Summary: I am astonished by this place. Bethesda pool was a kind of hospital packed with people: the blinde, the lame, the paralyzed. And rumor was that the chief doctor was an angel! Bethesda - reflecting, refracting and diffracting everything and everybody arou
I am astonished as I visit this place - Bethesda Pool. It’s like an hospital packed with sick people: the blinde, the lame, the paralyzed. And rumor was that the chief doctor was an angel!
The Bible states here the popular belief. An angel encouraging competition? The fastest, the strongest being cured? Is this a good angel or an evil one? Or just rumors circulating around?
Because in the picture I don’t see any angel, good/evil, appearing. It’s a battle for surviving. Like today. He who is the strongest, the fastest to plunge where the waters are stirred. Stepping over others. The picture for survival at Bethesda pool it’s actual, today after 2,000 years. The pool of B reflecting, refracting and diffracting everything and everybody around.
The suffering ones at Bethesda we meet everywhere. We see the hopelessly on our streets, in the hospitals, weeping in their homes, and sometimes, even in the church. Our world seems to be an over-sized Bethesda.
Waiting for the moving of the water. Waiting for instant blessing, instant healing, instant transformation. On the porch. There are a multitude of Christians today who spiritually speaking are on the porches.
They are not doing anything for God. They are lying down idle, watching, judging, criticizing, They think they know how it should be done, but they are not doing anything. There is no healing on the porch.
Vs.5-7 (NLT) - ‘I have no one”, I am alone… In these words, we catch not only the physical pain, but also something a lot more terrible… Loneliness. I have no one… words present in almost any sickness, but they reflect wounds of the soul.
It appears contradictory that while we talk about population explosion, the phenomenon of loneliness is increasing. There are more and more lonely people by square foot in big cities.
To understand better the contemporary Bethesda real story, the causes and the solution (not solutions because is the only one solution), let’s us look closer at this scene so perfect condensed by John in just a few verses.
Think at Jerusalem, the city of peace. Some people have no peace. In v 1 we are told that there was a “feast”, a festival for all to rejoice. But beyond this atmosphere of celebration, we can hear groans of pain. People pushing others in a horrific stampede even killed in this tragic competition: who is going to be the fastest.
People came here to be healed; instead they were pushed away. Imagine that tense atmosphere, the waiting, with one eye on the water ant the other on the neighbors. Each neighbor is a competitor who could steal his healing.
Days, weeks, months, years of endless watching. Maybe this night… Maybe tomorrow… Maybe…. Few strategic advances, one inch closer to the pool. While the neighbor is slumbering.Sabbath rest? Relaxation? Never.
How shall we explain the fact that in Jerusalem, the place that God wanted the truth to be proclaimed, there was this spooky place, PARANORMAL activity. An angel came not in the temple, next block fro Bethesda, but at the pool.
Do you believe? .I don’t But these sick people over there, they believed! And another irony is the name of that place. Bethesda means “The House of Mercy”. The people called House of Mercy, this place and not the Temple! The Temple became a business place and a den of thieves.
The purpose of the Temple is now lost altogether. Instead of a praying and healing place, it became an immense business center. The Temple had own currency and if you want to pay your tithe and offerings, you need to exchange your money at an outrageous rate…
The animals brought from far away for sacrifice were often rejected by the priests and Levites. They will say: it’s a skinny lamb, it’s crippled… go and buy another from my cousin, over there!... The lamb will be finally purchased paying the price of a bull.
This was the main reason why sick and disabled people walked away from religion and chose to believe instead in Bethesda muddy water to be healed. Oh, but even here things were not for free.
- You must to pay in order to obtain a better place closer to water than others,
- You must to pay a strong servant so that at the opportune moment, to brings you and throw you in the pool.
- You must to pay somebody to carry you to the rest room, to brings you food, and many other services.
All these had to be paid for. At Bethesda the mechanism always in function since sin entered the world: MIGHT MAKES RIGHT.
Beatitudes upside down. Blessed are those who:
- know how to elbow themselves in life, for they will live well.
- are strong because their heart will never be hurt.