OFFENCE

OFFENCE

John 5: 10-15

“The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.”

If you can be offended you will be.

The man had been unable to walk for 38 years. Surely Jesus could have waited one more day to heal him? Just a day and the offence would not have been made.

The Sabbath was holy. The seventh day when God rested from his work and so should we.

The healing wasn’t the work because at the most it was just a command. But picking up his mate, well, that was work.

A wonderful healing and those who saw the results were offended.

But I see the possibility of another offended party. The healed man.

What was his sin? John doesn’t say. Maybe it was attached to the fact that this Jewish man had spent his whole life at a healing centre dedicated to the god Asclepius. Maybe it wasn’t that. It seems only Jesus knew.

Previously the man could not tell the Jewish leaders who Jesus was or where he was. But after this rebuke about his sin that’s exactly what he does. It could be of course an innocent reason but very possibly because he was offended. Whatever the reason it led to difficulty for Jesus.

Offence strikes at us all. We get offended when others are blessed and we get offended when we are corrected even if we are blessed.

The greatest miracle is that of a changed heart.

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