Have you ever gotten grief for doing the right thing? You thought it was a kind or helpful or considerate thing to do and yet it seemed to backfire. Someone didn’t agree with it or even appreciate your good intentions.
We’ve all been there to some degree but not like what Jesus experienced. In John chapter 5 Jesus heals a man lame for 38 years. No small feat! And yet some people got upset.
“So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him.” ~ John 5:16
You see, the law taught that it was against God’s commands to work on the Sabbath. So did Jesus forget what day it was? Not likely! Especially since He healed someone on the Sabbath on SEVEN DIFFERENT OCCASIONS!
So why did Jesus do it? Because while God specified that it was against the law to work on the Sabbath, it was Jewish tradition that added countless restrictions to the nth degree and made it something other than what God intended. In Luke 14 on one of the other occasions when Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath He reasoned with those who were critical of His actions:
“If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” And they had nothing to say. ~ Luke 14:5-6
Traditions are not inherently good or bad. Some are beneficial, some are not. The danger comes when we elevate our preference, our tradition, and give it the same value as God’s Word. Jesus purposely healed on the Sabbath to confront this very unhealthy practice that turns following Him into something oppressive and burdensome.
So, what do you consider acceptable or unacceptable in terms of doctrine or specific practices both in and outside the church building? Make a list of all the things you consider important and then ask yourself one question.