Celebrating Miracles Over Legalistic Standards

John 5:10
The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

Talk about missing the whole point! These Jews were more caught up in their legalistic, super-spiritual “standards” than they were in the miracle of the moment. Friend, do not get caught in the trap of majoring on the minors. There are more important things to worry about than trying to keep the brethren convinced that you are abiding by their rules. It is one thing to live by the Bible; yet it is another thing to be bound down by a list of do’s and don’ts which have no Biblical backing whatsoever. These guys in our text were literally so wrapped up in their twisted views of the Bible that they could not see the forest for the trees, so to speak. Here, a man was completely healed of his illness, which was reason to celebrate, and all they were worried about was that he wait until the next morning to pick up and carry his bed. Isn’t that just like legalism today? I mean, no sooner than a new convert trusts Christ as their Savior, before we even have time to celebrate his liberty, the religious bind him down with their list of expectations which he must follow if he is to be as spiritual as they are! Come on! Get real! I am a minister of the Gospel myself, but I must say, give them some breathing room! We try to cram twenty years of religious rules and regulations into a one-week crash course, and then criticize the new convert for crashing the course! First, let us not assume that everything we know is everything they need to know. It could be that we have some bad ideas that we do not need to pass on to them! Secondly, we need to give them time; after all, God is still working on us as well; we haven’t arrived yet, either! It always amazes me at how quickly we can forget what we are made of when we compare ourselves to others. Let us not forget what our frame is made of; flesh! Oh yes, you have it too! That’s why he that is spiritual is to restore others who have made mistakes and sinned, considering himself, lest he also be tempted (see Gal. 6:1). Here is a word to the legalist; chill out! Seriously, to live Holy is not to live miserably. A proper understanding of the liberties we have in Christ will not mislead us into more temptation; rather, it will motivate us to please Him all the more!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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