Listen to Jesus or the Pharisees?

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 King 24-25; John 5:1-24

After this there was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.In Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate in the north city wall is a pool with the Aramaic name Bethsaida. It had five covered porches, and a crowd of people who were sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed sat there. A certain man was there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, knowing that he had already been there a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I don’t have anyone who can put me in the water when it is stirred up. When I’m trying to get to it, someone else has gotten in ahead of me.”

Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Immediately the man was well, and he picked up his mat and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath.

10 The Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It’s the Sabbath; you aren’t allowed to carry your mat.” (John 5:1-10, Common English Bible).

I get it. The Pharisees didn’t want anyone working on the Sabbath. But, if one of you can explain this to me, it would really help me out. The old ox in the ditch argument was alive and well in First-century Palestine. If there were some kind of emergency, working was OK. But then, there is the guy who had been sick for 38 years and Jesus healed him (they didn’t like that to start with) and he gets into trouble for picking up the mat he had been laying on near the pools of Bethsaida. If he didn’t pick up the matt someone would have stolen it Sabbath or not.

Additionally, when Jesus healed the man he said, “Take your mat and go home.” The guy does as Jesus tells him and the Pharisees go off on him for not keeping the Sabbath holy. It is a catch-22 situation, he can let Jesus heal him on the Sabbath and then carry his mat home, therefore both of them are working. Or, he could just go on being sick. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what I would be doing, Sabbath or not. I feel pretty sure, dear reader, that you would probably act the same way. I’ve been sick for 38 years? There is no doubt that if someone is there who has the power to make me well, I am going to take him up on the possibility. I also think God is going to understand and be OK with it.

This is yet another example of Jesus’ problems with the Pharisees. They were so caught up in the law as a whole they overlooked the law that Jesus said, and they agreed, I might add, that was most important of all. Love God and love neighbor was then and is now, the rule to live by. Not only would supporting the man’s healing have been the loving thing to do, perhaps they should have bent over, picked up the man’s mat and helped him carry it home.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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