Have you ever noticed that sometimes Jesus is a troublemaker?
Jesus said to [the invalid], “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Now that day was the Sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” -John 5:8-11
The crippled man had been waiting 38 years, so surely another twenty-four hours wouldn’t have mattered. Jesus could have healed him just fine and told him to relax and wait to carry his mat the next day, the day after the Sabbath.
But He didn’t.
This was no accident. Jesus knew full well what He was doing: intentionally targeting the legalistic hearts of the religious leaders of His day.
While He never condones sin, when Jesus moves His goal is always to draw the focus to Himself rather than to tradition. His actions consistently demonstrate and declare that resurrection triumphs over religion. Why is this the case? Because it is the power of Christ that restores us, not our own ability to save ourselves.
In this story, in a bold act of righteous rebellion against the man-made rules of religious nitpickers, Jesus prioritized people over principles, love over law, the Spirit of Life over the letter of God’s command.
He still does.
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