Episode 11 – John 5: Do You Want To Be Healed pt.1
Before an in-depth look at John 5, Sharon reminds us of some of the themes of John’s Gospel, including “the hour” and “the seven signs”. Also, we recall Photina, the Samaritan woman at the well, who underwent a metanoia as she turned away from sin and back toward the Lord. In addition, we learn an interesting detail about the royal official, who begs Jesus to heal his son. While there is a parallel with the Synoptic Gospels’ story of the healing of the centurion’s son, the royal official is a different person. Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, was the ruling king over Galilee at the time of Jesus and this royal official would have served in the palace of Herod Antipas, who was an Edomite. The clear message is that Christ offers salvation to all: Jesus came for the common Jews at Cana, for the Jewish aristocracy with Nicodemus, for the Samaritans with Photina, and now for the Edomites with the royal official’s son. Sharon raises a small but important detail. Often when Jesus is addressing the Jews, he is referring to the Jewish leaders who opposed him, as distinguished from the common Jewish people, many of whom were among his followers. Moving on to John 5, we hear the story of the man who lay paralyzed for 38 years at the pool of Bethzatha. This number reminds us of the Israelites who needed 38 years to break free of the bondage of the Moses generation and into the Joshua generation that could enter the Promised Land (Deut 2:14). Sharon then combines archaeology, mythology, scripture and theology to reveal the deeper meaning of this passage. As Sharon beautifully teaches us, the pool of Bethzatha was actually a healing pool dedicated to the Greek mythological deity Asclepius, the god of medicine, health and healing. Jesus does not use the pagan waters when he heals the lame man. Rather, he simply commands him to get up, pick up his mat, leave, and abandon his misguided faith in the mythological god Asclepius. Jesus is the true source of healing. The paralyzed man had put his trust in a false god and Jesus warns him not to fall back into the sin of idolatry lest something worse happen to him. Sharon concludes with the same question Jesus asked the man: Do you want to be healed? This is the question posed to us each time we receive the Eucharist. Do you really want to be healed? And if the answer is yes, then we just have to avail ourselves to the healing power of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the true source of healing.
Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.
For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page
“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net