In other words, healing a man on the Sabbath was a crime, as well as picking up a mat and moving it (John 5:10, John 5:17). Those were simply “no-no’s.” But, hey, what’s the saying? If that’s what the law says, then that’s what the law says. The law is the law and even God must follow the rules. After all, once we begin to make exceptions, then the whole “house of religion” begins to fall. True? False?
It is not hard to conclude that such a mindset is still very much with us: we have a strong tendency to focus on what we can’t do rather than what Jesus is doing! For the issue is really not on the law, but on Jesus. It is about understanding that the work of God and the work of Jesus are the same (John 5:17). That’s the real kicker!
Yes, breaking the Sabbath would have thrown all the religious folks in a tizzy, for if God cannot be trusted to keep the rules, then why bother? Like the invalid on the mat, God must also stay put (John 5:15)!
But equating yourself with God? That will get you killed (5:16). That’s a deal-breaker!
And yet, if God is able to do far more than what we can possibly imagine, then why is it that we religious folks fear God and fear what God can do (Ephesians 3:20)? If, as Jesus says, all things are possible with God, then what is it in us that prompts us to pull back? What is it about the nature of sin to constrict us, to focus on the impossible rather than the possible?
How may we proceed during this season of Lent in trust, believing God is working for our good, taking God’s hand and walking with him? What do we need to do?
Pastor Andy Kinsey