John 5.1-9 gives us a good chance to use maps and pictures (if we have them) to get a greater understanding of what is going on in the text that we are studying. John mentions that Jesus is in Jerusalem; that there is a pool called “Bethesda” or “Bethzatha” depending on which scholar one listens to, and the pool is near “The Sheep Gate.”
“Hmm…you wonder. Where is all that stuff?” With the magic of Logos Bible Software and Accordance Bible Software [I have a problem. I’m a Bible software junkie. There, I admitted it…which reminds me, also check out Olive Tree Software. They make fantastic cross-platform Bible software (No. I don’t make cash for plugging any of the three)], I’ve pulled up a couple of maps and a picture to help me get a grasp on the setting of Jesus’ encounter with the man who has been ill for 38 years. If you look at the above map, you’ll see that the “Sheep Gate” is on the east side of Jerusalem, and the Pool of Bethesda [or our best guess anyway] is just a little north of that.
Here is a close up with the Sheep Gate [Lion’s Gate; St. Stephen’s Gate] on the right. The Pool of Bethesda is associated [scholars think—and they seem to be correct, there is a double pool there with 5 colonnades] with where the church of St. Anne’s is located.