Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. -John 5:9-13 NRSV
A common theme in the gospel accounts is how Jesus incensed the religious leaders by healing people on the Sabbath. As I write this I can hardly believe what I am writing. Supposed followers of God who are more interested in following rules than seeing a man (who was sick for 38 years) healed? This is the dark conclusion of those who follow rules.
And yet there are still so many people in the world who prefer this sort of religion. Following the rules always seems to be the safe path to take. Until one day, like these religious leaders, you find yourself fighting the One who you purport to follow. It is a not so subtle warning for us when we choose to follow rules of the head rather than the ones of the heart.
Help us Lord to trust you and follow with all of your heart and not lean on religious rules.
... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.