Jesus Heals at the Pool of Bethesda | John 5:1-15

Bible Study Lesson:

John 5:1-15

Q. Where did the incident take place?

  • At the Pool of Bethesda
  • Near the sheep gate. Sheep gate was the gate used to bring the sheep into the city to be sacrificed at the temple. . (Nehemiah 3:1)
  • The Bethesda pool has been discovered by Archeologists in 1960s.

Q. What was the occasion?

  • The Feast of the Jews & Sabbath
  • Three feasts of Jews:
    1. Feast of Passover & unleavened bread
    2. Feast of Pentecost
    3. Feast of the tabernacles

Q. Why were a lot of disabled people present near the Bethesda pool?

  • They were waiting for an angel to come and stir the waters. (Angels and Demons in the Bible)
  • We hear that in ancient times it was common for people to bathe in  hot springs in which they claim to be healed.. Even today, in many parts of the world, people go to some of these hot springs which supposedly have healing powers.
  • We are not exactly sure  if the pool water had any miraculous power.
  • John 5:4 (KJV) – “For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.”
  • Note: Verse 4 is not included in the New International Version. Some of the latter found manuscripts do not contain this verse; therefore it has been left out in the latter Bible translations like the NIV.

Q. What do you learn about the condition of the disabled man?

  • He was disabled for 38 years (ie, he was older than Jesus)
  • He would have tried everything he possibly could have in order to be healed.
  • There was nobody to help him (John 5:7) His family may have left him there.
  • He was lying there near the Bethesda pool in the hope that someday he may get a chance to be the first one to get into the pool.
  • He was persistent.
  • He wanted to be well. But he could not do it by himself. He needed somebody’s help.
  • He sincerely thought that if he could reach there at the right time, he would be healed. The only problem was that he could not.
  • He did not even know who Jesus was. But Jesus went up to him.

Q. What did Jesus ask him? And what was his reply?

  • “Do you want to get well?” It was a strange question He had been there all these year desperately trying to be well. But by asking  this question, Jesus was offering him help. Perhaps, nobody had offered him any help all these years
  • If  rephrased the man’s answer in one sentence would have been,  ‘Yes, I want to be well, I just can’t get there. If you are in a place like this disabled man, and may be desperately trying or looking for physical or emotional healing, peace, joy, purpose, or any personal victory over temptation; Jesus asks you the same simple question”Do you want to get well?”

Q. What was Jesus’ reply?

  • “Get up, pick up your mat and walk.”‘You don’t have to go there. Your healing is right here, right now. You don’t have to wait for an angel to come to the pool.’
  • The man was instantly healed. (After suffering from it for 38 years.)

Q. Why were the Jews not happy?

  • The man  carried his mat on the Sabbath. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law had many laws regarding Sabbath about how much to walk or work on the Sabbath. (Bible study on Jesus Healing on Sabbath)
  • They were insensitive to the man who was healed after 38 years.
  • They cared about the laws more than people. (People first.)
  • Imagine, if a blind man was healed and in his joy, if he  crossed the street and the cop gives him a ticket inspite of  knowing that he just received his vision.

Q. What can we learn from the fact that he did not even know Jesus?

  • He was not aware of who healed him.
  • Can we say that miracles are not always consequence of faith?
  • Jesus found him again. It is as if Jesus is literally pursuing him.

Q. Why did Jesus talk to him about sin? Where does sin come into picture? Do you think sickness is the result of sin?

  • Although he was physically healed, he also needed spiritual healing.
  • It maynot be that Jesus meant that his sickness or disability was the result of sin. Check out the surprisingly similar passage of healing of a blind man in John 9:1-12.
  • It was a reminder of a much greater healing and change from inside. After all, what can be worst than 38 years of sickness?
  • Jesus also gave a similar command to the woman caught in adultery in John 8: 1-11. The man took heed of Jesus’ instruction, thus proclaiming boldly about Jesus healing him.

Bible Study Application:

You may be experiencing some sickness, disease, some hurt, or pain from a very long time. You may be struggling with some personal sin or weakness.  You may have tried everything in your power to get well. But you may have realized by now that you cannot do it on your own.

Jesus is asking the same question to you, “Do you want to get well?”


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  1. Bile simeon says

    The faith of Jesus overshadowed the situation of the man at the pool of bethesda. When we put our faithlesness to the faithfulness of Jesus who is the Anointed one, then all things are possible.

  2. David Gangte says

    its awsome. it helped in knowing the words more clearly.
    I dont know but do you have these studies from old testament also ?

  3. aningk77 says

    why is that the man when Jesus asked him whether he want to get well he did not answer directly but deviated

  4. noah vargas says

    this story is amazing. it is soo god , it teaches us about life and how God is soo amazing. it is very very very vrey very good. everyoe should read it. i love the Bible. its awesome.

  5. gloria says

    The part about being near the sheep gate was very enlightening. It showed how disciples were lead to Christ. We come in dirty and leaved washed clean. That was a very good comparison for me, since I was studying the subject.

  6. KELLY says

    I woke up early in the morning with the word “Bethesda” in my head. I had no idea why. I found this article and it was very helpful. Thank you.

  7. Bible SEO says

    I don’t completely agree with you about him not trying enough. verse 7 says “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” He had been there for many years in hope that some day, he would be able to get into the water first!

  8. esther stevens says

    Some times we all need help, you only need a helping hand to get where you want to.The man at the pool need help but they walked away and left him to depend on his on strength to get in the pool, he did’nt know all he needed was Jesus.Some times we have to get stirred upon the inside to get things done.Idid when i get sick i called on Jesus, and got the help ,heal from cancer.

  9. John says

    NKJV states in v:4 that an angel went down,,,,and whoever stepped in first,,,was made well. Jesus did not tell the sick man who HE was, but simply asked him if he wanted to be made well followed by immediate healing. Later JESUS sees the healed man and tells him not to sin anymore ( the man then knows that he did not need the power of the water but that his healing came directly from JESUS….so that he might believe and bear witness to this miracle healing),,v:17 tells us that God the FATHER had been empowering the healing of the stirring water before,,,,and that now that same power was coming from the very SON of GOD,,,,standing right there for man to see and hear . My point of view is that when you are lost and don’t know where to go or what to do ( you have exhausted all your own powers to change your situation) just surrender (put away your sins) and believe in the miracles of this history book ( BIBLE). Hope always brings a spiritual healing ,, a sort of lasting peace which feeds one’s faith. All these miracles were done to reveal God’s presence to man and to make HIS SON known to us. FACT: Jesus is as REAL as you are,,He knows all about you and is patiently waiting for you to acknowledge Him in return,,,WORKS well for me,,a sinner.

  10. maebell says

    Waiting on God, can be a journey the key is are we faithfull enough. This man waited by the pool 38 years, In hopes that he would be healed. It did pay off! Life isn’t going to be easy and the journey to things we asked of God is a process!


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