The Pools of Bethesda

February 6, 2019

Rebecka Walter

(This particular lesson takes place beside/in an indoor pool)

Have participants begin the discussion by floating on a noodle. Participants do not have to be in the water to be a part of this discussion. They can sit on the side of the pool, or they can utilize tables and chairs. Be creative.

The word Bethesda translates into the phrase “house of mercy” (Greek) and/or “house of grace” (Aramaic).

Everyone will be in a different place spiritually; therefore, as participants share, encourage them to offer each other mercy and grace; especially during vulnerable moments or times of weakness. Our goal is never to fix anyone, but instead to listen and offer support when needed. Personal discussion, unless otherwise noted, should always remain confidential.

Jesus is still willing to minister by the pool. (If you are not beside/in a pool, Jesus is willing to minister wherever you are)

Scripture: After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 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, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked (John 5:1-9)

Lesson: …And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time…

*The sick man, who waited beside the pool, had suffered from an infirmity for 38 years.

*Sometimes if we hold onto sickness, brokenness, or hurt for too long, it may begin to feel like it is a part of who we are or a normal way of living.

*Regardless of how long we may harbor sickness, God still wants to heal us. It does not have to be a part of our life.

…a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water… When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? … Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked

*We may feel overlooked or forgotten, surrounded by many others who appear to be of much greater importance, but God continues to see us and desires to touch us in a supernatural way.

*People may overlook us, but God does not.

*Others may have overlooked or forgotten the man who sat beside the pool hoping for healing, but God did not. Through His grace and mercy, as well as the man’s willingness to receive, He healed his broken body.

Take Away: If we RECOGNIZE that God wants to RESTORE us then we can RECEIVE it.

*Recognize that brokenness does not have to become part of us, for through God’s grace and mercy, He never overlooks us and desires to RESTORE us.

*Healing may be a process many of us dread to even begin because of the pain that sometimes follows, but let’s abide in His presence and RECEIVE His restoration.

Application: Read the book, A Moment to Breathe. Devotional title: From the Inside out, by Denise J. Hughes (day 228, page 230).

Goal: Find time to abide in God’s presence this week so that He can begin the restoration process. Receive God’s healing.

Exercise: (This takes place beside/in an indoor pool; therefore, if a pool is not present, be creative). Play an upbeat song. For example, I Am Free, by the Newsboys. Have the participants stand on one side of the pool. When the song starts playing, have them swim a lap for RECOGNIZE, run a lap for RESTORE, and jump or hop a lap for RECEIVE. Repeat this until the song ends. The same concept can be done around the pool for the participants who don’t want to get wet.