Read about this miracle in John 5:1-16.
Healing at the Pool of Bethesda Retold
A simpler version of the story for younger children.
Ideas for discussion
- Why did people come to the pool of Bethesda? (Sick people came to be healed.)
- How were they healed there? (When an angel came and “stirred up” the water, the first person to step into the pool would be healed.)
- The Lord talked with a man who had been waiting there for 38 years. Why had the man been waiting so long? (He didn’t have anyone to help him get into the water, so someone else always got there first.)
- What did the Lord ask the man? (“Do you want to be made well?”) Why do you think He asked the man a question before healing him?
- What excuse did the man give the Lord? (That he had no one to help him.) Do we sometimes make excuses, perhaps blaming bad habits on other people?
- How did the Lord heal the man? (He told him to "Rise, take up your bed and walk.")
- This kind of miracle pictures what the Lord can do for our spirits. We can become spiritually “sick” when we believe and do what is false and evil instead of what is true and good. We might say that someone has is “blind” to the truth.
- The pool in the story is a picture of true ideas from the Word that can help us heal our spiritual lives. When we look for truths in the Word it is like stepping into the pool after the angel stirs up the water.
Read more about this miracle
- “The Pool of Bethesda” by Kurt Horigan Asplundh (ages 4-6)
Think of this man waiting and watching. Over and over again, he saw that the waters were stirred up, and he tried to get up from his bed and go down into the pool.
- “The Miracle at the Pool of Bethesda” by Kurt Horigan Asplundh (ages 7-14)
When the Lord told the sick man, "Take up your bed and walk," He meant that the man should walk on a path that would lead him toward heaven.
- “The Healing at Bethesda” by Donald L. Rose (ages 7-14)
If we think of the pool of Bethesda as being like the Lord’s Word, it is interesting to think of an angel stirring the water sometimes, and this having a powerful effect on the people who come to the pool. When we turn our minds to the Word, there are angels close to us.
- “Rise, Take Up Your Bed and Walk” by Grant H. Odhner (ages 18 and up)
All the stories of the Lord’s healings are parables about the healing of the mind. Spiritual sickness and health, damnation and salvation, are all a matter of mind. It is our mind that experiences the Lord and His salvation. The Word’s parables are about the mind and its changes.
Projects and activities for various ages
- Wash Me Project (ages 3-6)
Create a movable scene to retell the story and show a person who is healed by going into the waters.
- Act It Out: Healing at the Pool of Bethesda (ages 7-10)
This activity helps children experience the wonder of the Lord’s miracles by acting out scenes of healing at the pool of Bethesda.
- The Lord Heals the Man at Pool of Bethesda Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Shows the Lord talking with the paralyzed man and other people gathered around the pool.
- Stirring the Waters (ages 6-9)
Make this project to help you retell the story of the angel coming to the pool of Bethesda and stirring the waters.
- Man Healed at Pool of Bethesda Coloring Page by Josephine Ellis
Shows the Lord talking to the man lying near the pool of Bethesda.
- Take Action: Stirring the Water (ages 15-18)
Our conscience brings truths from the Word to our awareness so that they may shed light on the sicknesses of our minds. When we act on these truths, the Lord can make us well.
- The Lord’s Truth (ages 9-12)
Match truths from the Word that could help us fight bad habits that could hurt our spiritual health.
- How Does the Lord Work in My Life Spiritual Task by David Roth
Being told to rise, take up his bed and walk pictures how the best medicine is to take what we earnestly believe to be true and to live it—start walking in that path. We need to do the work ourselves.
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