(Headline in the Jerusalem Times) Formerly unable to walk, a man is healed by Jesus. Walking for the first time in 38 years, the man is confronted by the Pharisees as he carries his own mat on the Sabbath.
1 Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda (See Notes), with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up*. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”
11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.
13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.
FOOTNOTE and LESSONS from the Healing of the Lame Man:
**Verses 3b and 4 are excluded in Bible Gateway. The last part of v. 3 and all of v. 4, which mention a periodic disturbance of the water by an angel, are placed in brackets in the NASB because there is not sufficient attestation by early texts.
Don’t let problems and hardships destroy your hope. Your condition may enable you to help others with similar challenges or to overcome them and be an example.
Some people of “faith” get tangled up in man-made rules. Are you living by God’s guidelines – or man’s?
ARCHAELOGY UNCOVERS THE EVIDENCE
I did a little research on the Pool of Bethesda, because I remember reading something about a discovery. In 1956, archaelogists unearthed a rectangular pool with five porches – a portico (porch?) on each side and a fifth one dividing the pool into 2 separate compartments.
John 5 to be continued later this week.