Saturday, August 12, 2017

News Flash! More Than One Healed At The Pool of Bethesda

By Mary Vee
John 5

From John's Journal 

Photo by Mary Vee
Sign outside the area of the Pool of Bethesda
My name is John. I am a disciple of Jesus. I am here with other disciples, so they may add something to what I share today. 

We left Galilee and walked to Jerusalem. I say we walked "up" to Jerusalem, even though we headed south, because the city is up on a hill.

This was a time of feast. The Passover. And as expected, we went to Jerusalem for the celebration. A time to remember how God protected, guided, and cared for the Israelites through the escape from Egypt long ago.

We were near the Sheep Gate, at the pool of Bethesda, there is a map of the city below.

Photo by Mary Vee
The ruins of the Pool of Bethesda 
This is a rather large pool surrounded by five colonnades. There is also a picture of a colonnade below. So the pool was really big.

People who were very sick, injured, blind, those who had all kinds of physical problems came here to the pool each day. They would lie by the water. If they could not get to this place, friends or family might bring them there. 

The came to this pool because when the water stirred, the first one in the water was healed.

The Sheep Gate from
today's story is near the top.
Map by Mary Vee
We walked with Jesus to the pool. He stopped and spoke with a man who said he had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Jesus said to him, "Do you want to get well?"

We were all quite surprised with the question. Of course he wanted to get well or he wouldn't be there. Later we learned what Jesus really meant by that question.

The man answered, "Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. When ever I try, someone gets down into the water before me."

Jesus said, "Get up. Pick up your mat and walk."

We stood behind Jesus, but could still see the man. Right before our eyes he stood. His ankles were strong, no wobbling at all. His legs did not buckle. He stood straight and looked as surprised as we were. Then he bent over and picked up his mat like Jesus told him to and walked away. He seemed to be too stunned to say anything.

Photo by Mary Vee
A colonnade in Jerash, Jordan
This happened on a Sabbath. There are many rules about what a man can and cannot do on a Sabbath. Some Jews stopped the man who had been healed. They said to him, "you know this is the Sabbath, right? And that the law strictly forbids you to carry your mat?"

The man who was healed pointed toward Jesus. "He made me well. He told me to pick up my mat and walk."

The Jews said, "Who is this person who said you should pick up a mat and walk?"

He looked back toward the pool and searched the crowd. "I don't see him any more."

Later, we saw the man at the temple. Jesus said to him, "See, you are well, again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."

The man nodded then hurried away. He went straight to the Jews who spoke with him earlier. "That man who healed me was Jesus."

They left him and hurried through the crowd, searching for Jesus to speak with him. They didn't look happy at all. Actually, they looked like they wanted to get after him for violating their idea of the Sabbath law.

I'll tell you more about that next time.

Come back to read the next story.


*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.

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