Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed." 11 But he answered them, "The man who healed me, that man said to me, 'Take up your bed, and walk.' " 12 They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you." 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.
Jesus had completely transformed this man's life. He had been paralysed for nearly 40 years and out of many that were at the pool, Jesus chose him to heal. He just spoke and his impairment vanished and he instantly had the ability to walk. It takes us months to learn or relearn to walk and Jesus spoke it into this man. Kinda reminds me of the beginning of Genesis.
But as usual the Pharisees were more interested in having their traditions of legalism fulfilled than they were to celebrate this miracle. Their focus was on the outward appearance not the change that occured. We have whole denominations and many, many churches that are seeing no life change in their congregations. Their focus is on the conforming to tradition and following rules, but Jesus was about the gracious love of God.
Would Jesus be concerned about someone who wears flip flops to church? I don't think so. He would be more concerned about drawing them to a true understanding of sin and the eternal consequences of it. Let me make it simple, no one will go to hell for wearing flip flops to church. Maybe that's not your preference and I respect that, but those kind of rules are just religion, not rightousness. Christ's love, shown through the giving of Himself as a substitute for our debt of sinfulness, is the only thing that can unite people. Religion and traditions only divide people.
True acts of rightousness (Good works) are only accomplished with the help of the Holy Spirit. I do not ever recall the Disciples being full of the Spirit and putting on closed toe shoes, or long pants, or a white shirt or.... They just lifted up their Lord's name and people responded.
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