John, Chapter 5

- ה ה ה -

A Paralytic Man Healed by Jesus at the Bethesda Pool Later Betrays Him

“1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] 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. [4] [b] 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 Jewish leaders 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 Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him” (John 5:1-16)

An angel of God reveals himself to Zechariah, a priest at the Temple in Jerusalem, during the sacrificial service. Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, is barren and the angel informs Zechariah that their journey of anticipation and disappointment has come to an end—they will soon bear a child who will make an enormous impact on the world and drive multitudes to repent. Elizabeth conceives after hearing this message. She is destined to give birth to John the Baptist, who will later become Jesus’ teacher. Zechariah and Elizabeth live in Ein Karem, a village close to Jerusalem. Mary, their relative, comes to visit them and the three celebrate her and Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancies, both of which are part of a divine plan. We must never lose hope or give up. Rather, we should always believe in what is possible and continuously strive to fulfill our purpose in this world. The angel brings divine abundance specifically to the place where the divine presence is felt. John will become Jesus’ teacher. Divine abundance comes through those guiding us throughout our lives.

Cleanliness is the result of avoiding evil stemming from both internal and external impulses.