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The Healing at the Pool of Bethesda

John 5:2-8, KJV

2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk , of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had . 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie , and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled , to put me into the pool: but while I am coming , another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise , take up thy bed, and walk .

The Sheep gate was on the eastern wall of Jerusalem. The sheep for the temple were brought in this gate, probably how it got its name. The rich people and those who don’t want to have contact with the “unclean” avoided this area.

There was a pool named Bethesda, which means, ‘house of outpouring” or “house of mercy.” Around this pool gathered the sick, blind, lame and the outcasts of society because of their diseases.  People believed that whoever gets in the water first when it is stirred will be healed.

There lay a paralyzed man waiting for his chance to get into the water. Unable to move, his condition seemed hopeless. Jesus came and ask him if he wanted to be healed. The man answered that he had no one to help him get into the water. Jesus asked him to “rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” Immediately  he was healed.

  • Why did Jesus heal this man and not others?
  • Did he deserve to be healed more than others?

We are like the man beside the pool. We are helpless. We are clinging on false hope that we think will heal us…the water in the pool, without realizing that there is Someone Who is always ready to restore us.

God showed His immeasurable grace and mercy. The paralyzed man did nothing to deserve healing. God in His eternal love to us took the first step and reached out to us.

He bids us “get up and walk.” He has the power to heal us, but the very first step to receive it depends on our faith. “Rise up and walk,” is an action phrase.  We are to do something and not just to wait on God. Faith must be exercised and not just thought of.