The Leper's Bath
Exploring the Leper's Bath
Location - Tiberias
Map Coordinates - 32.872803, 35.552332
Just opposite the Eremos Cave, and to the east of the Church of Peter’s Primacy there is a circular stone structure called the Leper’s Bath. Above you can see a picture of this construct with some of our Octagon Tourists taking advantage of the moment to record a memory of their visit.)
It has stairs circling upward, ascending to the top, and inside there are steps circling downward into a pool of water. There is also a door providing immediate access to the water inside.
According to tradition, this well was constructed to commemorate a miracle that Jesus performed, according to Matthew’s chronology, immediately after Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. The well is immediately accessible to the place where Jesus preached the sermon, so it fits the geography of the story.
It is here, according to that same tradition, that a leprous man was healed by Jesus, and where he immediately bathed himself in the waters inside this well.
According to Matthew 8:1-4 we read
“And stepping down from the mountain, great crowds followed Him (Jesus). And behold a leper came, and he worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean’. And Jesus stretched out His hand, and He touched him, saying, ‘I am willing. Be clean.’ And immediately, the leprosy was clean.”
We can probably assume that this man was not one of those who heard Jesus’ sermon on the mount, since he was unclean, and would not have ventured into the crowd that heard Jesus that day. However, he probably knew of Jesus’ reputation as a healer, and was willing to make his move toward Him immediately as the Saviour descended the mountain.