Introduction

“And truly Jesus did many other signs
  in the presence of His disciples, which
  are not written in this book;  but these
  are written that you may believe that
  Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
  that believing you may have life
  in His name.”- John (Jn 20:30-31)

John tells us that there are many miracles performed by Jesus which were not recorded in the gospel. But He had specially chosen 7 for us to read. He did that so that we can believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ and we can have life through his name.

So far we have taken a look at his first miracle

1. Jesus turning water into wine (Part 1, Part 2)
2. Jesus Healing The Nobleman’s son (Part 3, Part 4)

Let us continue the study by looking at the 3rd Miracle

The Miracle By The Pool Of Bethesda

 

“Now there is in Jerusalem by the
  Sheep Gate a pool, which is called
  in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five
  porches.

   In these lay a great multitude of
  sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed,
  waiting for the moving of the water.

  For an angel went down at a certain
  time into the pool and stirred up the
  water; then whoever stepped in first,
  after the stirring of the water, was
  made well of whatever disease he had” – John (Jn 5:2-4)

The legend of pool of Bethesda is a hope for the sick, that is why many gathered in. But is this legend a true legend? Will God send an angel to stir the pool to heal someone?

I believe God will not do that for that would not conform to his teaching. Such healing does not confirm to the teaching of God and it makes no distinction in faith. It does not matter if one is good or evil as long as he fights to get in first, he can be healed.

Such healing cannot be the will of God, and one could easily picture the scene at the pool. The moment the water stir, the strong will fight with the weak and the weak and little would never had a chance to get near the water.

Such healing does not agree with Gods mercy and righteousness. Therefore God would not have sent angels to stir water to heal a person. But the fact is that the water did stir and there are people who recovered. Many historian tried to identify the location, but most of the locations listed are mere speculations.

It is possible that it is a pool that springs up sulphuric water and its water is good for people with skin diseases. But i guess its healing properties are overrated and not all illnesses can be healed there. These legends are probably born after exaggeration.

The Hope And Pain At The Pool Of Bethesda

For the poor who cannot afford a doctor, the pool of Bethesda is an opportunity , that is why many come to the pool with a hope that they can be healed. But it is also a place of weeping and disappointment for some. For if the legend is true, than there will not be  many sick people waiting around it

“Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool
  when the water is stirred up; but while I am
  coming, another steps down before me.” – Man by the pool (Jn 5:7)

Over here is a man who was sick for 38 years, and from his words we can hear his hopelessness. For when the water stirs, no one would put him into the water.  He had hope that someone would help him, especially from those who are healed from the pool.

But no one is willing to help him all 38 years of his life, he had to bear with the pain and that feeling of abandonment.

One would imagine that since all who gathered at Bethesda were sick, they should have empathy and pity for each other, but the truth is, those around the pool need to fight in order to get into the water first. For the legend says that only the man who step in first receive the healing.

Therefore it is a place where its “Every man for himself”  and one need to fight with others in order to be healed. Whenever the water stir there will be crying, shouting and swearing.

Assuming if a lucky man receive the healing, how would the others react to him?

Bethesda is a place of hope as well as a place for grief for many people.

Jesus Coming to The Pool On His Own Accord

“Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 
  And immediately the man was made well, took up 
  his bed, and walked.”- John (Jn 5:8-9)

Jesus perform many miracles and wonders, those miracles proved his power and authority as well as the fact that he is the Messiah. It tells us that he is God coming in the form of flesh.

But sadly, many would rather believe in their superstitions and legends, they would rather wait for the water to stir then to believe in Jesus. Yet Jesus was full of grace and mercy, he went to Bethesda to heal this man.

The truth is that this man did not even know Jesus, and he is not with good conduct. If we were to continue reading the chapter, we will see this man doing something bad. But yet we wonder why did God give his grace to such a man.

In fact, this man did not even approach Jesus to help him, but it was Jesus who asked “Do you want to be healed?”

This story tells us about that the grace of salvation is from the Lord, it was not given to man because of his good works. Paul tells us that while we are still sinners, Christ came to prepare salvation for all of us. He came into our world, and died for our sins, he did it so that whoever who believe in him will have their sin forgiven. They could receive eternal life and enter the kingdom of God.

It is God who came to save us through his own initiative, he did it even when we did not know him, he did it even though our actions are unworthy. We have nothing that makes us worthy for his salvation. The Grace of salvation is given to us for free.

Even though grace is free, but sinners must be willing to accept this grace. It is our choice whether to cling to our own superstitions or to hear the gospel.

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