John 5:1-8 After this, there was a Jewish religious feast, and Jesus went to Jerusalem. There is in Jerusalem, by the Sheep Gate, a pool with five porches; in the Hebrew language it is called Bethzatha. A large crowd of sick people were lying on the porches, the blind, the lame and the paralyzed. They were waiting for the water to move because every now and then an angel of the Lord went down into the pool and stirred up the water. The first sick person to go into the water after the water was stirred up was healed from whatever disease he had. A man was there who had been sick for thirty eight years. Jesus saw him lying there, and he knew that the man had been sick for such a long time; so he said to him, "Do you want to get well?" The sick man answered, "Sir, I don't have anyone to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am trying to get in, somebody else gets there first." Jesus said to him, "Get up, pick up your mat and walk." Immediately, the man got well; he picked up his mat, and walked.


Modern excavations began at the Pool of Bethesda in 1878 by the White Fathers. Further work was done on behalf of the White Fathers by J.-M. Rousee and R. de Vaux (of Qumran fame) in 1957-1962. The association of the pool with healing continued through the Roman period. This is a location that Jesus frequently used to conduct healings. (Photo. Jack Kilmon)