What Jesus Did! 'Doesn't Fit My Religious Agenda' — John 5:8-9

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Then Jesus said, "Stand up! Pick up your bed and walk." Then immediately the man was well. The man picked up his bed and started walking. The day all this happened was a Sabbath day.
— John 5:8-9
Illustration of John 5:8-9 — Then Jesus said, "Stand up! Pick up your bed and walk." Then immediately the man was well. The man picked up his bed and started walking. The day all this happened was a Sabbath day.

Key Thought

God created the Sabbath to be a day of blessing, rest, and reverence. Isn't it funny how religion can ruin the blessing of God with its own rules? Because Jesus did something they classified as unlawful on the Sabbath (rather than looking at God's intent of establishing the Sabbath), they discounted the miracle, ignored the joy of the one healed, and criticized the one who provided the blessing. How often do we do that in other areas in our religious lives? Hmm... better move on, that's too convicting. Bottom line: let's make sure our traditions and rules don't keep out God's blessings simply because they don't fit into our religious agenda.

Today's Prayer

God, forgive us for turning your blessings into hardships, your joy into drudgery, and your grace into a set of rules. Forgive me for not rejoicing more with those who rejoice and for not comforting those who have been wounded. Help me find the balance of Jesus in knowing your will about worship while responding to the needs of those around me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Later Jesus went to Jerusalem for a special Jewish festival. In Jerusalem there is a pool with five covered porches. In the Jewish language it is called Bethzatha. This pool is near the Sheep Gate. Many sick people were lying on the porches {beside the pool}. Some of the people were blind, some were crippled, and some were paralyzed. There was a man lying there who had been sick for 38 years. Jesus saw the man lying there. Jesus knew that the man had been sick for a very long time. So Jesus asked the man, "Do you want to be well?" The sick man answered, "Sir, there is no person to help me get into the water when the water starts moving. I try to be the first person into the water. But when I try, another person always goes in before I can." Then Jesus said, "Stand up! Pick up your bed and walk." Then immediately the man was well. The man picked up his bed and started walking. The day all this happened was a Sabbath day. So some Jews said to the man that had been healed, "Today is the Sabbath. It is against our law for you to carry your bed on the Sabbath day." But the man answered, "The person (Jesus) that made me well told me, 'Pick up your bed and walk.'" The Jews asked the man, "Who is the person that told you to pick up your bed and walk?" But the man that had been healed did not know who the person was. There were many people in that place, and Jesus had left. Later Jesus found the man at the temple. Jesus said to him, "See, you are well now. But stop sinning or something worse may happen to you!" Then the man left and went back to those Jews. The man told them that Jesus was the one that made him well.

John 5:1-15

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus left that place and went into their synagogue. In the synagogue there was a man with a crippled hand. Some Jews there were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus of doing wrong. So they asked Jesus, "Is it right to heal on the Sabbath day?" Jesus answered, "If any of you has a sheep, and the sheep falls into a ditch on the Sabbath day, then you will take the sheep and help it out of the ditch. Surely a man is more important than a sheep. So the law {of Moses} allows people to do good things on the Sabbath day." Then Jesus said to the man with the crippled hand, "Let me see your hand." The man put his hand out for Jesus, and the hand became well again, the same as the other hand. But the Pharisees left and made plans to kill Jesus.

Matthew 12:9-14

Then Jesus said to the Pharisees, "The Sabbath day was made to help people. People were not made to be ruled by the Sabbath day. So the Son of Man is Lord (master) of every day, even the Sabbath."

Mark 2:27-28

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.