Summary: The Man Who Enjoyed Bad Health! PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A place of sickness (vs 1-3):
A place of superstition (vs 4-7):
A place of self-pity (vs 5-7):
It was a place of salvation (vs 8-9a):
It was a place of solitude (vs 13-14)
• Because there was no evidence outside of John’s Gospel;
• For the existence of the pool of Bethesda;
• The critics of the Bible had a field day;
• They argued that the gospel was written much later than what we believe it to be.
• They also argued that the writer of this gospel;
• Was someone without first-hand knowledge of the city of Jerusalem.
• They argued that the ‘pool’ had only a metaphorical,
• Rather than a historical, significance
• Then in the year 1888 that some people decided to renovate a very ancient Church;
• In the north-east corner of the city of Jerusalem.
• As they were scrubbing the whitewash off one of the walls;
• They discovered a fading fresco or painting.
• It showed a pool of water and an angel standing in the water;
• And sick people scrambling into the pool.
• Those who discovered the fresco realised that this picture;
• Links up with the story in John’s gospel chapter 5.
• The discovery caused them to ask the question;
• Was the Pool of Bethesda (which no-one had seen for centuries);
• Was somewhere near this ancient Church
• So they began to excavate the Church yard.
• And they had to dig down 40 feet of rubble to discover it!
• But if you go there today, then you can gaze down a hole 40ft deep;
• And see the pool of Bethesda.
• They found it;
• And they found the five porches that John speaks about!
• It had been hidden for two thousand years but now it has been revealed.
• TRANSITION: Today it is a place of beautiful archaeological ruins;
• Two thousand years ago it was a place of disease and hopelessness.
There are five points that make up this story:
(1). A place of sickness (vs 1-3):
“Some time later...”
• John’s gospel is built around seven key events, seven signs, seven miracles;
• 12 months have passed between the second sign (healing the officials son) and this sign.
“Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie - the blind, the lame, the paralysed”.
As I have already mentioned - if you visit Jerusalem today:
• You can go to St Anne's Church in Jerusalem,
• There they will show you the deep excavation that has revealed the ancient Pool of Bethesda.
• The pool is situated near the northeast corner of the Old City, close to the Sheep Gate.
• It is one of the few achelogical sites that we can be absolutely certain of.
The Hebrew name Bethesda has been spelled various ways and given differing meanings: