Pool of Bethesda

A trip to the Pool of Bethesda can enhance any pilgrimage to Israel. The site where Jesus healed the paralyzed man miraculously and Mary’s mother "Anne" was born as mentioned in the Gospel of John, This area has been extensively excavated, unearthing the five original pools and the remains of the Byzantine, medieval and Crusader churches that have been built over them along with a water run-off collection system that dates all the way back to the 8th century BCE that provided water for the temple. The largest find was the Crusader’s church St. Anne’s. Built on a site next to the Byzantine church that was destroyed by Hakim, the church was turned into an Islamic school in 1192. Ironically, the church went unused for some time, but was never destroyed as it was used as a dump. in 1856 the Ottoman government gave it to France to express their thankfulness for helping during the Crimean war. It is still run by French fathers to this day and makes a wonderful stop on any Israel trip. John Chapter 5:2-18 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed. 5 One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" 7 The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me." 8 Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your pallet, and walk." 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who was cured, "It is the Sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet." 11 But he answered them, "The man who healed me said to me, ‘Take up your pallet, and walk.’" 12 They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your pallet, and walk’?" 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you." 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did this on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working still, and I am working." 18 This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God. (America Israel Travel)

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