by Jeff Strite

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Merit and Mercy (3 of 5)
Series: The Wonder Of It All
Jeff Strite
John 5:1-40

(I had the audience sing this hymn with me)

“There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains
They lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.”

(pause, speak as tho’ carefully considering the words)
There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins.

And there was a pool…
filled with water…
located just outside of Jerusalem near an eastern gate called the “Sheep’s Gate”.

It was called “the pool of Bethesda” and it had a reputation for being a place of healing. That is… if you were fortunately enough to be the first into the water.

ILLUS: For years skeptics claimed that this pool never existed. The very idea of people supposedly going to this pool in the hopes of being “healed” strained the imagination of these critics, and the mocked the belief that this had ever occurred. They concluded that this was just a story made up by John as window dressing.

But then somebody found the pool.

In 1888, there was excavation that took place near a church near Jerusalem, and the found the pool exactly where the Apostle John said it was.

So, we know the pool existed.
(pause) But how did it get the reputation of being a place of healing?

Well, this is what I think happened:
I believe the fact that the waters “were troubled” (they vibrated, or boiled or something) caught the imagination of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Then, one day, someone said that they’d heard someone say that when the waters were troubled, they’d stepped into the waters and they’d been healed of a disease. Then someone else said that they’d heard that their 2nd cousin on their mother’s side had also stepped into waters and they were healed. And then another rumor became added to that… and another r ...

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