10 So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” 11 But he answered them, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk’?” 13 But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place.
How much does our piety distract us from the point? Do we get caught up in “doing the right thing” that we wind up ignoring God altogether? It makes me think of families in this current day and age. The parents are so consumed of “doing the right thing” for their kids in order to “provide” that they never stop to just love them. Kids want love more than a roof over their house. God wants you to love Him more than He wants you to do “good” things.
He doesn’t care about the clothes you wear, the things you eat and drink, or anything else you “do” above your love for Him. If you love Him, the rest will follow. He doesn’t care that you are so careful to follow the Ten Commandments than He does that you follow them because you love Him.
What do we do today that we think will get Him to love us more? These Jews were more concerned about observing the Sabbath than they were recognizing the man had been healed and praising God for it! I think about the implications that piety could have today. Think about it: isn’t a preacher “working” when he teaches on Sunday? What about the other staff who are “working” to make sure everything goes smoothly. What if the worship leader said, “today we are going to sit in silence and look at each other. It’s the Sabbath and we shouldn’t be working.”
Some of you reading this might be thinking, “yeah, but that’s different.” No, no it’s not. Our God is an all or nothing God. He isn’t an “ok, spend 6 days with your buddies and come chat with me on Sunday” God. He wants all of us. He wants our hearts. He doesn’t want our money, our good deeds, our anything. He’s God, He has everything He needs, what He wants is our love.
Will you love Him? Will you put down your religious pride for a moment and just thank Him for His blessings today? We let our rules drown out God’s voice. We let our “I’m right, you’re wrong” mentality become our god and God takes a back seat in our lives. We fight for a God that doesn’t need anybody to fight for Him. We get defensive when someone criticizes our beliefs. What are we defending: what we believe or who we believe in?
Thank God today for the healing He brings in others. Thank God for the healing He has given you. If you need healing, ask Him, regardless of the day of the week.