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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bethesda-House of Mercy

We read in, John 5:1-15

The Healing at the Pool

1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.
3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie - the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that He had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,
10 and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had made him well.


Bethesda in Aramaic, or in Hebrew ביתחסדה  Bethchasdah, means literally,  the house of mercy’ or ‘grace’, or ‘goodness.’ It got this name probably from the cures which God mercifully performed there.

This place is an emblem of the means of Grace, the ministry of the Word, and Ordinances: the house of God, where the Gospel is preached, may be called a Bethesda, an house of mercy; since here the free, sovereign, rich, and abundant Grace and Mercy of God, through Christ, is proclaimed, as the ground and foundation of a sinner’s hope: the Mercy of God.

This Bethesda being a pool, it is an emblem of the ordinance of baptism and it might be a symbol of the fountain of Christ’s Blood, opened for filthy sinners to come and wash, cleanse from all sin, and cure all diseases.  And this is opened in the House of Mercy, and by the ministry of the Gospel itself.  It is sometimes compared to waters, and a fountain of them Isaiah 4:1 Joel 3:18.

This pool was in Jerusalem and it was nearby the sheep-gate where Christ’s sheep are, which the Father has given him, and He has died for.

There were five porches leading to this place, and it has been thought by some that the law, as lying in the five books of Moses, may be intended by them; for under the law, men are like the people which lay in these porches, received no cure, relief, peace, joy, life, and salvation, by the law of works until they come to Christ find Grace and Mercy of God in the Blood of Christ.

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