Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your bed and walk.” At once the man was healed and picked up his bed and walked. ... The Jews said to the man who had been healed, “This is the Day of Rest. It is against the Law for you to carry your bed.” ... Because Jesus did these things on the Day of Rest, the Jews made it very hard for Him. Jesus said to them, “My Father is still working all the time so I am working also.” [John 5:8-17 NLV]
The context of the Jews' criticism of the man who has been healed blows me away!
This man has been paralyzed for 38 years! 38 long years!
Where were these self-righteous Jews when this man was suffering and struggling?
Where were they when he cried? Who among them lifted one finger to help him in his suffering?
Such is the demeanor and attitude of many religious people even today.
Such folks tend to focus on legalities rather than spiritual things.
How is it that anyone would not rejoice with a healed man who suffered for so long?
These same folks persecuted Jesus because he broke their rules by helping hurting people.
These religious folks felt totally justified in their criticism because their theology.
They preferred to cling to a caustic doctrine rather than encourage people involved in God's work.
Here is the question that I think must be asked of all religion:
Does it help or hinder the work of God on planet earth?Jesus speaks directly to this and proclaims that God is working all of the time.
He indicates that the healing of people like this man is an evidence of God at work.
In saying this he invites all who will to join God in helping hurting people.
Help me Lord to not hide behind my doctrine when I see hurting people.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.