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The House Of Mercy

The Hebrew word pronounced bayth means house. Numerous Bible Places have "Beth" (as it's rendered in English) in their name e.g. Bethany (house of dates), Bethel (house of God), Bethesda (house of grace) along with many others, including perhaps the most famous, Bethlehem (house of bread).

Bethesda, meaning house of mercy, was a pool or reservoir in Jerusalem that became a very popular place of healing.

"5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem [see also Why Was The Messiah A Jew?].

5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 5:4 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." (John 5:1-4 KJV)

"Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk"

Water itself cannot miraculously heal. In most cases, it was used only as a public statement of faith in God (Baptism is the prime example of that; see also Why Through The Sea?) - from which the Holy Spirit of God healed (if healing has an immediate Godly purpose in a particular individual's physical life, rather than having "nature take its course" to the time when one's new life would begin; see Living Waters and Resurrections). Such was the case at Bethesda.

One day, The Messiah found a man who had come to the waters to be healed. As He often did, the Christ asked the question of faith:

The Holy Scriptures

"5:5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

5:6 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 5:5-6 KJV)

The answer, from which in turn came the Christ's answer of mercy, was based upon the man's faith in God. The physical water was unnecessary. The instantly-healed man then stood up and carried his bed, the likes of which had carried him for 38 years.

"5:7 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.

5:8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." (John 5:7-8 KJV)

But what did the religious authorities do when they saw the miracle? They criticized the healed man for carrying something on the Sabbath (see Sabbath Healings).

"5:9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

5:10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

5:11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.

5:12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?

5:13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.

5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 5:15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole." (John 5:9-15 KJV)

Fact Finder: What and where was the "Mercy Seat"?
See Christ's Mercy Seat

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