The Miracle at Bethsaida

12th/13th century
Mosaic
Cathedral of the Assumption, Monreale, Sicily

In John 5:2-9 an angel sometimes stirs up a pool named Probatica or in Hebrew Bethsaida (KJV "Bethesda"), with the result that the waters are briefly miraculous. An invalid has been waiting 38 years for someone to help him get to the pool in time. When Jesus hears his story he says, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." The mosaic presents the story straightforwardly, with the invalid and his bed, Jesus and his disciples, and the angel and the pool. John places the miracle "by the sheep market," which is what we see behind the pool.

The inscription above the pool is SURGE TOLLE GRABATU[M] ET AMBULA, "Arise, take the bed and walk." Above the invalid are the words PROBATICA PISCINA, "the pool Probatica."

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Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.