Bible Study Lesson:
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:
- Feast of Passover & unleavened bread
- Feast of Pentecost
- 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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