Healing the paralytic at Bethesda

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Christ healing the paralytic at Bethesda, by Palma il Giovane, 1592.

Healing the paralytic at Bethesda is one of the miraculous healings attributed to Jesus .[1]

This occurs only in the Gospel of John, which says it took place near the Sheep Gate close to a fountain or a pool called Bethzatha (other versions have Bethesda and Bethsaida).

The Gospel account describes how Jesus encounters one of the invalids who used to lie here, a man who had been paralysed for thirty-eight years. He asks the man if he wants to get well. The man explains that he is unable to enter the water when the water is stirred up, because he has no one to help in and others go down ahead of him. Jesus tells him to pick up his mat and walk; the man is instantly cured and is able to do so.

The Gospel then explains that this healing took place on the Sabbath, and the local Jews told the cured man that the Law forbade him to carry his mat on this day. He tells them that he had been told to do so by the man who had healed him. They ask him who this healer was but he is unable to tell them because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd.

Jesus finds the man later in the temple and tells him not to sin again, so that nothing worse happens to him. The man goes away and tells the Jewish people that Jesus had cured him. The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

The Gospel account explains that the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he was healing on the Sabbath. He responds by saying that "My Father is still working, and I also am working." This makes them all the more determined to kill him because not only is he breaking the Sabbath but he is making himself equal to God by calling God his father. (John 5:1-18)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Miracles of Jesus by Craig Blomberg, David Wenham 2003 ISBN 1592442854 page 462