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19. The Healing at the Pool of Bethesda.

From Galilee Jesus Christ again went up to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover.

Not far from the Temple, by the sheep gate through which they drove the sheep for sacrifices, there was a pool with five porticoes or galleries. This pool with the galleries was called Bethesda, which means house of mercy. In the galleries beside the pool, lay many sick, blind, lame and withered. They were all waiting for the moving of the water, for an angel of the Lord went down at a certain season into the pool and stirred the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had.

Jesus Christ visited this house of mercy. There, He saw a man who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. Jesus Christ said to him, "Do you want to be healed?"

The sick man answered, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred; and while I am going, another steps down before me."

Jesus Christ said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk."

At once, the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. That day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, "It is the Sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your bed."

But he answered them, "The Man Who healed me said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk’."

They asked him, "Do you know Who this Man is?"

The man was not able to answer them, for he did not know Who Jesus Christ was because Christ after healing him had withdrawn into the crowd.

Afterward, Jesus found him in the Temple and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, so that nothing worse befalls you."

The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Christ Who had healed him.

The elders of the Jews began to persecute Jesus Christ and to seek a chance to kill Him because He did this on the Sabbath. They taught that on the Sabbath it was a sin to do any work, even good deeds.

Jesus said to them, "My Father is working still, and I am working. Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He (the Son) sees the Father doing; for whatever He (God the Father) does, the Son does likewise. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father Who sent Him. Search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is they that bear witness of Me."

This was why the Jews sought even more to kill Him because He not only broke the Sabbath but also called God His Father making Himself equal with God.

Note: See the Gospel of John, 5:1-16.

Healing of the Man with a Withered Hand.

It came to pass also on another Sabbath that Jesus entered the synagogue (the house of meeting and prayer). There was a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees wishing to find some charge to make against the Saviour watched closely to see whether or not He would heal the sick man on the Sabbath.

The Saviour knowing their thoughts said to the man, "Rise up and stand forth in the midst."

Then, turning to the Pharisees, He said, "I will ask you one thing. Is it lawful on the Sabbath days to do good or to do evil to save life or to destroy it?"

They remained silent.

And looking round about them all, He said, "What man of you, if he has one sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."

Then, the Saviour turned to the man and said, "Stretch out your hand."

The man extended his withered hand, and it was restored in whole like the other.

The Pharisees were filled with madness, went out of the synagogue, and took counsel among themselves how to destroy Jesus.

Jesus with his disciples withdrew from there, and many followed Him, and He preaching healed all the sick.

Note: See the Gospels of Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; and Luke 6:6-11

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