37 – Bethesda Pool

John 5:2 is the only place in the Bible that mentions the Bethesda Pool. It’s north of the temple.

By the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool, called Bethesda in Hebrew, which has five colonnades. Within these lay a multitude of the sick–blind, lame, and paralyzed [–waiting for the moving of the water, because an angel would go down into the pool from time to time and stir up the water. Then the first one who got in after the water was stirred up recovered from whatever ailment he had].

One man was there who had been sick for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the sick man answered, “I don’t have a man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.”

“Get up,” Jesus told him, “pick up your bedroll and walk!”

Instantly the man got well, picked up his bedroll, and started to walk. Now that day was the Sabbath, so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “This is the Sabbath! It’s illegal for you to pick up your bedroll.”

He replied, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your bedroll and walk.'”

“Who is this man who told you, ‘Pick up your bedroll and walk?'” they asked. But the man who was cured did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.  (Joh 5:2-13 HCSB)

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So did Jesus deliberately do this miracle on the Sabbath? No doubt He did so to stir the pot and bring the issue of Sabbath Works to the forefront. And the Pharisees, predictable pointy-headed pontificators that they are, couldn’t appreciate the miraculous healing because the violation of the Sabbath law commanded their full attention. How sad. Surely the only One that could heal was of God and would therefore have a better understanding of what it meant to keep the Sabbath holy.
Next to the pool of Bethesda is the Church of Saint Anne. Lovely acoustics. We sang a couple of songs in here (as did the groups before and after us).(For more on this, be sure to see the movie clip section)
There was no water in it when we were there. Not that I could see.
Steps leading down to where the water was.