‘Well,’ he replied, ‘the man who cured me told me to pick up my mattress and walk!’ ‘Oh, really?’ they said. ‘And who is this man, who told you to pick it up and walk?’
“The man who cured me…” This is a big deal in ancient Jewish teaching.
You see, according to Isaiah 36:6, when the Messiah comes,
“Then the lame man shall leap as a deer…”
I guess these guys ought to be mildly interested. They are witnessing a miracle only the Messiah is capable of performing, according to their prophecy.
Instead, they are more interested in their power. It is being able to show how they are right and this man is wrong. They don’t see this having to do with the power of God, they see it as about their own power, the power of their interpretation of God’s word.
Sabbath is good for us. It is the way God shows us the importance of rest and abiding with him and with the people we are closest with. God is in charge of 100% of our lives, and, on purpose, he wants us to delve deeply into why 14%, a sabbath day, is a gift from him. And also a commandment. God says, “I rest, so you rest.”
This is radically different compared to other ancient cultures. The sabbath is for everyone, servants and all, and the sabbath is even for their animals. No other religion had this rest in mind.
But, the Judaean’s aren’t looking at this as a gift. They are trying to use this commandment as a threat.
‘Oh, really?’ they said. ‘And who is this man, who told you to pick it up and walk?’
Don’t they know where the healing comes from? It looks to us that these guys are thick as bricks. I mean, if you are waiting for a Messiah since the time of Moses, about 1200 years, and then a guy comes along and tells a paralyzed guy to get up and walk…Well, who could it be, but…
Do you celebrate a sabbath? A day of rest and refreshment? A day to go deeper with the Lord?