After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
When I was a little girl in Sunday school, I remember loving to hear this story told. Later, teaching it myself, I researched in our encyclopedias. Some of you are old enough to remember those amazing books.
Jesus traveled all the way from Capernaum to Jerusalem for His next divine appointment. It’s a long trek, by foot, and they needed to arrive in time for the feast. We don’t know which one it was. There were three feasts at which attendance was required: Passover, Pentecost, and Purim. If it was the Passover, then we can count four Passover feasts during Jesus’ ministry, which lasted about 3 1/2 years.
It is a wonderful story, pointing at the amazing mercy, grace, and compassion of Jesus.
There were always a lot of people around the pool, waiting for the water to move so they could rush their loved ones into the pool for miraculous healing. The first one into the water got the benefit. There were blind people, lame people, and people whose muscles were atrophied so much that they couldn’t move on their own. Many of them depended on friends and relatives to move them closer to the pool. The ones who managed to have moved to the very edges were, of course, the first ones in the water.
Did they actually receive healing? I don’t know. I do know that in some modern healing services, some people have received healing. I personally know of a man who was healed of leukemia after the pastor and some deacons anointed him with oil and prayed over him. He lived to be 96, I believe, a wonderful godly man who was full of the joy of the Lord. You could see the scars on his neck from sores that had healed. This happened before 1974, when we first moved to Pennsylvania. I didn’t know him when he was sick, but he never tired of telling his story. He had already planned his funeral, and was ready to meet Jesus.
I believe with all my heart that God is still in the healing business. The two men I mentioned yesterday are in surgery right now, and so far all is going well. One is the donor, the other the recipient, of a healthy kidney. One man giving health and life to another through the miracle of modern medicine, but all under the hand of God.