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Bible Pathways - November 2, 2005

November 2

Read John 4

In Today's Reading:

Jesus and the Samaritan woman; miracles of healing; Jesus answers the Jews

The sheep gate where lambs were bought for sacrifice was located at the northeast area of the Temple court in Jerusalem. Nearby the sheep market (is) a pool, which is called . . . Bethesda, having five porches (John 5:2). At this pool lay a great multitude of impotent (sick and physically disabled) folk (5:3). It was believed that the first to enter the pool after an angel stirred up the water would be cured (5:4). The Great Physician, Jesus approached this crowd of helpless sufferers, but no one recognized who He was.

Among these helpless people was a certain man . . . which had an infirmity (was an invalid) thirty and eight years (5:5). No doubt he had thought: What possibility is there that anyone cares if I am ever healed? When this man expressed his hopelessness, Jesus looked beyond the man's physical problem and asked him to do something he never expected to do, saying: Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked (5:7-9).

Like this man, any who have not put their faith in Christ are spiritually helpless. Christians should be eternally grateful that Jesus did not pass us by but offered us the opportunity to be made whole. Jesus cares for the most helpless persons because He desires that all recognize Him as Savior and Lord. The helpless includes popular athletes, government as well as religious leaders like Nicodemus, pitiful prostitutes like the woman at the well, and all other lost persons (Luke 19:10).

The sheep gate illustrates Jesus, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The pool called Bethesda means house of mercy or grace. It is only through the love and compassion of Christ that any lost sinner, without exception, can find mercy and grace by accepting His sacrifice on the cross for our sins.

All of us were children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3), but when we realized we were lost sinners and, like Nicodemus, heard Jesus say: Ye must be born of water and of the Spirit, (or) . . . cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5). Having repented of our sins and been given a new nature as newborn babes, (we are instructed to) desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby (I Peter 2:2).

Word Studies:

4:6 sixth hour = noon by Jewish time and 6 pm by Roman time; 5:21 quickeneth them = gives them life.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by a family that loves Jesus · Staff: Letha Hash · Country: Tanzania (31 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: Swahili and English · Churches are expected to help implement Marxist policy · 33% Muslim; 19% Roman Catholic; 19% animist; 15% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Let your prayers express gratitude to God for His wonderful works (Psalm 9:1).

Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 3:15

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