Are You Playing A Victim
The mindset of self pity tells us that life is happening to us. We are helpless. This can become programming that communicates to our bodies.
We tell ourselves its not ok for this to be happening. This creates an inner conflict contributing to dis-ease.
bad things keep happening to me..Ive tried everything and nothing works..Im just going to isolate myself from the rest of the world..when will something good happen to me?I always pull the short straw
I find it interesting that Jesus chose a paralysed man to heal. He was immobile, unable to move.
We all know people who want attention for their problems. It gives them comfort when we rescue them from the pit of despair, only to find themselves back down the pit of pity once again once the attention has died down.
They expect to be carried.
Unfortunately the church can often begin to rescue people who are in this place, which keeps them in that place of victimhood. We can feed the victim mindset thinking were being loving and compassionate.
From Samaria To Galilee To Jerusalem
After Jesus’ ministry in Samaria, we know from the Synoptic Gospels that he spent considerable time ministering in Galilee, though John only records the healing of the royal official’s son. Now John takes us back to Jerusalem, to a remarkable healing at the Pool of Bethesda.
“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.”
We’re not told what feast Jesus had come to Jerusalem for, so it’s probably not too important, except to clarify that this was an historical event.
Hellenistic And Roman Temples
In the 1st century BC, natural caves to the east of the two pools were turned into small baths, as part of an asclepieion however, the Mishnah implies that at least one of these new pools was sacred to Fortuna, the goddess of fortune, rather than Asclepius, the god of healing. Scholars think it likely that this development was founded by the Roman garrison of the nearby Antonia Fortress, who would also have been able to protect it from attack. Also, the asclepieion’s location outside the then city walls would have made its presence tolerable to the Jews, who might otherwise have objected to a non-Jewish religious presence in their holy city.
In the mid 1st century AD, Herod Agrippa expanded the city walls, bringing the asclepieion into the city. When Hadrian rebuilt Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina, he placed a roadway along the dam, and expanded the asclepieion into a large temple to Asclepius and Serapis.
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C Jesus Explains His Relationship To The Father
1. The Son does as the Father does.
Then Jesus answered and said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
a. Then Jesus answered and said to them: In this extended discussion Jesus explained to the religious leaders some of the nature of His relationship and work with God the Father. Because of this, we have a lot of information of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son.
i. Leon Morris said of this section, The language Jesus uses throughout is thoroughly Rabbinic.
b. The Son can do nothing of Himself: Jesus explained that He, as God the Son, does nothing independently. He was and is fully submitted to the Fathers will. This submission comes by choice, not by coercion or by an inferior nature.
i. Relevant to the Sabbath controversy discussed in the previous verses, this was Jesus way of telling the religious leaders that He did not tell the healed man to carry his bed on His own authority He did it in complete submission to God the Father in heaven.
ii. It is not simply that He does not act in independence of the Father, He cannot act in independence of the Father.
i. The Father loves the Son .
2. The works of the Father, the works of the Son.
3. From death to life in the Son of God.
What Lessons Can We Learn From The Paralytic At Bethesda
Excuses, excuseswork around them.
Jesus brushes off the excuses of the lame man in John 5: 7-9. Its written, The sick man answered Him, Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up but while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus doesnt put much stock in the lame mans excuse for not more actively seeking healing for 38 years. Jesus tells the lame man to get up, walk, and carry his bed and the lame man does. Action replaces thoughts and words of self-pity, which have a hold on the lame mans reality for far too long.
We wait too long to ask for healing.
As illustrated in John 5: Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, Do you want to be made well? .
I wonder how long this lame man was waiting for an opportunity to be healed at the Pool of Bethesda. Was he at the Pool of Bethesda for many years of his illness? Jesus heals him in an instant.
Jesus asks the lame man if he wants to be healed for a reason. Maybe the lame man was not committed to, did not believe in, his own healing. Matthews Gospel says Ask and it will be given to you seek and you will find knock and the door will be opened to you . Seize the moment! Ask God for your hearts desire.
We can work around conventional methods.
Its not easy to live with illness and hope for healing.
We have to do our part to maintain good health.
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The Bethesda Pool Of Mercy
The Pool of Bethesda was located on the eastern side of the city near the Fortress of Antonia. The name Bethesda means “house of mercy.”The water source was a nearby spring. The Pool had five porches and according to the Bible there was a tradition that an angel moved the waters at certain times and healed the sick. It was here at the Pool of Bethesda that Jesus healed the man who was lame for thirty-eight years. Recent archaeological discoveries have again confirmed the Biblical account, that there were five porches and the fifth one divided the rectangular pool into two separate compartments. Josephus wrote about the Pool of the Sheep-market.
Archaeological remains of Herod’s Jerusalem are scarce. The Romans did a thorough work of destroying everything. We know about Herod and his buildings through the writings of Josephus, Strabo, Dio Cassius, Jewish Literature, archaeology and the Bible. The Roman Legions of Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. They spared only Herod’s powerful tower fortress as a symbol of the strength of the Romans who were able to overpower it.
