Question about miracles in the bible?

I was told that In the bible there’s a story where God would at a certain time of year(?) send an angel to heal someone at a place called Bethesda(?) I think where apparently there were ill or disabled people around the water and the first one to reach the water or something got healed.
I know that God owes no one a healing (or anything) but this situation seems a bit mean to me to the other disabled people there.

Can anyone explain this story to me please,like is it literal or symbolic etc?

Thanks

The story is in the gospel of John chapter 5 verses 2-9

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic[a] called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

As far as I know, there is no other historical reference to such a pool, and in fact biblical scholars seem to think that this was a superstition. Whether God actually did heal the first person to enter the disturbed pool, or if people only believed that he did so, isn’t important to this story. The point actually took place after the healing.

Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. (emphasis is mine)

Actually, archaeologists did find the Pool of Bethesda. It’s near the Sheep Gate, it’s five-sided, and it has the remains of five porticoes around it, just like John said.

After the fall of Jerusalem, it was apparently converted into a hospice/shrine of Asklepios, the Greek god of healing, because it had pagan Asklepios decorations all over it. Eventually, the Emperor Hadrian built a Temple of Asklepios and Serapis (an Egyptian god) that had the pools at their heart.

There is some indication in the Greek text that St. John knew about the takeover of Bethesda by pagans, and that he was deliberately writing about Jesus’ deeds there to point out that it was a place of God, not some made-up Greek god.

There has recently been some analysis of the remains of the spring there, and basically it would have bubbled up periodically, creating a sort of whirling motion in the middle of the pool. (Which doesn’t mean that an angel wasn’t there, of course; it just means there was also a natural explanation.)

This is just my interpretation, but I think the story could be viewed through the lens of how the Jews believed you achieved salvation vs. how Jesus actually saved us.

I read that the pool of Bethesda could have been a place where the priests washed the lambs before they were sacrificed, so the pool is symbolic (even if it was real, it could have a symbolic meaning) of how the Jews believed that salvation came through being part of the Jewish people, and following all the laws of the old covenant, and offering sacrifices. It was very limiting. Just like the pool was limiting who was being healed.

Jesus came and opened salvation to everyone by offering the sacrifice of his body once and for all. People do not have to wait for the savior anymore!

It’s true that they believe they found this pool, but outside of the story in John’s gospel there’s no other mention of it from what I understand. Even if the pool did exist, there’s nothing to say that it actually healed anyone. It could have been pure superstition, we just don’t know. And as I said, that’s not really the point of the story.

. . . :bible1: . . .
“How precious also are
Thy Thoughts
unto me, **
O GOD!**
how great is the sum of them!
If I should count them,
they are more in number than the sand.”
- Psalms 139:17-18b


[INDENT]** CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH**

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

Article 2 - THE TRANSMISSION OF DIVINE REVELATION

81
Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.

Article 3 - SACRED :bible1: SCRIPTURE

104
In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it [FONT=“Arial Black”]not as human word, "but as what it really is, the Word of God."

In the
sacred books
,
the Father who is in heaven
comes lovingly :heart: to meet his children,
and talks with them._________[/FONT][/INDENT]
+The Lord has graced my life with many holy prayer cards . . . several of which are Our Lady of Lourdes cards . . . re the Shrine in France . . . where the holy healing waters there are a continuation of the sacred tradition of our . . . Wonderful God’s . . . Biblically revealed . . . holy healing through the waters of the Holy Pool at Bethesda. Lourdes is one of the world’s most beloved miraculous Catholic Shrines . . . visited by millions and millions of people . . . nestled in a valley in the southwestern part of the Hautes-Pyrenees . . .

The Holy Roman Catholic Church completely accepts the Holy Healing Pool of Bethesda as an actual real place based on the inerrancy of the Holy :bible1: Bible and it is accepted as a place where our Lord was present and accomplished one of His wonderful miracles.

Even as our Church has approved the apparitions of Our Lady at Lourdes, France . . . the Healing Spirit of our Wonderful God is recognized as having been present in Bethesda’s pool through angelic :angel1: visits . . . thanks be to God . . . and many proven . . . extraordinary . . . miracles of healing have also occurred in the healing waters of Lourdes. This is only one of a multitude of . . . marvelous . . . holy places of miracles . . . recorded throughout the Old Testament . . . from Noah’s Ark . . . the plagues of Egypt . . . the parting of the Red Sea . . . Elijah being taken up bodily into heaven . . .* and on-and-on goes the record of the miraculous . . . *

. . . :bible1: . . .[INDENT]“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market **a pool **which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.”

[INDENT]For an angel :angel1: 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.

And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 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? 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. Jesus saith unto him, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’ And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.” - John 5:2-9[/INDENT][/INDENT]
[INDENT][INDENT]

. . . :compcoff: . . .
The Pool at Bethesda was a familiar locale among the Jews of Jerusalem. It was mentioned, for example, in Qumran’s Copper Scroll as the ‘place of poured out water.’ It was located near what are now the ruins of the basilica of Saint Anne to the north of the temple mount. The ‘pool’ was actually two pools surrounded by four porticoes, with a fifth portico situated between them.

Link: toughquestionsanswered.org/2016/10/05/can-the-pool-of-bethesda-be-used-to-prove-the-gospel-of-john-is-historically-reliable/

[/INDENT][/INDENT]

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+[/RIGHT]

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