“Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!””
Sometimes in our lives, we can miss out on what God is doing because we look for the things that fit into the box of our understanding about who God is, and don’t open our eyes to see the things that God is doing outside of the box. Today’s example of Jesus’ healing of the man sick for thirty eight years, is a prime example of this. Jesus, showing compassion on the sick man, healed him and told him to pick up his mat and walk. Jesus saw the desperation in the sick man’s words and saw he couldn’t help himself, so in an act of mercy, healed the sick man instantly.
Yet sadly, the joy of this miracle was quickly quashed by the religious Pharisees, who were more concerned that Jesus had performed a miracle on the Sabbath and that the man was ‘working’ on the Sabbath because he was carrying his sleeping mat. They completely ignored the wonderful miracle that had happened, of a man sick for thirty eight years being healed, and focused on the ‘breaking of the law’. We can only wonder what their reaction would have been if the sick man had been a relative of theirs…
It is our challenge to see what God is doing outside of the box we have created and rejoice that His ways are not our ways and that He truly is in control. We must learn not to be so caught up in the ‘rules’ that we quench what God is doing. As with the sick man, God was doing something so much greater than just healing him, He was bringing him salvation, “Now you are well; So stop sinning…”1