And Persecution Besides

20 Mar

Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath.   (Jn 5:8-9,15-16)

I guess one could say that if Jesus didn’t have bad luck, He wouldn’t have had any luck at all.

After all, look at the Gospel.

Jesus was going to be “damned if He did, damned if He didn’t”.  In other words, He was just where His enemies wanted Him.

They knew, they just knew, that Jesus would not sit around and let someone suffer.  He would help anyone, anywhere, any how.  That included helping on the Sabbath.

In our culture, we do not understand this at all.

When I was young, Sunday was still a “day of rest”.  Many stores were closed on Sundays.  People went to church and then went home and enjoyed their families.

Not any more.  Not now.  Today, Sunday is just like any other day.

The Jews did not work on the Sabbath.

Now, when I say “did not work”, I mean did NOT work.

Even today.

In the hotel in which we stayed while on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the elevators were set on “Sabbath Setting” on the day of Sabbath.


Because it is considered “work” even to push a button.

Therefore, the elevators go from one floor to the next, up and down, for a twenty-four period so as not to force a conservative Jew to break the Sabbath.

Jesus’ performing of miracles on the Sabbath, to a strictly conservative Jew, was considered work.  And work was a violation of the law.

They could not figure out how Jesus could break the law if He was such a great man of God.

Because they kept looking at the Lord through their human eyes rather than through the eyes of faith, they missed the fact that God was, indeed, present in their midst.

The same danger exists for us.

Do we see God, experience God, acknowledge God, present in our lives?  Or do we reject what we see because it does not fit our world view?

FAITH ACTION:  Jesus was persecuted for doing good.  He healed someone on the Sabbath.  Is there some one, or some group, in your life whom you mistreat even though they are doing good?  Amend your actions today.