Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pools of Bethesda: Part 1

Carl Heinrich's Painting, "Healing at the Pool of Bethesda"
"And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case,
he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?"
John 5:7-9
Christ healing the man at the Pools of Bethesda is a beautiful story and I wanted to share a couple of insight in the next couple of posts. I wanted to first post a picture of the original painting that I was able to see when it came to the BYU Musuem a couple of years ago. I was shocked to see how big the original is: It is 9 feet by 10 feet. With all of the detail and the sheer size, it allows the viewer to experience this miraculous event as if it were happening before their very eyes.

I saw a reproduction of this painting in the Jordan River Temple this morning and felt to write some thoughts. The sick man is hiding under the cloth. Christ had to seek and find.. raise the heavy cloth to uncover and see the face of the man. How easy would it have been to pass by such an individual. We learn from the scriptures that his man has been ill for 38 years. Whether we are physically sick or spiritually sick.. it is never too late to be made whole again with our faith in Christ.

Here is some more description of the painting from the artist's website;
"Christ uncovers a man under a shelter of cloth, sticks and straw. The man is elderly and frail, having suffered infirmities for many years, lying by a pool believed by many to heal. Christ, in heavy, white robes gestures to him to arise, and be made whole. The man appears surprised, yet hopeful as his arms are raised. There are many ill people gathered around the pool. Christ’s companion, looking anxious, can be seen behind him on the left of the composition. Behind them are three bearded men paying close attention to the miracle worker’s actions - as it is the Sabbath. Looks of contempt and scheming glances are seen upon the conspirator’s faces.

Two meager men on the other side of the column sit eating and talking. Beside them a poor, lame man in green stands above them - watching and perhaps hoping for a share in their meal. A poor sickly man in a bright red cap, sits next to the scene - discretely observing the goings-on. As it was a quite competitive event to reach the waters first to be healed, he is perhaps watching closely to see what events occur from this strange encounter between the majestic man and the ailing individual."

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