I have called the current events in our world today, “The Winds of Hostility.” I believe this is occurring more and more because of the natural hostility that men have against each other as the world becomes progressively more evil. And this I believe is due to man's quest for knowledge and power. Secondly, I believe this is also because of man’s dislike and apathy for the ways of God.
This encounter that we are examining this week begins with Jesus once again experiencing compassion for a man who for 38 years was crippled and entering into the pool of Bethesda as often as he could to remedy his pain. However, this encounter is not primarily about a crippled man, but about the winds of hostility that are beginning to blow against the nature and person of God. What do you think is in our hearts when, instead of being excited for another's success, we tend to become envious, jealous, or sarcastic about them? This man just received a healing after 38 years of being a cripple. The Jewish leaders saw it as a breach of their own laws when Jesus told the man to take up his bed and walk. (The law prohibited one from being able to carry an object from one place to another on the Sabbath.) The issue of working on the Sabbath was a flashpoint for disagreement between Jews and the authorities. On another occasion Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27–28).
This encounter with the paralytic man and the Jewish leaders is an example of how the Christian faith is scrutinized and condemned by many because of its claim to a personal God and a personal Savior that are one and the same God, and who are actively involved in the world and in our lives. We should not view our lives as solely ours and only submissive to those closest around us. To some they're not submissive to anyone. We should remember that we are committed to God the Father and God the Son who will judge our every action. To Them we submit ourselves and our very actions.
Where are you today in this thought and thinking for your life?
Is Jesus Lord of the Sabbath in your life?