Man Healed at the Pool of Bethesda

Dr. Will Mayo, one of the brothers who founded the world famous Mayo Clinic, claimed to have seen  patients that by all standards were dead. “We knew they could not live. But I have seen a minister come to the bedside and do something for them that I could not do, altho … More

Jesus was in Jerusalem for a feast (v. 1). He goes by the pool, called Bethesda, which is just north of the Sheep Gate (v. 2). This was a place where sick people often gathered, waiting for the water to stir (v. 3). Tradition taught that an angel would often come, causing the water to move and when it did the first person to step into the water would be healed (v. 4). On this particular Sabbath day (v. 9), Jesus finds a man who had been physically afflicted for 38 years (v.  5). John did not say what kind of physical problem he had or if he was an invalid from birth. In any case his condition was hopeless. He knew that this man had been coming here for a long time and asked him the question, “Do you want to be healed” (v. 6)? He replied that he did but because of his infirmity the others would beat him into the pool (v. 7). Jesus saith unto him, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk and immediately the man took up his bed and walked (vv. 8-9).”

Because it was the Sabbath the Jews immediately confronted him (v. 10). The Jews rigid tradition taught that if anyone intentionally carried anything from a public place to a private place on the Sabbath, he deserved death by stoning. Realizing this the healed man said he was just following orders (v. 11). The Jews then asked who it was that gave him these orders (v. 12) and the man said that he did not know, probably because Jesus was unknown to him (v.  13). Later Jesus finds the man in the temple and tells him to stop sinning or something worse is going to happen to him (v. 14). Jesus is interested not only in healing a person’s body, but far more important is the healing of his soul from sin. The man departs telling the Jews that it was Jesus who made him whole (v.15).


I should not only be concerned about those who are physically sick but far more concerned about those who are spiritually sick and spiritually dead.

John 5:1-15 (English Standard Version)

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids--blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed." But he answered them, "The man who healed me, that man said to me, 'Take up your bed, and walk.'" They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you." The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

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