Think back to the dusty roads Jesus travelled with a group of rowdy, but eager fishermen following him watching his every move. Jesus stopped to address a blind man. Jesus knew he would be there. Of course, everyone wanted to know why he was blind, “What is his sin or his parents?”
Jesus said, “neither.” The man had been born blind to display God’s glory. Jesus scooped up dry dust and added spit to make holy mud. He reached out and smeared it across the man’s eyes in a strange anointing. Jesus told him to go the Pool of Siloam to wash it off. When the man did so, he was healed (John 9).
Fast forward a few thousand years to two Israeli archeologists stumbling onto the scene in December 2015. Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron were working on a construction project near the historic Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They were working to repair a water pipe when they “found two ancient steps.”
The Biblical Archaeology Review shared, “Further excavation revealed that they were part of a monumental pool from the Second Temple period, the period in which Jesus lived.” The pool was found to be a trapezoidal shape and 225 feet long.
Author and speaker, Eric Metaxas wrote, “The Gospel of John isn’t the only book of the Bible being archaeologically verified in the immediate area. As the Review tells readers, ‘the origins of the Siloam Pool reach back even further in history — at least seven centuries before the time of Jesus.'”
“According to an inscription in one of the tunnels, called the ‘Siloam inscription,’ two teams dug in opposite directions — one from the north and the other from the south — and met in the middle. The result was a reliable source of water that enabled Judah to withstand the Assyrian siege,” Metaxas said.
Not only is this an exciting historical find, Metaxas points out it also validates the Gospel, specifically the Gospel of John. “Traditionally, more liberal scholars not only discounted the historicity of the Gospel of John, they blamed it, a least in part, for the rise of anti-Semitism. They pointed to the repeated use of the phrase ‘the Jews,'” noted Metaxas.
“But as Pope Benedict XVI wrote in ‘Jesus of Nazareth,'” quoted Metaxas, “the Gospel of John ‘rests on extraordinarily precise knowledge of times and places, and so can only have been produced by someone who had an excellent firsthand knowledge of Palestine at the time of Jesus.'”
What’s more, it’s become clear “that the Gospel thinks and argues entirely in terms of the Old Testament and that its whole way of arguing is deeply rooted in the Judaism of Jesus’ time,” he concluded.