“Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches” (John 5:2).
The meaning for the word ‘Bethesda’ is ‘House of Mercy.’ The pool called Bethesda located near Jerusalem looked like the house of mercy. At a certain time an angel will go into it and stir the water and the first person who stepped into it after this will receive the mercy which is the divine healing.
This Bethesda pool was near the sheep gate and so the children of Israel were receiving mercy through this gate. When the Israelites bring a lamb and sacrifice it as a sin offering, their sin will be cleared and they will be delivered from the guilty conscience.
But whichever man is unable to bring the sin offering, he will not be receiving the mercy of forgiveness. The poor persons who had no resource to bring the lamb will be deprived of mercy. But Jesus Christ is rich in mercy and for your sake, He himself became the lamb. When you look up to Calvary and believe Him saying “It was you who poured the blood for my sake”, you will receive His mercy.
The pool of Bethesda had five porches. Similar to that Jesus Christ had five wounds. He was pierced with the nail in both His hands and legs. He was also pierced at the side by a soldier. The blood poured out from that wound. In that blood is the remission of sins, divine healing and victory over the enemy. Above all, the mercy of the blood is there for everyone in the world irrespective of the individual being rich or poor.
Further, just as the Bethesda had five porches, Jesus Christ has created five ministries in the New Testament. He has created the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and pastors. You assemble in the church and rejoice in worshipping Him heartily. There is no end to the mercies of God.
A man who was found on the banks of the Bethesda pool had infirmity for thirty-eight years and Jesus healed him (John 5:5). That person who suffered for thirty-eight years is the shadow of the Israelites of the Old Testament. The number of years, the Israelites to travel in the wilderness is thirty-eight. Though there was mercy in the law of the Old Testament to a certain extent, it was not meant for all. But, today, God is rich in mercy for you.
To meditate: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).