A multitude (NAS), or a large number (NIV), of sick would lay around the pool called Bethesda — waiting. Apparently, when the angel of the Lord stirred up the water, the first one in was healed…
Recently, a news article reported that archaeologists had identified the remains of this pool. Up until that time, the pool was thought to have been a biblical myth. The ‘experts’, cited in the article, explained the stirring of the waters as carbonation bubbling up from underground, and not an angel. The healings? — Superstition. Remember, these are the same folks who said John was wrong, the pool never existed.
I see two problems with their theory. First, why were a multitude of desperately ill people laying around for years if no one ever got healed? Instead of out begging for money, they were waiting for a miracle. Second, Jesus’ actions precisely mimic the angel legend. Consider: He arrives unannounced; just like the stirring, and the first person He goes to is instantly healed; just like the first one into the pool. Here, however, Jesus personally goes over to the one who had waited the longest, but couldn’t get in. The only requirement was for him to obey Jesus and get up. This account is a startling demonstration of God’s extravagant grace in Christ.
I wonder how our lives would be transformed, if we simply obeyed God’s commands in the Bible.
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Dr. Rob Oberto is the award-winning author of “Intimacy With God: Extraordinary miracles that opened a skeptic’s heart to God” available from Amazon.
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