4/4 John 5:2

2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades.

The Sheep Gate was one of the entrances to the Temple Mount through which people brought sheep for sacrifices. Some critics of the Bible said this pool must have been an invention of John's imagination to coincide with the five books of Moses. An archeologist did discover this pool, or I should say pools, as it was two rectangular pools divided by a dam. The fifth colonnade was over the dam. The upper pool held water from a spring and slowly released it into a lower pool, which was for Jewish ritual cleansing (mikva'ot). This was near the traditional location of Jesus' grandparents' home.

It was believed that an angel stirred the water of the upper pool and whoever entered it first would be healed. A great number of afflicted people waited for their chance. Among them was a paralyzed man who had been there a long time. Perhaps Jesus had seen him during visits to His grandparents. Jesus went to the pool and, out of all those who were sick, approached this one invalid. Jesus told him to take up his mat and walk. The man was instantly healed. The Jewish leaders were angry with Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. This took place during the second Passover of Jesus' ministry.

Archeological discoveries continue to disprove the doubters. The Bible records accounts of actual people that lived in real places, and it has details that are verifiable, such as these five covered colonnades. We believe by faith, but our faith is not disconnected from reality. We witness changed lives. Historical accuracy of the Bible is verifiable. The documentation is abundant. To believe or not to believe is a choice. Many people will choose not to believe simply because they do not want to submit to Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, please help my life to demonstrate the joy of choosing to follow You, so that others will see following You for the wonderful privilege that it is.