John 5:2 – Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
Psalms 123:2 – Behold, as the eyes of servants unto the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress so our eyes upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
The Untold Story Of The Pool Of Bethesda Jesus Heals The Man At The Pool Of Bethesda
The Pool of Bethesda is a Pool of Water in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem on the Path of the Beth Zeta Valley. It is also Known as the Healing the Paralytic at Bethesda from the Fifth Chapter of Gospel of John. The Gospel describes a Pool in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate Surrounded by the Five Covered Colonades. In the 19th Century, it was Discovered by the archaeologist.
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What Was The Spiritual Meaning Of The Pool
As noted above, water was an important part of early medicine and also important to Jewish law, which put a lot of emphasis on being clean versus unclean. Deuteronomy, Numbers, and Leviticus include various instructions about cleaning oneself to get rid of diseases, removing defilement after touching a dead carcass, or for women cleaning themselves after a menstrual cycle. Therefore, even before baptism made water a symbol of rebirth, it was associated with healing and being closer to God.
In this particular story, the pool of Bethesda is notable because it provided an avenue for healing, yet its hard to tell if the man was taking advantage of it. He is described as being an invalid for 38 years, and when Jesus learned this, he asked the man if he wanted to get well. The man replied that he had no one to get him to the pool and someone else got in first. Granting the fact that were not sure how much the man could move , its hard to imagine he couldnt have found someone to help him reach the pool early. In light of that, its possible that the man had adopted a defeatist mindset. In that context, the pool of Bethesda can be seen as an opportunity for healing that isnt taken. Sometimes the problem is that God has provided the opportunity we need, but we arent fully aware of it or sure about taking advantage of it. It can be more tempting to accept our situation as it is, missing out on what Gods providing.
Learning Activities And Crafts:
- Use the public library or borrow a book that has good pictures of Jerusalem during the early first century. Some are very good for showing the children the layout of the walls and the temple.
- How about planning a class trip to hot pools?
- Let children have races without using their legs
- Tell a story about a time you were sad/went through something hard and God helped you through it. After you have shared give students the opportunity to share personal experiences that were hard for them and God helped them with.
- Send cards to encourage someone who is sad or needs hope.
- Find the Sheep Gate and the Pool of Bethesda on a map of Jerusalem.
- Use Alka-Seltzer tablets to make a pan of water bubble as you tell the story.
- Make mats by weaving either paper or reeds or flax.
Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
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Life And Judgment Are Through The Son
24 Most assuredly, I say to you,he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment,but has passed from death into life.25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, whenthe dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.26 Foras the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to havelife in Himself,27 andhas given Him authority to execute judgment also,because He is the Son of Man.28 Do not marvel at this for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves willhear His voice29 and come forththose who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge and My judgment is righteous, becauseI do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
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The story of the man at the pool of Bethesda was recorded in John 5:1-15 which told of how there was a feast of the Jews in Jerusalem and Jesus went for it. There was a pool at the sheep market called Bethesda having five porches. This pool is very popular because there is usually a divine healing that normally takes place at some certain seasons after an angel has stirred up the water and this has attracted a lot of sick people to it. There was a lame man who had been there for thirty-eight years and when Jesus saw him, He had compassion on the man. Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed but not knowing who asked him the question, he began to narrate to Jesus how he had nobody to carry him into the pool when the angel stirred the pool and before he would get to the pool, another person had stepped in. After explaining to Jesus, Jesus told him to carry his bed and walk and immediately the man was made whole, and this healing of the man was done on a Sabbath day.
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What Was The Meaning Of Bethesda In John 5
Do you want to be healed?John 5:6b
How long do we live with trouble before were on our knees, asking God for healing of any sortphysical, emotional, or spiritual? Jesus walked over to a man who couldnt walk and healed him on one of the porches of the Pool of Bethesda. There was a crowd of people at the Pool of Bethesda, but this lame man was the only person healed by Jesus that day, according to the Gospel of John. Maybe this mans healing was an example. Maybe more people were healed that day by their own faith in God. The Gospel of John doesnt tell us what happened next.
Perhaps many of us who need healing sit at the side of the pool, but dont jump in. We remain high and dry to the side of the healing waters of our spiritual journey. We come up with reasons for not seeking healing with our whole hearts. The healed, lame man in this story told his arsenal of excuses to Jesus. The miracle of this story is that even though the lame man thought and behaved in a typical, self-defeating way, Jesus noticed him and healed him.
Jesus Heals The Man At The Pool Of Bethesda John Gospel Chapter : 1
After this, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 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.
And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath.
The Jews, therefore, said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
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The Invalid’s Character And The Grace Of God
From John’s brief account, we begin to get some hints about the invalid’s character. Though we’ll look deeper at some of these in a moment, it’s helpful to list them in one place.
Why did Jesus choose to heal this man of all those gathered at the Pool of Bethesda that day? I can only conclude that it was the Father’s clear direction and utter grace! Clearly, this man didn’t deserve what he received — nor did he seem to appreciate it at any depth.