Then Jesus returned to Jerusalem to observe one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city near the Sheep Gate there is a pool called in Aramaic, The House of Loving Kindness. And this pool is surrounded by five covered porches. Hundreds of sick people were lying there on the porches—the paralyzed, the blind, and the crippled, all of them waiting for their healing. For an angel of God would periodically descend into the pool to stir the waters, and the first one who stepped into the pool after the waters swirled would instantly be healed.
Now there was a man who had been disabled for thirty-eight years lying among the multitude of the sick. When Jesus saw him lying there, he knew that the man had been crippled for a long time. So Jesus said to him, “Do you truly long to be healed?”
The sick man answered him, “Sir, there’s no way I can get healed, for I have no one who will lower me into the water when the angel comes. As soon as I try to crawl to the edge of the pool, someone else jumps in ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Stand up! Pick up your sleeping mat and you will walk!” Immediately he stood up—he was healed! So he rolled up his mat and walked again! Now this miracle took place on the Jewish Sabbath.
When the Jewish leaders saw the man walking along carrying his sleeping mat, they objected and said, “What are you doing carrying that? Don’t you know it’s the Sabbath? It’s not lawful for you to carry things on the Sabbath!”
He answered them, “The man who healed me told me to pick it up and walk.”
“What man?” they asked him. “Who was this man who ordered you to carry something on a Sabbath?” But the healed man couldn’t give them an answer, for he didn’t yet know who it was since Jesus had already slipped away into the crowd.
A short time later, Jesus found the man at the temple and said to him, “Look at you now! You’re healed! Walk away from your sin so that nothing worse will happen to you.”
Then the man went to the Jewish leaders to inform them, “It was Jesus who healed me!” So from that day forward the Jewish leaders began to persecute Jesus because of the things he did on the Sabbath.