Healing during the Passover
Let me try and set up the narrative here. Feast of the Jews aka Passover [Deut. 16:16; Jhn 2:13] JESUS is coming into Jerusalem; I do not know if this particular route HE has chosen to take was not the normal route that HE and HIS boys took. Nonetheless, JESUS has to pass by a gate. Now, this gate was no ordinary gate, and it is known as the Sheep Gate. This is a verse of scripture we all gloss over thinking that it does not have any type of meaning for us personally. And this just may be true but I was always taught that if The FATHER [GOD] took the time to put it in HIS Word, then there is some importance to it.
So, why not take a pause and disclose what is the big deal about this Sheep Gate? We first hear about the sheep-gate in the book of Nehemiah. It is located in the eastern wall of the city, the gate served as the starting point for the rebuilding of the walls and gates of Jerusalem and the Temple. Eliashib the high priest along with his fellow brethren priest built this gate, consecrated it, and hung its doors. The sheep-gate was consecrated to the LORD GOD. At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, they sent for the Levites [priests] wherever they lived and brought them to Jerusalem to celebrate the joyous dedication with thanksgiving and singing accompanied by cymbals, harps, and lyres.
Okay, so we see at one time the sheep-gate was a big deal, and if for any reason that it may have been forgotten by the people, it was not forgotten by JESUS. After all, the gate was consecrated to HIM. By this gate was a pool and its name is Bethesda translation House of Grace, House of Mercy. This pool received its water from a nearby spring or reservoir. But let us go back to the fact that the pool is named House of Grace, House of Mercy; JESUS is Grace, John 1:14, 16-17. JESUS is Mercy, Psalms 103:8. This pool has five porches, now the porches that are depicted here are not what we know or call a porch. What is described here is either a vestibule supported by columns at the entrance of a temple. Or it could be a portico, a covered walk. I am not that sure seeing that the pictures I have studied from the Jerusalem Museum have not been all that helpful to me. However, what I am clear about is that porch in ancient Jerusalem is not what we call a porch today.
In these five porches laid a great multitude of sick people, some were blind, lame, and paralyzed and they all were waiting for what they called the moving of the water. What caused the body of water to move, was, an angel. Now, to me I can see that for a body of water not to move means that it is stagnant it is just motionless. But what if we processed this thought outside of the box and believed that this great multitude of people was waiting for a special movement of the water because it was only during this special time that a miracle was performed. So, the multitude of people within these five porches was waiting for their miracle in the house of grace and the house of mercy. Imagine this, if you were not the very first person to get yourself or have help to put you into a particular location where a miracle was being performed. There was a great multitude of people there so I am positive that some of these dear people have been waiting a very long time. After all the scriptures tell us that the people were blind, lame, and paralyzed.
This means that you must be either sitting or laying or have someone helping you with your being close to the water to see this particular stirring and to get in and receive your miracle. Can’t you just hear the voice of those that miss receiving their miracle only by mere seconds? Tomorrow Joe I am going to be the first one to get into that pool. Marvin let us sit nearer the pool so that when we see the water being stirred you can push me on in. This is okay for the lame and paralyzed but what about those who were blind? I cannot see when the stirring of the water is happening or the angel when he enters the pool to stir the water. I am just guessing that conversations such as that were going on. Whatever disease [dis.ease] you may have had would be gone because you would have been made well miraculously.
So, what was so different about this one man who had an infirmity [An unsound or unhealthy state of the body; weakness; feebleness. Weakness of mind; any particular disease; defect; or imperfection] for thirty-eight years. Oh, and by the way, nowhere does the scripture inform us that the man was there for thirty-eight years as is so often said from the pulpit. I can only speculate that this man from his heart spoke to the FATHER and the FATHER took pity on him. JESUS did nothing of HIMself, HE spoke and did as The FATHER instructed HIM. JESUS has HIS reasons for not going in the same direction all the time. I do not know if the man had ever heard about JESUS but one thing is for sure the man had never seen JESUS before because if he had, he would have recognized him or how he was being spoken to.
JESUS did not go looking for the man JESUS had already seen where the guy was laying, JESUS was already aware of this man’s condition and that he had been this way for three decades and eight years. JESUS asked the guy only one question and this burns my grits because people will answer you but they will never answer the question that has been asked of them. JESUS asked the man, “Do you want to be made well”? Simple question, it was very direct meaning that the question required a direct response. Either Yes or No. But no, this man did what so many people today do, he made an excuse. Well you see sir, it’s like this I do not have anyone to help me, I try to get to the pool but I am too slow, I do not have anyone with me to help me, none of the people here are willing to assist me. Whatever! JESUS did not ask for all of that JESUS asked, “Do you want to be made well”! That’s it and that’s all. You are to reply with either a Yes or a No. I hate excuses because almost every excuse is a lie. When I ask a person a question and get excuses my eyes begin to roll and I am certain that if it were possible there would be a large question mark in the middle of my face. Those excuses never answer the question, stop trying to overthink what you think someone may be asking and answer the question that has been given to you. I am so glad I am not JESUS because I would have rolled right on up outta there.
JESUS is the house of grace and mercy because JESUS simply said to the man “Rise/Get Up, take your bed and walk. Beds in those days were mats. But notice this immediately not later but immediately the man was mad well, he did just as JESUS instructed him to do and that was he took up his bed and walked.
Come back for the next exciting part of this story.
Scripture Research: Neh. 3:1, 32, 12:29; John 9:14
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