JESUS HEALING AT THE POOL OF
our previous text Jesus was at
healed a boy in
In our text today He goes back to
a man at the Pool of
Jesus returns to
V. 1, "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and
Jesus went up to
reason Jesus earlier left
because of the great opposition from the Jewish leaders in
right back to
However, John also tells us the reason that Jesus went
certainly again draw bitter opposition. He went there
because it was again time to observe one of the Jewish
There was a total of seven annual Jewish feasts. During
three of those feasts the men of
Jerusalem to observe the Passover, which was one of the
three feasts which the men were required to attend. We are
not told whether of not this feast was another observance of
the Passover or some other feast. Jesus felt duty calling
and He went to
Jesus at the Pool of
V. 2, "Now there is at
pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue
five porches." You will notice that the word, market, is in
italics, which means that it was not in the original
writing. It was supplied by the translators hoping that
this would make the meaning of the verse a little clearer.
It is generally thought by Bible students that it would been
better if they had supplied the word "gate" instead of
"market." There was no place in
exclusively as a sheep market. There was, however, a
particular gate through which the sheep were brought which
were to be sacrificed at the altar. There was a pool just
inside that gate where the sheep would be watered.
pool near the sheep gate was called "
which means house of mercy. One of the reasons that it was
called "The House of Mercy" is because there was a building
there which contained five porches in which sick people
gathered and waited to be cured of their diseases.
A porch was not a house in the sense of having four
walls. But it did have a roof over it and it may have had
one or more walls, but would not be completely enclosed.
There were five such porches around this pool.
V. 3-4, "In these lay a great multitude of impotent
folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of
the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into
the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after
the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of
whatsoever disease he had."
This pool was apparently fed by a mineral spring and was
said to have certain healing powers for various diseases.
John said that at a certain season an angel would come down
and trouble the waters of the pool. I am not certain just
what the angel would do. It seems that he would either
cause the waters to stir rather noticeably or, perhaps, he
would cause gasses to bubble up through the waters. At any
rate, the people had some who become aware that whoever was
in the water immediately after the stirring of the water
would get well of whatever disease he had.
You will note that there is nothing said about the angel
himself working a miracle and curing the people, but rather
that the sick would get well. It seems that there was no
instant healing, but rather that there was some kind of
natural healing which would result from the waters of the
I do not suppose this to be the same thing which we have
can think of to compare it with so as to illustrate what was
taking place at that pool.
But as the season would approach when the waters of the
pool would be troubled, the five porches which were built
there would begin to fill up with sick people. They would
all hope to be able to get into the water in time to be
I used to understand this text to say that only the one
person who would get into the pool first would be healed. I
no longer understand that to be correct. I now think it
means that anyone who would get into the water quickly
enough would be able to stay in the water long enough for
the healing properties of the water to take effect. It
would follow then that those who could not get in quickly
would not be in the water long enough for healing properties
of the water to do any good.
III. A man who had an illness for 38 years
V. 5, "And a certain man was there, which had an
infirmity thirty and eight years." John does not tell us
just what the man's illness was. He does tell us that he
had been ill for thirty-eight years. Whatever he had was
slow acting. If it had not been, it would have killed him a
long time ago.
Whatever it was, it had cut him out of the joys of life.
He had spent 38 years in affliction. He was no longer able
to participate in the usual activities of life. It had
crippled him up and handicapped him greatly. What is more,
it was getting worse all the time.
Also, whatever the disease was, it would apparently
never get well all on its own. Some diseases run their
course after a certain period of time and the patient
recovers. That was not the case with this disease.
Whatever it was, it would eventually kill him unless he
found a cure and the doctors, so far, had not been able to
help him. He was bound to be getting pretty close to death
at this time. Time was running out.
IV. The question Jesus asked
V. 6, "When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been
now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou
be made whole?" John says that Jesus took special note of
how long this man had been in that condition. I cannot help
but wonder if he had not been afflicted longer than anybody
else at the pool at that time. I personally think that this
was one of the reasons Jesus chose to heal his particular
man. Jesus had mercy on him because he had been afflicted
longer than anybody else at the pool. Or, perhaps that was
not the reason. Perhaps it was something Jesus saw in this
man's heart rather than what He saw in his man's physical
At any rate, note the question that Jesus asked him.
Jesus asked, "Wilt thou be made whole?" That is, "Would you
like to be make whole?" Or, "Say, mister, how would you
like to be made whole?"
The answer one might expect would be: "Would I! Oh,
how much I would like to be made whole! I would give
anything if I could just get well again!" I think you could
have asked the same question to anybody in those five
porches and the answer would be, "I would like to be made
whole." That would have been especially true with this man.
He had been sick for thirty-eight years.
However, note what he actually said to Jesus. V. 7,
"The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the
water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am
coming, another steppeth down before me." In essence what
the man said was, "I have tried to be made whole. I have
been to I the doctors. I have come to this pool for many
years. I have tried for thirty-eight years to be made
I think that the reason that he answered Jesus as he did
was that he was trying to get on the sympathy of Jesus or
somebody. He was hoping that he would be able to prevail
upon Jesus of somebody to stay with him and be ready to help
him get into the waters the moment they are troubled.
He did, indeed, get sympathy from Jesus and Jesus would
help him, but not in the way that he was hoping. He could
not have possibly imagined that Jesus would do what He did.
V. Jesus with a cure
V. 8, "Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and
walk." I can almost imagine that man saying, "Say that
again! I must not have heard you right. It sounded to me
like you said for me to get up and walk. It sounded like
you said for me to take up my bed and walk. You couldn't
have really said that, could you?"
Of course, that man did not answer in that way, but it
must have sounded too good to be true. He could never have
dreamed that such a thing would happen.
V. 9, "And immediately the man was made whole, and took
up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the
sabbath." John said that immediately that man got up and
immediately he picked up his bed and immediately he walked."
It had been a long time since he had walked without
difficulty. But now he walked without any difficulty at
all. He was completely well. He not only walked, but he
walked with a spring in his step. You could see happiness
and joy on his face and spring in his step.
VI. The question for us today
But now I want to take that same question which Jesus
asked that man and direct it to you with just a little
different slant. You see, you have been living in a body
that is afflicted. Not that you have the same physical
affliction which that man had. You don't. But you have a
spiritual affliction. From the time that you were born into
this world you have had a bad spiritual affliction. The
affliction that you were born with was sin. You were born
with the affliction of sin.
It was an affliction that was as certain to send you to
the grave as the physical affliction that man had would send
him to the grave. We have all sinned and the Scripture says
that the wages of sin is death. Sin would send us all to
But worse than that, the affliction we had would send us
into the very pits of hell. It would shut us out of heaven.
Sin is a terrible terrible affliction.
What makes it so terribly bad is that there is no cure.
You can try all the good remedies you can find and you will
not be able to whip this disease. There is no one to help.
I cannot help you. I could not even help myself.
The only help is Jesus. The only cure is Jesus. God
sent His only begotten Son into the world that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting
life, and He is the only one who can save.
Yet today through the preaching of the gospel Jesus is
asking everybody that question: "Would you like to be made
whole? Would you like to have all your sins forgiven? Do
you want to stay out of hell? Do you want to go to heaven?
Do you want to be saved?"
If you do, then let me tell you what the Bible says for
you to do. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, "Come unto me all
ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you
rest." In Romans 10:13 the Apostle Paul said, "For
whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be
saved." In Acts 16:31 Paul and Silas said, "Believe on the
Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved..."
Are you ready to come to Jesus and place your faith in
Him? You can come to Him today if you want to. You can
come to Him now if you want to. Will you come to Jesus and
ask Jesus to save your soul?