I do want you to open your Bible now to the fifth chapter of the gospel of John...the fifth chapter of the gospel of John. This is a very important portion of Scripture and not for the reason that most people think. It's a story about a man whom Jesus healed. That in itself is a rather common occurrence in the New Testament. And for the man, of course, a remarkable experience.
But that really is only incidental to the point of this passage and we want to get a grip on the point of the passage, don't we? That's very, very important. We have been told this story many times. For a couple of reasons this story is memorable. One of them is because of the name of the pool, the Pool of Bethesda. From the time you were in Sunday School, you heard about the man by the pool\ of Bethesda, And another indicator of this story and its familiarity is the fact that there were 38 years that this man had been ill. We all know the story of the man who was ill for 38 years by the pool of Bethesda whom Jesus healed.
But there's so much more to the story than just that. Those, of course, make it memorable for us. But this is not a story about a healing, this is a story about false religion. This is a story about the power of false religion, the devastating grip of false religion, the damning force that false religion exerts on people's minds and souls, even in the face of the truth.
The remarkable emphasis of this story is found in its conclusion. Go down to chapter 5 verse 16 and you read these words, "The Jews were persecuting Jesus. The Jews were persecuting Jesus."...
Grace to You
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry... gty.org