Jesus heals an invalid on the Sabbath
|1After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4For 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. 5And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6When 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? 7The 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. 8Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
Pool of Bethesda
Part of the area of the twin pools associated with the healing of the paralytic has been excavated in the yard of the Church of St. Anne. The pools can still be seen in the northwest and northeast corners of the excavation trench. A dam separating the two pools carried a street across to what may have been the “house of mercy” associated with healing. The columns of the Byzantine church may have been reused from the original colonnades mentioned in John 5:2. In A.D. 135 a pagan sanctuary was built over the area which, oddly enough, confirms the location: small offerings found in the area identify the pagan structure as a healing sanctuary. Christians in the middle of the fifth century A.D. built their church over the remains of this sanctuary.