John 5.1-15

Later on Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now at the Sheep Pool in Jerusalem there is a place with five colonnades. Its name in the language of the Jews is Bethesda. In these colonnades there lay a crowd of sick people, blind, lame, and paralysed.

Among them was a man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and was aware he had been ill a very long time, he asked him, “Do you want to recover?”

“Sir, he replied, “I have no one to put me in the pool when the water is disturbed, but while I am moving, someone else is in the pool before me.”

Jesus answered, “Rise to your feet; take up your bed and walk.”

The man recovered instantly, took up his bed and began to walk.

That day was a Sabbath. So the Judeans said to the man who had been cured, “It is the Sabbath. You are not allowed to carry your bed on the Sabbath.”

He answered, “The man who cured me said, ‘Take up your bed and walk.'”

They asked him, “Who is the man who told you to take up your bed and walk?”

But the cripple who had been cured did not know; for the place was crowded and Jesus had slipped away. A little later Jesus found him in the Temple and said to him, “Now that you are well again, leave your sinful ways, or you may suffer something worse.” The man went away and told the Judeans that it was Jesus who had cured him.

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4 responses

  1. I'd like to invite all readers of this blog to read and comment on my blog-thanks forrest for the suggestionstillwatersrefuge.blogspot.com

  2. Glad we’re back. In my count, John 5 contains the third healing, following on a message that there is a change in the nature of faith (for all), from old to new covenants perhaps. The healing at the Sheep Gate has a lot of symbolism in the event (a feast), in the location (Bethesda = bliss), a gate (openness, receptivity), an invalid who cannot walk (with the Divine) waiting patiently but lacking strength to enter the turbulent waters (waters usually mean some aspect of truths), and healing different from that which waits on the colonnades (senses) to that which comes from the Spirit or ideas. It occurs on the Sabbath (rest, but one of wholeness), which appears not to be just a legal conscript but also a coming together of ideas and actions, or true atonement-union. There isn’t a lot of hesitation here on Jesus’ part, in that he doesn’t ask for anything before he bestows the healing. If this is about the open, receptive mind accepting Spiritual healing or purification, to become whole, through a more awakened perception of truth, it would change the covenant from that of legalities to one of Christ’s grace (fitting with John 1.9). Turbulent, stirred-up waters (something I love to consider) allows for spiritual growth (good fishing in an eddy), but the calmness of the pool and the symbolism of the Bethesda as house of healing and loving-kindness, seems to emphasize the clarity of truths perceived through Spirit. But the man never actually enters the pool. Is this the uniting of mental and spiritual consciousness to form the Christ consciousness?I’m just following the symbolism but it works for me.

  3. Forest, I'm really glad you're still perserving with the blog. My computer commitment for the past years has been almost all to my William Blake: Religion and Psychology. My wife has recently jointed me with that. We teach the bible class at Gainesville (FL) Friends Meeting every four first day; I wish you could be there with us. Thanks, Forrest for being so faithful.

  4. False praise will bring me back where shame hadn't yet moved me?I do have excuses. And sometimes I just don't find what I'm after in these passages; I've been pissed at the human beings who destroyed my wife's painting porch, where it really should be God I'd need to hold responsible… and that means that God must have needed to get my attention pretty badly (I think I've worked out why!) I still can't find much use for the people involved; and it's been hard to bring myself to religious work, while falling so short! But I've made a start, yet again.

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