Following Christ is More than Just Rules
John 5:5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”
Jesus heals a man who had been ill for 38 years. Jesus told the man, get up, pick up your mat, and walk. Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. 10 So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” John 5:9 NASB
Imagine after 38 years you are well and best of all you can walk. This guy is walking around carrying his mat for all to see. What could wrong? Who would not be rejoicing for him?
The religious followers, because Jesus healed on the Sabbath and the rule following religious leaders had a rule; "This is the Sabbath! It's illegal for you to carry your mat." Religious leaders make their rules and pretend they are from God but in reality they make themselves as lord over the rules and people.
Jesus, being God, knew it was the Sabbath. Jesus being a Jew knew the man made rules. Why would Jesus purposefully go against the laws of the Pharisees?
Because In Matthew 12:7-8, Mark 2:26-27, Luke 6:1-5 we find Jesus healing on the Sabbath, going against the status quo. It is in these verses we understand.
Matthew 12:7 NKJV But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus, the Son of Man, is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus the Messiah desires mercy not sacrifice. All religions that are "earn your right standing before God through your works," are absent of mercy. Jesus put this another way;
Matthew 11:27 NKJV All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Jesus, the Son of Man, Son of God, the Messiah, God in flesh; is Lord of the Sabbath. That is, Jesus is our rest from the unattainable goal of being not guilty before God through our works. God's love toward those who fear Him is as high as the highest heaven and His forgiveness, as far as the east is from the west all the guilt of our rebellious acts are removed (Psalm 103).
Galatians 1:3 ESV Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Grace and peace, Jesus is inviting you to come to Him. Go! Give Him your burden of guilt and He will give you Himself.
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