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Healing at the Pool of Bethesda

Healing of the Paralytic at Bethesda by Palma Giovane, 1548-1628

Jesus was in the city of Jerusalem for one of the Jewish feasts. In the city was a sheep market and beside the market was a pool of water that had five porches around it. It was called the pool of Bethesda.

There were a lot of sick people lying and sitting around the pool. John writes that an angel came down at certain times and stirred up the water. The first person who got into the water was cured from whatever ailment he or she was suffering.

This man had been sick or disabled for 38 years and had no one to put him into the pool. He had no hope of being healed in this way. When Jesus saw him he said to the man, "Do you want to be well?"

Of course the man wanted to be well! He didn't seem to know who Jesus was nor was he aware of the power Jesus possessed. He just saw him as a man who might help him get into the pool, so it was not faith that would cause him to be healed.

Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk."

Immediately he was made well and picked up his bed. He got in trouble though because the Jews had a tradition that prohibited a person from carrying their bed on the Sabbath day.

"It's not lawful for you to be carrying your bed!" the Jewish leaders said.

The man protested and told them the person who had healed him told him to pick up his bed and walk. Of course, the religious leaders wanted to know who had told him that. The man didn't know who Jesus was, so he couldn't tell them. Jesus had slipped away in the crowd before the man could learn his name.

Later Jesus found the man in the temple and told him to not sin anymore or something even worse might happen to him.

Jesus made the statement, "My Father works and I work."

When the man told the Jewish leaders the identity of the man who had healed him they began to look for ways to accuse Jesus. They wanted to kill him because he was making himself equal with God, which in fact he was, but the leaders did not believe in him.

John 5:1-18

Zip Code 0005

Memory Hook

For this memory hook we are going to visualize the crippled man rolling up his mat, putting it on his shoulder and jumping for joy. Then he has some hard luck when he tries to go through a revolving door. He gets stuck and starts to kick at the door. His sandal falls off and his 5 toes on his foot began to turn red, then blue, then black. All 5 toes fall off in the street!

What! Where is this story in the Bible? Did that really happen? No, of course not! That story is a fun memory hook to help us remember where this account is found in the gospels. This is the only event John tells about the second year of the ministry of Christ, and he takes the whole chapter to tell it. How about that! John is the only writer who tells the story of the first year of Jesus' ministry in chapters 2,3, and 4. (Matthew and Mark only have a few verses.) He is the only writer who records this miracle at Bethesda.

John is the only writer who speaks of the Passover Feasts. This is probably the second Passover Feast which would correspond to a time around our month of April. Only John records it and he takes the whole chapter to tell the story. The Jewish leaders are ready to "chop heads" over this miracle! They plan to cast some folks out of "the fold!"

This is the eighth recorded miracle of Jesus.

foot+5 = John 5

This zip code means the account is not found in Matthew, Mark, or Luke (000) but it is found in the 5th chapter of John (5)

(Remember this hook)
  • Head = Matthew
  • Arms = Mark
  • Waist = Luke
  • Feet = John


Story and Word Scramble *

Word Match *

Work a Jigsaw Puzzle

Healing of the Paralytic The Man with a Crippled Hand

The Miracles of Jesus

Water to Wine

Nobleman's Son

Catch of Fish

Healing of Demoniac

Peter's Mother-in-Law

Leper Healed

Down Through the Roof


Crippled Hand

Centurion's Servant

Widow's Son

Blind Dumb Man

Jesus Calms the Storm

Gadarene Demoniac

Bleeding Woman

Jairus' Daughter

Blind Demoniac

Feeding of the 5000

Jesus Walks on Water


Deaf Dumb Healed

Feeding of the 4000

Blind Man

Boy With Demon

Tax Money from a Fish

Man Blind From Birth

Mute Man

Stooped Woman

Man with Dropsy

Lazarus Raised

Ten Lepers Healed

Blind Bartimaeus

Fig Tree Cursed

Malchus' Ear Healed

Second Catch of Fish
. .

*Word Scramble Solution

*Word Match Solution

Puzzles on these pages courtesy of
Songs of Praise and Armored Penguin