There are still more sites right in Jerusalem from our trip to Israel.
Adjacent to the Church of Saint Anne
are the two Pools of Bethesda,
(meaning "house of mercy" in Hebrew)
surrounded by five colonnaded porches.
The Upper Pool was dug during the 8th century BC
and is mentioned in 2 Kings.
The pools were originally located near the Sheep Gate
and were used to wash the sheep
that were brought to the Temple for sacrifice.
This is in the Muslim Quarter
of the Old City of Jerusalem
right outside of Stephan's Gate.
A second pool was dug during the third century BC
by Simon the High Priest.
Many Jewish people believed that the water
held special power since
it was used for religious purposes.
At the time of Christ,
tradition taught that an angel would descend
from heaven to stir the waters and the first
to enter after the stirring received divine healing.
Recent excavations in the 1960's discovered
the remains of Byzantine and Crusader Churches here.
(Crosses on the columns)
They were built here to preserve the location
of the miraculous healing story.
Many invalids sat or lay under the porches
waiting to be healed.
The pools were fed by rainwater
and underground springs.
This is the setting for John 5: 1-15,
where Jesus encountered
a paralytic who had been waiting for 38 years
to be healed by the pool.
Jesus demonstrated that he had the power
to heal and the right to do it on the Sabbath.
God is a God who heals.
HE brings healing touches to our lives -