Ellen G. White Writings

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From Heaven With Love, Page 127

Chapter 21—Bethesda and the Sanhedrin

This chapter is based on John 5.

“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.”

At certain seasons the waters of this pool were agitated, and it was commonly believed that this was supernatural and that whoever first stepped in would be healed of whatever disease he had. Hundreds of sufferers visited the place; but so great was the crowd when the water was troubled that they trampled underfoot men, women, and children weaker than themselves. Many who succeeded in reaching the pool died on its brink. Shelters had been erected about the place. Some of the sick spent the night in these porches, creeping to the edge of the pool day after day, in hope of relief.

Jesus was again at Jerusalem. Walking alone, in apparent meditation and prayer, He came to the pool. Seeing the wretched sufferers, He longed to exercise His healing power and make every sufferer whole. But it was the Sabbath day, and He knew that such an act of healing would so excite the prejudice of the Jews as to cut short His work.

The Saviour, however, saw one case of supreme wretchedness, a man who had been a helpless cripple for thirty-eight years. His disease was looked on as a judgment from God. Alone and friendless and feeling shut out from God's mercy, the sufferer had passed long years of misery. When it was expected that the waters would be troubled, those who pitied his helplessness

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