Grace Bible Church
Basic Training in Doctrine

March 17, 2009

When Nehemiah re-built the walls of Jerusalem they built five gates, and the first gate they built was the sheep gate because the sheep gate spoke of salvation since through this gate they would bring the sacrificial lambs for the temple rituals.

The Sheep Gate was the first to be built when construction on the wall began, and when the wall was completed it would end right back at the Sheep Gate.

NEH 3:1
Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They consecrated the wall to the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel.

NEH 3:32
And between the upper room of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants carried out repairs.

“Bethesda” means “House of Mercy.” This pool located at the sheep gate was a very beautiful marble pool.


The illnesses of the people at the pool represent the illnesses of Israel due to their NVTD.

“blind” – powerless to see with the eyes, the picture of the unbeliever who is spiritually blind and therefore cannot see the gospel. 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; Matthew 19:14; 23:24,25; Revelation 3:17,18.

“lame” – powerless to walk, crippled. The unbeliever cannot walk with God until he receives Christ as Saviour.

“withered” – paralysis or atrophy of muscles. The unbeliever cannot perform the work of God.

Here we have the three failures of the unbeliever as far as God’s plan is concerned, which applies to much of Israel.

Ritual without reality is meaningless, and there is no reality to superstition.

For 38 years this man had been a victim of superstition which was doing nothing for him except causing him to rot in one of these porches.

“lying there” in the original means to be lying there according to a norm or standard. His norm or standard for 38 years has done him no good. Why? For 38 years he has bought a superstition which did not help him.

Neither self pity, self justification, nor this pool has healed him, yet this day the Lord, the only true Healer, comes to him and asks a simple question, “Do you wish to become well?”

“to get” is the aorist middle infinitive of ginomai. The infinitive is God’s purpose.

Mankind must be brought to recognize and realize his helpless condition. And, while we console ourselves that we will do better next time, this is a sign that we have not come to the end of ourselves.

The one who promises himself that he will amend his ways and turn over a new leaf has not learned that he iswithout strength!

The word well is the adjective hugies which means to be healthy and well with truth or as Strongs says in doctrine.

The Lord is here to heal his body, his soul (for eternal salvation) and his heart (for freedom from self-pity and self-justification).

Many times the sorrows and heartaches of life take away a persons motivation to live with vigor.

HEB 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Positionally we are like Him, but experientially we are to be conformed into His image. This means to identify with Him and His sufferings. He was laughed at, rejected, persecuted, and rejected by many in society.

The Lord is going to put this man into service as a herald in the temple all the while knowing that he will believe after he recognizes who it was who healed him.

Jesus is not going to cater to the taboos of the Pharisees, but in fact is now going to expose them for the evil that propagate.

Legalism always remonstrates and criticises grace.

MAT 12:8 For the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath. (Deity)

You see the laws of the Sabbath that were added by the Pharisees had nothing to do with the word of God. Many laws of the Sabbath were based on the religious leaders interpretation of Scriptures.

The entire Sabbath was to commemorate grace and God providing. But as man got his grubby hands involved, legalism, religion, pseudo spirituality, and superstition resulted.

As TLJC said in MAR 2:27 The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.

The fact that a man has been healed and a superstition has been exposed doesn’t mean a thing to the religious crowd.

This time His herald is not John the Baptist, His herald is a man carrying a bed on the Sabbath.

Just because you are saved doesn’t mean you are going to get out from under discipline.

Prov 14:30
A tranquil heart is life to the body,
But passion is rottenness to the bones.

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