TEXT: John 5:1-6
James H. Aughey said, "Christ is the Good Physician. There is no disease He cannot heal; no sin He cannot remove; no trouble He cannot help. He is the Balm of Gilead, the Great Physician who has never yet failed to heal all the spiritual maladies of every soul that has come unto Him in faith and prayer."
In the beginning of John chapter 5, we find Jesus on the move again. He is on His way to another Jewish religious festival in Jerusalem. When He arrives, there is, of course, an abundance of people from out of town crowding into Jerusalem.
In the city, we are told there is a pool called Bethesda, which means "house of mercy" or "flowing waters." The pool, the location of which has been excavated in modern Israel, was a roughly five-sided shape, like a pentagon, and we are told that it had "five porches" -- five series of steps leading up to the water. And "a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered" people lay on these steps "waiting for the moving of the water." Archaeologists tell us that this pool was an intermittent spring, several of which still exist around Jerusalem today, and the "moving of the water" was likely the release of water from reservoirs beneath the earth's surface. The people believed that the sudden rise in the water level was due to an angel coming down and stirring or troubling the waters, and whoever was first to get into the waters thereafter was healed of their illness. Apparently, there must have been some truth to this notion as it appears that some people at least were seemingly being healed on a regular basis. Even today there are hot springs and other bodies of water that have therapeutic, restorative, or medicinal qualities.
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