feast days. People may typically start out with God being central to their worship, but they end up getting in the way and become the main focus themselves. The people had made this festival a feast of the people instead of continuing it as God's feast.
In His journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, Jesus expended a considerable amount of effort to be there in time for this Sabbath. In doing this, He set an example in terms of spiritual priorities and the sacrifices involved in putting spiritual matters first. Some Christians are unclear about spiritual priorities, desiring a convenient religion that requires little inconvenience and no sacrifice. Frequently, those who complain most about not getting enough out of church are often those who attend sporadically and involve themselves the least in church activities. Jesus, on the other hand, took great pains to fellowship and to help the people, especially on the Sabbath.
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Cripple by a Pool (Part One)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing John 5:5: