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BACKGROUND FOR THIS EPISODE
(In Order of Appearance)
NEW TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Matthew 15:1-3, 12-14 – Then some teachers of the law and some Pharisees from Jerusalem came to Jesus. They asked, 2“Why are your followers breaking the old rules of the elders!? When your followers eat, they do not wash their hands!”…12Then Jesus’ followers came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were insulted when they heard this teaching!?” 13Jesus answered, “Every plant which was not planted by my heavenly Father will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them alone! They are blind guides. If a blind man guides another blind man, both of them will fall into a pit.” 3Jesus answered them, “Why do you break God’s command for the sake of your old rules!?
- John 5:2-9 – Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool that is called Bethzatha in the Aramaic language. It has five porches. 3A crowd of people used to lie around among the porches. Some of them were sick, blind, lame, or crippled. 4 a 5One man had been there for 38 years with his sickness. 6When Jesus saw this man lying there, he knew that the man had been there a long time. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be well?” 7The sick man answered Jesus, “Mister, I don’t have anyone to put me into the pool when the water stirs. While I am going, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your small bed and walk!” 9Instantly, the man got well. He picked up his bed and began walking around. (This happened on a sabbath day.)
- The remains of pillars here reflect the “porches” of John 5:2. Archaeologists Pere L. H. Vincent and N. van der Vliet agree that this area north of the second wall called Bethzatha is the Pool of Bethesda.
- Hebrews 1:5 – Long ago, God used the prophets to speak to our ancestors many times and in many ways. 2But, during these last times, God used His Son to speak to us. God appointed him to inherit everything. Through him, God also made the universe. 3The Son is the shining brightness of God’s glory and the exact picture of God’s real being. The Son holds up the universe by his powerful word. After he had provided a cleansing from sin, he sat down at God’sa right side in heaven. 4Jesus has received a title—Son. This is better than any of the angels. He is so much more important than angels. 5God never said this to an angel: “You are My Son.I have fathered you today.” (Psalms 2:7) and again, “I will be his Father, and he will be My Son.” (2 Samuel 7:14)
- Hebrews 2:5 – God did not put the future world (which we are talking about) under the angels.
- John 5:9a – Instantly, the man got well.
- John 5:12 – They asked him, “Who is the man who told you to pick up your bed and walk?”
OLD TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Exodus 20:8-11 – Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.h 9Labor for six days; do all of your work then. 10But the seventh day is the sabbath to Yahweh, your God. You must not do any work on that day—you, or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your animal, or your visitor who is within your gates.i 11Why? In six days Yahweh made the sky, the earth, the ocean, and everything that is in them, but He stopped creating on the seventh day. Therefore, Yahweh blessed the sabbath day and made it sacred.
THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA:
JERUSALEM: THE NATURAL SPRINGS. ….called Ain Sitti Miriam….Gihon….The approach to the spring is down two flights of steps, an upper of 16 leading to a small level platform, covered by a kodern arch, and a lower, narrower flight of 14 steps, which ends at the mount of a small cave…This spring is intermittent, the water rising rapidly and gushing forth with considerable force several times in the 24 hours….This intermittent condition of springs is not uncommon in Palestine….Such a phenomenon is naturally attributed to supernatural agency by the ignorant – in this case, among the modern fellahin to a dragon – and natives…visit the source, even today…for healing. The remains of pillars here reflect the “porches” of John 5:2. Archaeologists Pere L. H. Vincent and N. van der Vliet agree that this area north of the second wall called Bethzatha is the Pool of Bethesda.
RABBI SOLOMON GANZFRIED:
Code of Jewish Law, Vol. II, pg. 130-134 – One who is slightly ill and is able to walk about as if he were in good health is forbidden to take any treatment, even if there is no work involved in it. He should neither rub himself with oil, nor let another one do it, be he even a non-Jew….One who has injured his hand or his foot may apply wine to stop the bleeding, but not vinegar, because vinegar…is akin to medicine.