Are Nursing Homes in the Bible?


When Jesus walked the earth there were no nursing homes, but in His day, the pool of Bethesda was similar to a long term care facility in some ways. Let’s just peek in to a scene from His visit there.

One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”    John 5:5-6

As Jesus entered Jerusalem to attend one of the religious holidays, he chose to pay a visit to someone in need. You might compare this to making a detour on the way to a Thanksgiving dinner to see someone in the nursing home. You see that day almost everyone was headed out to sit down to a special dinner with friends or family, everyone that is except for the crowd at the Bethesda pool. There people waited in hope of a miracle.

Nursing homes are filled with people just like those folks. The man that Jesus came to see had been waiting and dreaming of a miracle for 38 years. In fact this man didn’t even know who Jesus was. Jesus didn’t show up to see a show, or to bring a reward for good behavior. Jesus came because He knew how long this man had waited. He came to show mercy.  Nursing home ministry is about showing God’s mercy to people just like that man. When we show God’s mercy to people Jesus comes, because His promise is that if just two or three gather in His name He will be there. Now imagine the possibilities if we sing together!

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