Word of Jesus and His ministry was starting to spread. The disciples and Jesus went to Jerusalem, and while there they came across a man that had been unable to walk for almost 40 years. Jesus healed the man and sent him on his way. Great story, right. But, as John was considering things about his friend, John wanted to show that for Jesus, the ministry was never about the acclaim.
Here, Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath. He could have waited another day or healed the man earlier. Jesus chose not to wait in order to expose a very important fact about the Father. Jesus knew the religious leaders clung to their traditions and rules to help them make sense of their prominence. For the leaders, it was always about how impressive they were, how learned they were.
Jesus was about changing the paradigm. He healed the lame man on the Sabbath. The leaders could not question the healing, the man had been paralyzed for nearly 40 years, longer than many had been alive. So, then they came to the heart of the discussion, Is it God or His rules the people were to worship.
When the man announced his healing, the religious leaders were much more concerned that the healing was done on the Sabbath, than they were that God’s power was being displayed in the lives of His people. Jesus knew that was the issue, and Jesus wanted folks to understand that God’s rules were to help us live a peaceful and full life. When God works, the first response needed to be grateful hearts and joy, not slapping the disqualification buzzer.
John wanted folks to see that Jesus always acted intentionally as He ministered. The Lord wanted us to see the Father’s heart and soul, not God’s parlor tricks. Jesus and Paul reiterated that God did not come to replace the law, Just to complete it. If we worship the Lord, we will act in a manner that honors him. Conversely, If we worship the traditions and rules, then we will spend a lifetime pushing the edges and keeping score of things that simply do not matter.
As Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added to you.” John knew that Jesus was intent to set God’s record straight as a Father that loved His own and wanted for them freedom to gratefully follow.
God Bless You
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic[a] called Bethesda,[b] which has five roofed colonnades. 3 In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.[c] 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews[d] said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”