John 5: 10-11.
The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
¶He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
There were always, and will always, be the critics; those who stand around being all pious and self-righteous, finding fault with those who do not believe, or behave, according to their dictates.
These were most likely scribes and/or Pharisees, who took delight in obeying every letter of the law they had derived and expanded on from the first five books of the Old Testament. Mind you, a great deal of their law was man-made, but they believed it was sanctioned by God.
I wonder if it was unlawful for them to be “working” on the sabbath. That’s what they were doing, you know. Inspecting Jesus’ acts and words in an attempt to charge Him with breaking the law. If you’re in the habit of looking for fault in others, you will almost surely find it.
We need to be very cautious in accusing others of not following our own beliefs, rules, behaviors. The first thing to do is make sure that our own behavior is indeed scripturally based. Then, we need to keep in mind that from the early ministry of Jesus, there were those outside the circle of disciples who also were teaching about Him, but not the way they were doing it. When the disciples complained to Jesus, He told them to leave those others alone.
Look at Mark 9:37-39. “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in My name welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me welcomes not only Me, but the One who sent Me.” 38John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone else driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not accompany us.” 39“Do not stop him,” Jesus replied. “For no one who performs a miracle in My name can turn around and speak evil of Me.…”
It is not our job to monitor what others are teaching or preaching, making sure they do it “our way.” Our job is to share Jesus Christ. Our job is to be becoming holy, Christlike, spirit-filled followers of Christ.
In verse 10, these keepers of the letter of the law admonished the man who was cured. “You are breaking the Law by carrying your bed on the sabbath! Shame on you! Yes, it’s nice that you’re all cured now, but really, you should know better than to pick up and carry your bed on the sabbath!”
I love the man’s response. He doesn’t seem to have been intimidated by these big shots. He said, “The One Who cured me told me what to do.”
I’m imagining the Pharisees’ faces turning red and then purple. How dare such a lowly creature talk back to them! Honestly? I don’t think, in spite of their fancy robes and high level of education, that they were very well-behaved.
What happens next is priceless. Don’t miss it.