Welcome Dear Readers to this Sunday’s Edition of the Gregory’s Bible Stories! This week Gregory is still away a Vacation Bible School learning about biblical swimming pools.
It was time for the Annual Jews and Sabbath Potluck dinner and Jesus (who always got invited to everything) decided to attend. Nobody knows what dish Jesus typically brought to these things, but chances are he just whipped up something Johnny on the spot.
Anyway, in order to get to the potluck, Jesus had to pass by the Jerusalem Sheep Gate behind which the sheep who were going to be sacrificed lived.
In biblical days people were cruel to sheep and kept them for the express purpose of killing and sacrificing them. Unlike today, where people only keep sheep for the express purpose of killing and eating them.
While Jesus was walking past the Jerusalem Sheep Gate, he happened to look over and right next to the sheep gate was the Bethesda Memorial Healing Pool. The pool had five porches upon which lay a lot of unhealthy people waiting to take a dip.
Some of the people were blind, some of the people were paralyzed and some of the people had a really bad case of eczema (sometimes called Leprosy).
This might be a good time to explain that the Bethesda Memorial Pool could cure disease if (and that’s a big if) you were lucky enough to be the first person to jump in the water after a heavenly angel would pop down and stir it with a Heavenly Egg Beater.
After that, the first person to jump in would get healed and everybody else was up the Bethesda Pool without a paddle until the angel with the Heavenly Egg Beater made another visit.
One man had been waiting in line to jump in the water for 38 years. (It’s not as bad as it sounds because he was waiting in line while lying on his bed.) Jesus saw him he asked, “Do you want to get well?”
The man answered something to the effect that yes he did but he was too paralyzed to be the first one in the pool after the Heavenly Egg Beating.
So Jesus just cut to the chase and said to the man, “Get up, pick up your bed and walk.”
Now Jesus was telling the man to pick up his bed and walk, and this was a task that was considered work which was completely against the law on the Sabbath.
And sure enough, first thing Monday morning, the cured man was in deep trouble with the authorities for aimlessly wandering around carrying his bed on the Sabbath. (After 38 years laying by the pool, he couldn’t remember where he lived).
Authorities: Who told you to carry your bed around on the Sabbath? You’re supposed to be resting.
Cured Man: Sorry, I don’t remember his name . . . I’m terrible with names. I never forget a face though!
Later that day while the cured man was praying in the temple (probably for directions back home), Jesus recognized him and said:
“Listen, you are well now, so stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
Jesus must have been wearing his monogrammed robe because the cured man ran right to the authorities and told them the guy who cured him was named Jesus.
So the authorities hightailed it over to Jesus and demanded that Jesus explain to them why He had worked a healing on the Sabbath.
Jesus answered by saying, “My father is always working and I too must work.”
This really made the authorities mad. Aside from thinking that Jesus and His Dad were Sabbath workaholics; they were also completely put off by the fact that Jesus said his Dad was God.
Naturally this made the authorities want to persecute and kill Jesus even more than they already did.
And the cured man who was wandering around carrying his bed on the Sabbath? Rumor has it he put his back out from hauling his bed around everywhere and ended up right back at the Bethesda Pool.
And there you have it, Dear Readers, I hope you’ll come back next week for another installment of Gregory’s Bible Stories
Until next time . . . I love you