Summary: The lame man needed someone else’s help to get to the pool. Many people today need our help to get to Jesus. How shall they hear if we never tell them.
Intro. A study of the Gospel of John will reveal that the author is the Apostle John, one of four books of the Bible he wrote. This is of course the fourth and last Gospel. We can see that Matthew presents Christ to the Jews as the Messiah-King, Mark to the Romans as the Conquering Servant, Luke to the Greeks as the Son of man. The Gospel of John presents Christ to the Christian as the Son of God, the incarnate Word of God. John chooses to present not an historical look at Christ, but rather a look that we cause us to exalt Him as the Son of God. We know that the key words of the Gospel of John are believe and life. Probably one of the most famous Bible verses in all the world is found here in John 3:16. The theme of the Gospel of John can be found in its key verse, John 20:30,31. "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." Here in John 5, Christ is presented as the great physician. We see the physician performing miracles that no earthly doctor could ever perform. One such miracle is the one we read of here tonight that takes place at the pool of Bethesda.
Read John 5:1-9
After spending time in Samaria and Galilee in chapter four, Christ now returns to Jerusalem for the feast, as was commanded by God’s law. It is commonly believed that this was the feast of Passover, but we cannot be certain. There were three different feasts that commanded all the males to return to Jerusalem; the Passover feast, the feast of Pentecost, and the feast of Tabernacles. As Jesus enters into Jerusalem, He does so by the sheep market, or the sheep gate. This is the gate that was used for the sheep entering into the city. Sheep brought in through this gate were used for sacrifice during the time of the Passover. How amazing that the Lamb of God chose to enter into Jerusalem through the sheep gate. This could also be a place where sheep were kept in a pen to be bought or sold. After passing through this gate, you would come to the pool of Bethesda. No doubt this was a small lake or pond. There was probably some fishing done here, or possibly even bathing. Water would be drawn from here the common everyday uses. Around the pool were five porches. These were covered porches that were used to keep those passing by from being exposed to the weather. These porches would provide shelter in the time of bad weather. These are also places where the sick would make their home. Being protected from the elements made this a safe place for those in need of a home. The sick would make their residence here.
Can you imagine the scene here at the pool of Bethesda? According to verse three, a great multitude of impotent folk, blind, halt, withered, made their home here. Imagine walking through this area and seeing all the diseased and sick people here waiting. We don’t know an exact number of how many people were here, only that the Bible says it was a great multitude. And what were they here for? They were waiting for the troubling of the waters. You see, at a certain season, an angel would go down and trouble the waters. According to verse 4, whoever was first to get into the waters would be healed. All these diseased people were waiting for their healing. They were waiting for the time when the angel would trouble the waters and they could rush in and receive the healing they desired. We don’t know how often this angel came by, only that it was on a regular schedule. No doubt tens or hundreds of thousands of people sat here on this day, watching and waiting for their healing from the pool of Bethesda.