|Chapter 1||The Great Gospel of John, Book 6|
Section: The Lord and the Priests of the Temple (John 5)
The healing of a sick man at the pool of Bethesda (Gospel of John 5:1-13)
1. But on this day I moved with My disciples to the area around Jerusalem, where we took our night's rest in an inn that was well-known to Me and the disciples. The innkeeper was overjoyed to see us and told us much about the current terrible business in Jerusalem, and had a very good evening meal prepared for us.
2. But I said to him: "Just come up to the Temple tomorrow and there you will see what I will do to the pharisees! Tomorrow they shall learn exactly and without reservation who they are dealing with in Me!"
3. Our innkeeper was very happy with this and again brought us more than enough bread and wine. He already heard much about Me, but even he did not yet know who I actually am, although My disciples gave him several hints, which he accepted well. Soon afterward we headed to bed.
4. On the morning of the Sabbath we went up to Jerusalem. (John 5:1) Why do I say 'up'? Because the great city, and above all the Temple, lay on quite an extended, rocky mountain crest, and the Temple with its wide porticoes, curtain walls and high gardens was located almost on the highest peak. It goes without saying that the innkeeper, whose house lay in a valley, accompanied us.
5. When we came into the vicinity of the Temple, we firstly had to pass the pool of Bethesda (Vedes da = he gives resurrection and healing), which was situated beside the Temple's sheep stable and was surrounded by five porticoes. (John 5:2) Many disabled people, such as the blind, the lame, the paralyzed and other invalids afflicted by all sorts of other illnesses always lay in these porticoes and waited for the moving of the waters. (John 5:3) According to a very old saga since the days of Melchisedek and according to the firm belief particularly of the poor people, an angel came down from heaven from time to time and stirred up the waters. However the people did not see the angel and concluded his presence only from the strange movement of the water.
6. The educated pharisees indeed did not believe in the descent of the angel themselves, but instead considered the pool only to be a special healing spring, just as the Greeks and Romans did; but they nonetheless knew how to keep the people true to the pious old belief, to their own advantage.
7. But whenever the waters moved – which was the case approximately one or two times a week – it truly had such an extraordinary power of healing that any person, whatever plague he was afflicted with, was healed, if he had the luck to be the first to go into the water. (John 5:4) It goes without saying that here also only the rich and wealthy invalids had this advantage, and that the poor, because they could not pay anything, often waited there in vain for many years until a somewhat more compassionate steward dipped such a poor person into the water first, at which he then also was healed.
8. The innkeeper accompanying us balked greatly at this and declared this practice to be a highly sordid and unjust affair. He also showed Me a very old, poor person, who had already been waiting there for a healing for thirty-eight years (John 5:5); but never had it occurred to any of the dirty stewards to allow him after so many years to finally step into the moving waters first.
9. Obviously this annoyed Me very much, and I said to the innkeeper: "Although today is a Sabbath, this man shall nonetheless be immediately helped!"
10. Since I already knew it Myself, and had also heard from the innkeeper what the man's situation was, I immediately stepped up to him and said: "Do you want to get well?" (John 5:6)
11. The invalid replied with a sad expression: "Good Lord! I have noone to put me into the pool first when the water is stirred up, and if I go by myself, another who is favored steps down into the water before me. (John 5:7) How can I possibly become well again?!"
12. At this I said: "So get up, take up your bed and go back to where you came from!" (John 5:8)
13. And immediately the paralyzed man became well, lifted up his small bed and, as was the custom, went to a priest as a healed person, and on a Sabbath at that, on which the waters, according to a long experience, almost never moved. (John 5:9) Thus it was immediately striking to the Jews that this man had become well on a Sabbath.
14. They (the Jews), however, would not have said too much about the healing; but since he was carrying his bed on a Sabbath, it already was a great transgression for them, and they said: "Today is the Sabbath, and it is not right to carry a bed!" (John 5:10)
15. But he (the healed man) answered them: "Listen! The man who made me well also said to me: Pick up your bed and walk! (John 5:11) But He who has such power and He who did such a good deed for me, I will obey him even on this Sabbath! For no-one has done such a good deed for me for a whole thirty eight years like that man! Why then should I not obey him even on a Sabbath?!"
16. Then the Jews asked him: "Who then is that man who said to you today on a Sabbath: Take up your bed and walk?!" (John 5:12)
17. But the healed man being asked did not know who I was and what name I went by. Nor could he point after Me with his finger, since I left the place quickly because of the many people who were gathered there. (John 5:13)
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