John 5: 9b-14

The (members of the religious establishment determined there were) thirty-nine categories of work that might not be undertaken on the Sabbath; the thirty-ninth of these was the carrying of a load from one dwelling to another. By this standard, the man’s action in carrying his pallet home was a violation of the Sabbath law (F. F. Bruce).

vv. 9b-10 – … “It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat.”  By the time Jesus came to earth, Judaism had degenerated into a religious devotion. The hypocrisy enraged   Jesus. The Jews in authority reminded the man who was healed that he was breaking the law. The Old Testament does forbid work on the Sabbath (Read Exodus 20:8-11; Nehemiah 13:15; Jeremiah 17:21).However, the law the Jews in authority were referring to,was in the oraltradition, which was a man-made law.

Jesus ignored the Rabbi’s oral tradition.He intentionally healed on the Sabbath Day to get people to listen to Him. Jesus confronted the Jewish hyper-legalism and their need to repent.

v. 11 – … “He who made me well, the same said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk’.” The lifting of his mat (pallet) was a condition for his cure. You would think the healing of the lame man would have been a time of rejoicing. In Jesus’ eyes, the Sabbath was given to be a blessing and not a burden to human beings.  However, the Jews in authority were more concerned about their man-made rules and regulations. “Jesus “regarded acts of healing … as deeds that should be done on that day” (F. F. Bruce). -Read Mark 2:10-12-                     

John 5:16 says the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill him because he did these things (acts of healing) on the Sabbath. The Jews repeatedly persecuted Jesus because of their hatred toward him (read Mark 3:1-6).

 5:14 – Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”  F. F. Bruce says, “Jesus knew what caused his infirmity. He told the man not to continue in sin because something worse could happen.”

Galatians 6:7-8 says, Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows (morally and spiritually), that he will also reap (receive). For he who sows to his own flesh (evil desires) will from the flesh reap corruption. It is important that we remember sin has its unavoidable consequences. 

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