Israel Journey — Day 4
Sorry, I guess this one didn’t make the line up for publishing! Out of order, but here it is.
Day 4 was spent in Jerusalem, again full of many on-site lectures to record, including Oscar Schindler’s grave, the solid gold menorah that awaits the 3rd temple to be built, the Western Wall, Via Dolorosa and the stations of the cross, the Pool of Bethesda in the Muslim Quarter, the Garden Tomb, and a guy hawking goods out of the trunk of his car there.
If you’re wondering, we usually got back to the hotel as dinner was being served, tried to ignore our disheveled appearances and to just go eat before retiring for the evening where we kept rotating the batteries in 4-hour shifts all night to be ready for the next morning (which, because of old hotel wiring blowing out one of the battery chargers on the very first day, [yes, despite being properly adapted and converted] we were typically sweet-talking museum curators into plugging mysterious devices into their outlets as we taped the museum portions for the hour or so and then grabbed our half-charged batteries and headed off to the next location, hoping to make it through each segment without interrupting the lecture (which we did several times [interrupt, not make it]). Due to the pace, I describe the trip as part “Fat Camp” and we were actually hoping to keep up the frenetic workout pace when we returned, but so far, getting caught up on sleep has seemed more appealing that running around the block with tripods flung over our shoulders.
Perhaps it is good, though, to finish by remembering what happened at Bethesda instead. For a long time, they weren’t really sure that John’s account was accurate because no one knew where this Pool was, but then archaeologists discovered it, just as it had been written or as Wikipedia says, “thus confirming the historical accuracy of John’s account (thank you for that). When we get this part of the video edited, I’d like to share it with you because Dr. Varner made a good point about a common misconception that only the first person who entered the waters would be healed and it was some type of cosmic game that the stirring of the waters signaled that an angel would heal someone. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood, but that sounds a bit like the cruel taunting of a God who toys with disabled people (who were there because they unable to get in the water, anyway!). Instead, Jesus shows the true heart of God when He radically heals this man on the Sabbath! That’s our God, isn’t it.
The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath
1After this there was afeast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. (I was there!)
2Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. 3In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus (I know him!) saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” 8Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Now that day was the Sabbath. 10So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.'” 12They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, forJesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”