Have you ever heard that Jesus was an infinitely tolerant and inoffensive person who respected the beliefs of everyone He met? Unfortunately, this silly myth has become quite popular. It is quickly dispelled with a simple reading of any of the Bible’s four gospels where He is often in an argument, infuriating a crowd, or running from an angry mob. Eventually they kill Him because he so offended them.
This may shock you, but sometimes Jesus picked a fight. One example is found in John 9:6-7 where Jesus heals a man born blind, “…he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
The religious leaders who heard of this became infuriated. In an odd twist, they sought to kill Jesus for healing a man.
Why were they so angry? Because Jesus healed this man in a way that offended them by publicly trampling on their deeply held religious beliefs.
One, they forbid healing on the Sabbath. Yet, Jesus heals seven different times on the Sabbath, including this healing, as His way of publicly calling out religious leaders who enforce rules that God did not make.
Two, they forbid work such as kneading on the Sabbath. Under this rule, they would have considered Jesus’ mixing of mud work.
Three, they forbid people from travelling over a certain distance on the Sabbath. In sending the man to wash in the pool of Siloam, Jesus may have been sending Him further than their religious rules allowed.
We may quickly rush to judge these people with their silly rules. But, we need to first consider our own silly rules. If Jesus showed up in our day driving a gas guzzling monster truck to an Earth Day parade, refused to recycle at His urban condo, or protested both political parties we’d quickly see that everyone is, in one way or another, a religious rule maker.
How about you? Are there rules you have made that you treat as if they were God’s commands?