The Life and Teachings
of Jesus
A Restatement of the Gospels

X. The Second Passover Visit to Jerusalem

38. Sabbath at the Pool of Bethesda

        1There was a feast of the Jews,a and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, which has five porches. 3In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, and paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.b 5One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
        6When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”
        7The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going in, another steps down before me.”
        8Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
        9And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. 15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16And this is why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did this on the Sabbath.
        24Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes has eternal life;c he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
        (Jn. 5:1–3, 5–9, 15–16, 24)

a   “a feast of the Jews,”—This refers to the Jewish feast of the Passover, which took place each year in April. This is the second recorded Passover following Jesus' baptism, so it probably occurred in April, AD 28, and Jesus would have been 33 years old. (See Ch. 25, fn.a.)

b   “waiting for the moving of the water.”—The pool of Bethesda was a hot spring which would bubble up at irregular intervals. It was believed that the first person to enter the pool after one of these periodic disturbances would be healed. (Oxford Bible, p. 1292)

c   “he who hears my word and believes has eternal life;"—He who hears Jesus' gospel of the kingdom and believes the good news that he is a child of God receives the gift of eternal life.

Jn. 5:1   There / After this there (RSV)
Jn. 5:2   five porches. (KJV) / five porticos. (RSV)
Jn. 5:3   paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. (RSV alternate insert; Oxford Bible, p. 1292) / paralyzed. (RSV)
Jn. 5:8   your bed and (KJV) / your pallet and (RSV)
Jn. 5:9   his bed and (KJV) / his pallet and (RSV)
Jn. 5:24  believes has / believes him who sent me has (RSV)   (147:3/1649–50)