“…and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now, there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep’s Gate a pool called Bethesda, which has five covered walkways. A great number of sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed people were lying in these walkways. When Jesus saw him lying there…He said to him, “Do you want to become well?” He answered Him, I have no one to put me in the pool when the water is stirred.” …Jesus said to Him, “Stand up, pick up your mat and walk.” (John 5:2-8)
Has your heart ever longed to see the actual site of this miracle? If you are planning to visit Israel, you can!
The Pool of Bethesda, located in the Old City – just north of the Temple Mount, is one of the few sites in Jerusalem over which there is no debate as to its original location. Visitors will find new understanding of this biblical account as they tour this area. To enter to the pool, Jesus would have walked through the “Sheep’s Gate”, the entrance where the sacrificial lambs were brought to the Temple. He would then have made His way through the five (the biblical number for Grace) walkways to the pool, whose name means, “House of Mercy.” Here he encountered the man who had been waiting for 38 long years for the mercy of God!
Also available to the public is St. Anne’s Church. A 12th century church of the Crusades, it is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. It was built between 1131 and 1138 AD to replace a previous Byzantine Church. In 1192AD, Saladin (the Sultan who led the Muslims against the Crusaders) turned it into a Muslim theological school. The plaque commemorating this is still inscribed above the entrance to the church.
Abandoned over the years, it fell into disrepair (even becoming a garbage dump for a time) until the Ottoman Empire donated it to the French in 1856. Although it needed restoration, most of what visitors see today is original.
As it was designed for Gregorian chant, St. Anne’s sounds like an instrument for the human voice. Groups from around the world make plans to sing throughout the day on their visit here. Anyone is permitted to prepare a song, but it must be religious.
Outside the church, you will also be able to view the ruins of a Roman Temple to their god of medicine and remains of a Byzantine Church built over that structure.
St. Anne’s Church is open Monday-Saturday 8-12am 2-5pm (until 6 in the summer).
Come visit, you will never be the same!
See the wonders of modern – and ancient – Israel in person! Discover all you need to know about visiting Israel at www.goisrael.com.