Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days.
Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches.
Crowds of sick people -- blind, lame, or paralyzed -- lay on the porches.
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One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, "Would you like to get well?"
"I can't, sir," the sick man said, "for I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me."
Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!"
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath day.
So the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, "You can't work on the Sabbath! It's illegal to carry that sleeping mat!"
He replied, "The man who healed me said to me, 'Pick up your sleeping mat and walk.'"
"Who said such a thing as that?" they demanded.
The man didn't know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd.
But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, "Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you."
Then the man went to find the Jewish leaders and told them it was Jesus who had healed him.