John 5 records Jesus’ miraculous healing of a man lame from birth at the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. He had been in this condition for 38 years. Such miracles show who Jesus is: He has power over disease. He has power over time; the fact that the man had been in that condition for 38 years did not in any way lessen Jesus’ power to heal. Jesus came to deliver and redeem man from sin. The Good News of the Gospel is that though one may have been in the bondage of sin for many years, Jesus has power to save.
It is possible to see the pools of Bethesda today in the NE section of the Old City in the Muslim Quarter (comprised of 76 acres). St. Anne’s church is located there, dating back to AD 1138. Jerome Murphy-O’Conner describes it as the “loveliest church in the city” (The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700).
In 2011 my group went inside St. Anne’s and sang spiritual songs, such as “Amazing Grace,” “Alleluia,” and many others. The acoustics are marvelous.
Click on photo for larger view.