Ancient Words: Miracles of Jesus, The Pool of Bethesda
In the days of Jesus, 2 prominent sources of water were used by the citizens of Jerusalem and as a result 2 gates into the city identified, next to these water sources, much needed economical functions. The Pool of Siloam was found in the very southern part of the city and the gate by this pool was known as the Dung Gate. Flowing spring water from Siloam was used to remove waste from Jerusalem serving the same purpose as our septic systems. Cleanliness is next to godliness and the Lord helped the Jews have an efficient and clean system to remove human waste at the Pool of Siloam. It was at this pool where the blind man was sent in John 9 to wash mud from his eyes. The very pool that removed septic from the city was used to remove the dirt from the poor man’s eyes and he came away seeing. Jesus, the Living Light, had spoken to him!
To the north of Jerusalem, above the temple lay the Pool of Bethesda at the Sheep Gate. At this gate, the lambs were boarded for use in the temple sacrifices. A sheep stock yard, if you please, was maintained here both for the keeping and slaughter of the lambs. This spring of water allowed the necessary provision for drinking and cleaning as the lambs were kept until their time of sacrifice. John 5 records that many people came to the Pool of Bethesda—the lame, the blind, the leper and so forth. They came because when the water was stirred by an angel the first ones in the pool had a better chance for healing: Joh 5:5-9 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been lame 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.
Brought in on a bed to the pool each day, he could not walk or get into Bethesda’s water. Bethesda has two meanings, House of Mercy and House of Grace. How appropriate—The Living Physician, the Living Healer, had just spoken to the lame man. At that instant, both mercy and grace came from the lips of the Master and the miracle of complete healing came to the bed-ridden man. Marvelous in our sight are the miracles of Christ—but none are more touching than the ones of compassion offered to reverse the pain of human suffering: Luke 7:21-23 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Come to the Pool of Bethesda and find healing for your soul for—- “There is a Balm in Gilead that makes the wounded whole—-there is a Balm in Gilead to cure the sin-sick soul.”
Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to email@example.com.
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Three Simple Instructions
In Budapest, a man goes to the rabbi and complains, “Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?”
The rabbi answers, “Take your goat into the room with you.” The man is incredulous, but the rabbi insists. “Do as I say and come back in a week.”
A week later the man comes back looking more distraught than before. “We cannot stand it; the goat is filthy.”
The rabbi tells him, “Go home and let the goat out. And come back in a week.”
A radiant man returns to the rabbi a week later, exclaiming, “Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that there’s no goat — only the nine of us.”
Sometimes in life, answers to problems are obvious but we fail to see them. It can become easy to be distracted by what we don’t have and totally take for granted the blessings that we already do have. Thank God that the Bible gives direction on how we can live a joy filled life, but we must read the instructions!
Philippians 5:16-18 give us three simple instructions that can help up us to live in the center of God’s will.
The first instruction is that we need to express joy. If we claim to have fellowship with God, then we need to show the joy of the Lord.
The second instruction is that we keep ourselves in constant prayer. Direct communication with God is one of our most effective tools and privileges as Christians.
The last instruction is that we learn to give thanks in all situations. We need to be thankful and live in a spirit of gratitude as a testimony of our faith in Christ Jesus.
Read, implement, and repeat if desired. Stay blessed!
Captain Jason Perdieu is corps officer of the Salvation Army of El Dorado.