The Sabbath Hypocrisy

18th January

Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. . . For if the correct time of circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.””

John 7:21, 23-24

Earlier in John chapter 5, Jesus miraculously healed a man who had been lame for a long time. Instead of people rejoicing in this amazing miracle, the crowds (particularly the Pharisees) where enraged as this miracle happened to fall on the Sabbath; a day where no work should be done. The people missed out on the blessings of this great miracle, because they were too caught up in religiously following the law.

Yet Jesus, in John 7, points out a very interesting fact, that turns the table on the Pharisees’ and the Jewish people’s judgmental hypocrisy. He questioned why the people where angry with Him for healing a man on the Sabbath, when they too work on the Sabbath, if the time for circumcising a boy falls on the Sabbath day (eights days after the birth of the child). What is the difference?

Sadly, many of us too can fall into the same trap as the Pharisees. We judge people for things we deem to be wrong and not according to scripture, yet we too are doing the very thing we are judging others of. Jesus finishes His defence with these words, ‘Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.’ In other words, before you point the finger, take a moment to see what is really going on. Why is the person doing what they are doing? What’s going on spiritually in this person’s life? Before we are quick to judge others, let us too, reflect on our own actions. Look beneath the surface.