10 Feb. John 5:1-18

10 Feb. Jesus falls foul of the Jewish teachers of the law

"Jesus went to Jerusalem for a special Jewish feast. In Jerusalem there is a pool with five covered porches, which is called Bethesda in the Jewish language. This pool is near the Sheep Gate."

"Many sick people were lying in the porches beside the pool. Some were blind, some were crippled and some were paralysed."

"A man was lying there who had been sick for 38 years. When Jesus saw the man and knew that he had been sick for such a long time, Jesus asked him, 'Do you want to be well?'"

"The sick man answered, 'Sir, there is no one to help me get into the pool when the water starts moving. While I am coming to the water, someone else always gets in before me.'"

"Then Jesus said, 'Stand up. Pick up your mat and walk.' And immediately the man was well; he picked up his mat and began to walk."

"The day this happened was a Sabbath day... Because Jesus was doing this on the Sabbath day, the Jews began to persecute him. But Jesus said to them, 'My Father never stops working, and so I keep working, too.'"

This made the Jews try still harder to kill him, They said, 'First Jesus was breaking the law about the Sabbath day. Now he says that God is his own Father, making himself equal with God.'"

          (John 5:1-18)



During the winter of 28AD, Jesus went up to Jerusalem to attend one of the principle Jewish festivals – probably the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated in October. On the Sabbath day, Jesus healed a man who was unable to walk at the Pool of Bethesda ('Bethzatha' in Hebrew), near the Sheep Gate (see the photo).

The man – who had been an invalid for thirty eight years – picked up his mat and walked away. Some teachers of the Jewish law, who had witnessed the event, accused the man of breaking the Sabbath laws by carrying his mat.

Jesus pointed out that even God - YHWH, the God of the Jewish people - never stopped giving new life and healing power on the Sabbath. Births still happened on the Sabbath, and people continued to recover from illness on the Sabbath. So it was in God's very nature to bring life-changing healing on the Sabbath.

The Jewish teachers of the law stuck rigidly to their man-made rules and regulations, and accused the man of 'carrying his mat' instead!

Remains of the Pool of Bethesda and its surrounding colonnades or 'stoas' (see the photo), which later became a healing shrine to the Roman god Serapis (Asclepius), can still be seen today in the old city of Jerusalem near St Anne’s Church, to the north of the Temple Mount.

You can read more about Jesus's teaching and healing in Jerusalem in 28AD @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-heals-teaches-in-j…/

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