Your Own Poolside Healing

In the Bible the Pool of Bethesda is described as having five porticoes—a puzzling feature suggesting an unusual five-sided pool, which most scholars dismissed as an unhistorical literary creation. Yet when this site was excavated, it revealed a rectangular pool 300 by 150 feet with two basins separated by a wall—thus a five-sided pool—and each side had a portico. (John 5:2-18)

As an aside the great Naval hospital in Maryland is named, Bethesda Hospital, which means “House of Mercy.”

So why a pool with two basins? The archaeological evidence shows that the southern basin had broad steps with landings, indicating that it was indeed a mikveh, a pool for ritual cleansing. The northern basin provided a reservoir, or otzer, to continually replenish and refresh the mikveh with fresh water flowing south through the dam between them. Jerusalem’s pilgrims would flock to the Bethesda Pool and Siloam Pool to purify themselves in these public mikva’ot and, at times, to seek healing.

Scripture indicates that Jesus performed most of His miracles and did most of His teaching around these mikveh.

About 50 years ago almost all of our health problems resulted from diseases, while today about 80% of them are related to our lifestyle choices.

Jesus asked the cripple at the pool an interesting question, “Do you want to be healed?” A lifestyle change can result in the healing of many of our problems. 

Do you want to be healed is another way of asking do you want a different set of problems? Well people also have problems. The cripple got healed but his new life resulted in a confrontation with Pharisees who were angry over him being healed on the Sabbath. Then he had to be concerned about a job and paying taxes.

Today those who may seem to be worry free have problems. He can deal with smaller needs as well as the bigger ones.

Tom Hansel used to love climbing mountains until his climbing accident.

He has lived with excruciating pain ever since. His church family prayed long and hard for his healing. He still lives in pain, but in one of his books entitled “You Gotta Keep Dancin’” he writes, “I had prayed hundreds, if not thousands of times for the Lord to heal me – and finally he did heal me. He healed me of the need to be healed, and gave me his peace inside the pain. Joy is mine today – joy mingled with still ever constant pain – joy in the gladness of being alive. Daily challenges often leave me less than the best, but then something new emerges to surprise me: Hope – deeper and more enduring than ever before. Faith – not enough to move mountains, but enough to get me through this moment and the next. And love.”

There are all sorts of healing. Do you want to be healed? How in your life does that question apply?