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John 5 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.



Read over this passage a few times slowly. If time allows, read the whole chapter.

The pool of Bethesda was a gathering place for the infirm, hoping to benefit from its healing waters. There was this man who had been paralyzed for most of his life.

Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well” (v6)? It might be obvious to answer “Of course!” for the man. But the man’s answer is basically, “Yes, I want to be made well, but I don’t see how this can happen.” The sick man does what we nearly all do. He limits God’s help to his own ideas and does not dare promise himself more that he conceives in his mind.

  1. B. Phillips wrote a famous book about this problem, titled“Your God is too Small”. For many of us, we create a small God in our heads, a God who is limited by whatever “box” we try to put God into. ( )

Jesus told the man, “Get up and walk.” At once, the cure came, and he got up and walked. The man obeyed. And in obeying, he experienced the healing.

We must know that faith is not an absolute prerequisite of healing. Jesus is not limited by human frailty as He does the works of God. “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.” (Ps 72:18)