I am intrigued by the responses of the four people who have conversations with Jesus in John 3-5. Two are tepid. Two are trusting. First comes Nick at Night, who is tepid in his response. Next are the characters I call Sammy and Roy, who have unrestrained trust. Then John describes another tepid response from one I think of as a Half-Baked Turkey.
Here is what the New Testament Scholar, Dale Bruner, has to say about the healed man in John, Chapter 5:
“The man left and told the Jewish people that Jesus was the man who made him well.” This is either dumb or malicious. Dumb if he had not heard the hostility in the earlier hostile questions (but he may mean well, for here he says, “Jesus was the man who made [me] well”; he does not say again, as he had said in v. 11, “the man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat’”). But his report surely lacks common sense, at best. (Is being dumb a sin?) Doesn’t he know he is endangering his healer? It is hard to see complete innocence in his remark. Because of this “lame” sentence in this man’s final appearance (and because Jesus’ warning), I consider the man only to be half-healed. We can hold out hope for the man’s subsequent response to Jesus’ grace-and-truth last word to him now. But the way this healing story ends seems to be the storyteller’s way of asking us to raise the question of the extent of the man’s healing. It is because of the cumulative questions raised by the “healed” man’s behavior in vv. 13-15 that I have felt it appropriate or at least candid to speak of the half-healed and hard-to-like man as he is portrayed for us in the whole of the story.”