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)

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