There is a difference between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is abundant with life while the Dead Sea is lifeless. There is a difference. While being nourished by many tributaries, the Sea of Galilee continues to give water through rivers and inlets that feeds the land that surrounds it. On the other hand, rivers also flows to the Dead Sea, but it keeps them to itself. Because of this, the Dead Sea is literally lifeless.
The prophet Ezekiel’s vision of the Stream from the Temple describes a river of fresh water that flows from the Temple out of the East side and slightly South through the Kidron Valley down to the Dead Sea. It turns the lifeless salt waters into a living sanctuary of fish and trees on its shores.
In the time of Jesus, archaeologists found a five-portico structure with two pools, sunk seven to eight meters into a ground that gathered rainwater. One of the pools ejected water several times a day during the rainy season which may probably caused by a pipe that moved the water from one pool to the other. They believed that it was an angel of God who stirred the water and caused healing to however reaches it on time. The cripple of the Temple never made it, but made it to Jesus who eventually healed him.
In the Season of Lent, we focus on Jesus who is the source of all powers to heal. There is a tendency for us to believe that many sacramentals which we use for healing such as holy water or aromatic oil cause healing. They are, as we call it, sacramentals: they make the presence of God felt and experienced; but the power of healing does not come from them, but from God. God is the source of the water that flows to the Dead Sea, and heals its selfishness. The power that healed the cripple comes from Jesus, and not from the waters of Bethesda.
Let take a second look at our wounds and our practices. It is always real that all our experiences of healing through water, oil, a soothing environment, a comforting word, or a warm embrace, comes ultimately from God.