Mark 5:21-43, 6:1-6; Matthew 9:18-34, 13:53-58; Luke 8:40-56; John 5:1-15
The Jewish leaders saw a man walking around, carrying a mat on the Sabbath. They knew him as a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. Now he was walking around as if nothing was wrong.
But he was carrying a mat.
I shake my head at the Jews who were witnessing a miracle right in front of their eyes, yet pounced on the guy for breaking the Law by carrying his mat on the Sabbath. Legalist much?
The healed man answered them, “The guy who healed me told me to pick up my mat.” And when the Jews asked the man to name his healer, he had no idea. Jesus had slipped into the crowd without leaving his business card.
But here’s something I noticed today: when the man ran into Jesus later, Jesus told him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” The man immediately went running to the Jewish leaders who’d questioned him earlier, and identified Jesus as the one who had healed him and told him to carry his mat on the Sabbath.
At least of me, and maybe you. Oh, we are thankful to God for His many blessings. We praise Him for good medical reports, for paying our bills, for keeping our kids safe. But don’t tell me I’m a sinner.
Don’t mess with my screen time, or my anger and jealousy. Don’t point out the times I use language that dishonors you, or when I gossip, or lie, or blend in with the world. Bless me Lord, then leave me alone.
Now maybe I’m reading too much into this passage. Maybe the healed man went excitedly to the Jewish leaders, thinking he’d share the good news of Jesus Christ with people who would be excited about Him, too. I don’t know what he was thinking.
I just don’t read that he repented of the sins Jesus addressed.
I want to always praise God for every blessing in my life. He is unbelievably good to me. I want to share Him with others, people for whom He died, people He loves as much as He loves me.
But I also want to hear Him say, “Stop sinning… or else,” and be quick to do what He says.