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Lesson # John 5:1-5
Study Material - John 5:1-5
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
1 After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. 3 In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, (waiting for the moving of the waters; 4 for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.) 5 And a certain man was there, who had been thirty-eight years in his sickness.
This chapter opens up on the occasion of the second Passover in Jesus' ministry. This places us 1 1/2 year into His ministry. The first part rendering confusion for followers, as to just whom one was to follow (John the Baptist). The second portion of that initial time frame rendered awe - things that have never been seen before in Israel (by this generation). They had forgotten about the stories of Moses, Elijah and so forth. And then there was the growing opposition against Christ. The problem is, just how does one stand up against the miracles? The answer is of course, use the law against that which is in opposition to the status quo.
The feast is not mentioned with great importance in that it is merely a time marker for Jesus' ministry. Jesus is known throughout all the land. His miracles are common discussion in the streets, yet here is a pool of water where so many who procrastinate, where so many who lean on the supernatural, where so many wish and keep wishing for something good to happen in their lives. And they direct their wishes and energies toward a pool of water that has nothing more than a folk tale attached to it.
At the sheep gate. A place where sheep generally enter into the city for the market place. A place where sheep enter on their way to their own slaughter. So here is the pool named Bethesda, or 'House of Mercy.' Mercy is grace, in action by the way. Grace is the policy of God. Gods policy for the human race wherein the combination of His righteousness and justice come together at the Cross forming His Holiness, and then combined with His love form a policy of grace. The administration or the provisions of that grace is often referred to as mercy. The actions that God takes for the benefit and blessing of mankind. God is patient. God is merciful.
Here the pool is surrounded by five porches. Porches are covered resting areas. A place for the weary to go and be taken care of, to rest, to be comforted.
What is wrong with this picture? No doctrine. The story surrounding this pool is enigmatic at best. Puzzling in that people will hold on to something that is not real. Ambiguous in that a certain angel (unidentified) will come to stir the waters (what does the stirring have to do with anything). At a time unspecified (a certain season). No one knows when. No one has ever seen it, but it is said that it does happen. So it must be true! Perplexing? How did the story get started? When did it begin? Why is it limited to only the first person who gets into the water. No one knows, but it is there all the same. Everyone speaks of it. It is common knowledge. So it must be true. When Bile doctrine is absent in the lives of people, then stories, beliefs, imaginations take on their own reality. And as these realities (false realities) come to life then they evolve into many things, many things that people want to believe, but are not true. Thus the trap of life is set.
So, this certain pool of youth and healing is there, and many believe in it, though they have no direct evidence or documented truth concerning its powers, but they believe in them anyway. Jesus has been in His ministry for well over a year now and there is still a large group waiting beside the waters, waiting for them to stir. No one wishes to leave even for an instant. They might miss the moment of their wish.
And this Bethesda concept continues down through the ages. We all have our Bethesda pools. We wish, we wait, we hope, and the years roll by. This man wished for 38 years. Longer than the average life span of that day. He was trapped by his own wishing. Anyone who has a need of any kind in life (that applies to all of us) has been tempted by wishes. In so being tempted we bear the risk of being trapped for all our life span with these wishes or hopes, or unfounded expectations.
How many take on gambling to win the big one, and then risk more and more until they have lost everything, never having seen the reality of their big jack pot, but always looking at the hope of it. How many take on drinking or drugs or even heavy social life just to escape their problems, or to somehow meet that right contact. The person who will vault you into the big time, into instant success. I think some call it, being discovered.
The hours of hope creep by. Then the days. These turn into months and then years. Soon we are looking at our gray years and we still have our 'new and never been tried plan', which is just the same old plan we have been chasing for decades, but we cling to it.
When all along right beside us, probably on the living room coffee table, is that Bible, just collecting dust. It, sitting there silent and waiting for us to wake up. How many of us have our afflictions? How many of us have our 'big plan' for life?
We spend our lives making plans, then real life comes along and everything changes. What about all our plans, our dreams. We were going to sail off into the sunset, live on the hill with the white picket fence, have a dozen kids, drive a nice car. Life was to be perfect. Then there is the accident, the disaster, the economic downturn, something that we did not count on. So our plans get improved. The hopes and dreams remain, but the means of acquiring them is elusive.
Many folks dream dreams with no possibility of their ever becoming a reality. Some dream dreams and make reasonable plans to attain them, but still life gets in the way. Very few, put it into Gods hands, advance spiritually to maturity, and let God make their dreams come true, therein they live their dreams. In fact they live beyond their dreams because God has promised us all that we will receive beyond our imaginations.
We can continue our pursuit within the framework of this world, real or imagined, and never get anything out of life, or we can turn out energies toward the one who can do what He says He will do and in so doing we will receive more than we can possibly imagine. All we have to do is choose our course through life.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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