“Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jews [Pharisees] said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”“ (John 5:8-10, NIV)
A lawyer pulled up in his brand new Porsche Carrera GT in front of his office, ready to show it off to his colleagues. As he goes to get out of the vehicle, a truck speeds by, hitting the car and completely tearing off the driver’s door. Fortunately, a policeman is close enough to see the accident and pulls up behind the Porsche. Before the cop has a chance to ask any questions, the lawyer starts screaming hysterically about how his car. “I just got this! My car is ruined! It cost $450k!”
After the lawyer finishes his rant, the officer shakes his head in disbelief. “I can’t believe how materialistic you lawyers are,” he said. “You are so focused on your possessions that you neglect the most important things in life.”
“How can you say such a thing?” asked the lawyer. The cop replies, “Don’t you even realize that your left arm is missing? It got ripped off when the truck hit you!!!”
“Oh, no! My Rolex!!”
I was reminded of that dumb joke when reading about the Pharisees in John 5. Here they are, arguing about Sabbath Laws while a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years was walking around!! Talk about missing the point!
This began a debate between Jesus and the Pharisees (which lasts through John 5) and Jesus eventually tells them: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.“ (John 5:39-40, NIV)
In other words, not only did these religious leaders miss the point about the Sabbath and the healing of this man, they missed the point about the Bible, too.
This Sunday we’ll be talking about the spiritual discipline of reading the Bible – and we’ll learn from these Pharisees. I hope to show you how to read God’s Word the right way. There’s nothing worse than missing the point!