“…it is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”– John 5:10
The man that was healed by Jesus at the pool of Bethesda had an illness for thirty-eight years. Imagine that! In a few moments shared with Jesus, he was completely healed! What rejoicing and praise this would bring to any heart touched in such a way. Yet, the story leaves us wondering why there was no grand celebration among the religious elite. So focused on their plan, they completely missed the miracle that had just taken place.
It is said that the Scribes listed thirty-nine tasks that were banned on the Sabbath. Carrying a burden was one of them. Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath day. The Lord could have chosen any day, but He chose this day. It is possible He did this intentionally to get the attention of the Jews. In their eyes, the law was being broken as the man carried his bed. Condemnation came rather than rejoicing. Did they ever consider the man’s stature or countenance? Had they done that, what would they have noticed? Maybe they would have recognized his joy, inquired of it, and been able to rejoice with him.
Their agenda superseded the esteeming of another’s life. When their plan was regarded, they had peace. There was little regard for the peace of mind in another. This is a common selfishness. It is often displayed in a constant urgency to share our thoughts without concern for what is taking place in another’s life. Alexander Whyte rightly said, “Look often round about you at the happy homes you have built for yourselves out of the ruins of the other men’s happy homes.” Others may not experience these “happy homes” because they lack the opportunity to cast off all of their burdens.
Jesus healed on the Sabbath and got their attention. Does He have your attention today? When was the last time you looked at another person and wondered how their day was going? It could be they need prayer. Are we so busy with our agendas that we never inquire of another? Our tasks can be good works, yet we can fail in them if we neglect the greatest gift of love. Let us today “consider one another to stir up love and good works!”
“Whenever you feel closer to God as a result of something you have done, you may be in danger of religion. Whenever you do something whole heartedly for the Lord in simple obedience, you have discovered relationship with Christ.”– Unknown