Have you ever wondered why it seemed like Jesus is always healing on the Sabbath?
We can certainly find many examples of Him healing or performing miracles when it wasn’t the Sabbath. Jesus calmed the storm while He and His disciples traveled by boat to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, and once they arrived in the Garasenes, He drove the demons out of a man and sent them into a herd of pigs. This wasn’t the Sabbath.
But right after this, Jesus healed a paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda… on the Sabbath!
Why the Sabbath? A few possibilities come to mind.
•Perhaps Jesus wanted His miracles to be done in public as a testimony to His identity, and the Sabbath was the one day when you would find people gathered in the same place, worshiping at the synagogue.
•Maybe Jesus performed many of his healings on the Sabbath because He wanted to challenge the status quo and confront the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
•From a practical standpoint, the Sabbath would be where Jesus encountered the most people, so it would make sense that more healings took place when He had the greatest exposure to human needs.
•Another thought is that the theme of the tension between Jesus and the religious leaders, which ultimately led to His crucifixion, was central to the gospel story. It was more important for the Gospel writers to tell these stories because they built the case for why the religious elite hated Jesus.
My tendency would be to tell Jesus to pick another day of the week to heal. The paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda had been lame for 38 years. If I were one of Jesus’ disciples, like Simon Peter, I might have told Jesus, “Can’t we wait one more day? He’s been lame for 38 years. What’s another day going to hurt? Can’t you just heal him tomorrow? You know how much the Pharisees hate it when you heal on the sabbath.”
But Jesus healed people anyway, knowing the consequences.
Maybe Jesus just had His priorities right. Don’t put off til tomorrow the good you can do today. The words of James, Jesus’ younger brother, come to mind.
“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17
To learn more about Walking As Jesus Walked and Discipling As Jesus Discipled, visit: SONLIFE.COM