The Pool Of Bethesda.

John 5:2-6 

“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. 

Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’”

 The sick man answered Him, “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.”

 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”  And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.

And that day was the Sabbath”

Imagine being sick for 38 years, so near to your cure…..and yet so far.  This man was not only sick, he had no friends or family to help him into the pool.  

Surrounding the Pool of Bethesda were five porches.  This man just “happened” to be lying on one of them near the Sheep gate when the Greatest Shepherd of all the sheep came walking by.  What is the Holy Spirit trying to show us?  He is drawing pictures for us again!

Secrets In The Hebrew Language.

All names in the Bible have a meaning.  When you study them, they add more depth, richness, and understanding to the text.  The name, “Bethesda,” tells a story of it’s own.  It is comprised of two words: Beth means “house;” Hesed meaning “grace,” in Hebrew.  Bethesda is literally “The House of Grace.”  It had Five porches, the number of Grace, and a Visitor from heaven on that day: The King of Grace Himself, JESUS!

This man had an infirmity for 38 years.  Notice that we are not told his name, what was wrong with him, or how it happened.  But along came Jesus one day Who “happened” to walk through Bethesda, with its healing pool and five porches, entering by the Sheep Gate.  

He asked the man if he wanted to be made well.  Kind of a strange question, don’t you think?  He was obviously hanging out by the pool in hopes of getting into the water to be healed.  This unnamed man with his unspecified infirmity didn’t answer Jesus’ question, however.  Instead, he talked about his situation.

Pool of Bethesda, unearthed early 1900’s.

Jesus didn’t ask again or wait for an answer.  He simply gave him a command:  “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”  IMMEDIATELY the man was made well!  He didn’t need to wait for the angel to come by now and then to stir the waters.  HE WAS WASHED BY THE WATER OF THE WORD OF GRACE PERSONIFIED: JESUS HIMSELF!  He now walked away carrying that which had once carried him, fully restored to life and health!  

Faith Comes By Hearing.

Look at that!  The man made no request to be healed.  He was not able to go hear any sermons about having faith for healing.  No qualification of any kind was given for his healing. Yet obviously the man had heard about Jesus so when he heard His words, he believed and acted on them.  

This incident, to the Pharisees’ chagrin, happened on the Sabbath.

One word of Grace from the Master of Grace Himself, Jesus, and we can walk with ease, physically and spiritually made whole again!

38 Years Of Wandering?

Like everything in the New Testament, this man’s story is hidden in the Old Testament in a place you would not suspect.  He is a picture of Israel wandering in the wilderness for 38 years.

“38 years,” you say?  “I thought they wandered for 40?”  Well, yes, they were IN the wilderness for 40 years but their wandering, i.e. “lost-ness” to coin a phrase, was actually 38 years.  You see, when they refused to believe God at Kadesh Barnea, they were turned back from the Promised Land and consigned to wander in the wilderness until that whole, unbelieving generation died off.   

The first two years after leaving Egypt were not a judgment against them.  But their wandering after leaving Kadesh Barnea up until the time they reached their last year in the wilderness, was.  Almost all the unbelieving Israelites from that incident had died off.  It was not until the last year that the last three most prominent people, died:  Miriam, Aaron and Moses.  Shortly after their deaths under the leadership of Joshua, they entered the promised land.  

Two Rock Encounters.

In the first year and again in their 40th year, the Bible records for us two different “Rock” encounters.  The first occurred when the children of Israel had no water, about 3 days after the bitter waters of Marah incident. This is a lengthy topic in and of itself.  For the whole story, you may follow the links below to read about both Marah and Kadesh Barnea. 

The latter, Kadesh Barnea, sparked centuries of evil things that happened to the Jewish people.  The numbers and kinds of incidents are far too numerous to be mere coincidence.  Ask any of your Jewish friends about the 9th of Av and they will tell you a litany of evil things that have happened.  It truly is the original evil day: 


Kadesh Barnea:


These two rock, encounters, the 38 years of wandering and the entering into the Promised Land, are also a timeline.  These two incidents depict Jesus’ first and second comings.  The 38 years of wandering under judgment depicts the Jewish dispersion which came to an end in 1948, when Israel came back as a nation.

True to this timeline, many of our Jewish brethren in these last days are indeed being healed of their long-standing infirmity as they are washed by the water of the word of grace at the porches of the House of Grace by the Master Himself:  JESUS.  They have passed through the SHEEP gate and become the sheep of His pasture

But…..when He returns to earth to set everything right and rule the earth with justice and righteousness, the entire nation of Israel will be saved in one day!

That’s our Jesus!  He is the true Pool of Bethesda.

4 thoughts on “The Pool Of Bethesda.

  1. Posted below comment here

    “Is the healing of invalid man for 38 years a midrash on Numbers 15.32-6? Take up your bed/”sticks” and walk on a Sabbath Day.

    Eileen Guilding has chapter in her book on John 5.

    See “Lawrence” comments here

    It was Torah parsha Shelach for Sabbath a week ago from yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

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