They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
The Pharisees, the religious elite of the day, find themselves at a crossroads. A man who was blind stands before them as a testimony to an undeniable miracle, yet the manner in which it was performed challenges their deeply held convictions about the Sabbath. For them, the act of making mud was work, and work on the Sabbath was a violation of the Law.
But herein lies the rub: Jesus intentionally disrupts the status quo. He doesn't heal in a manner that would be convenient or less controversial; he heals in a way that challenges the very heart of religious complacency and legalism.
Why? Perhaps because Jesus wants to highlight the rigidity and misplaced priorities of the religious leaders. The Sabbath, a day meant for rest and reflection on God, had become a day burdened with a myriad of human-imposed regulations. The Pharisees had lost sight of the Sabbath's purpose: to draw near to God and to recognize the inherent dignity of every human being as made in his image.
By healing on the Sabbath, Jesus emphasizes the importance of compassion over ritual, of person over protocol. The division among the Pharisees reveals the heart of the matter: Is the Law an end in itself, or is it a means to draw us closer to the heart of God and his love for humanity?
Religious traditions can sometimes overshadow the core message of divine love and mercy. Consequently, we must continuously evaluate if our practices, though well-intentioned, might be hindering the very essence of faith.
In our own lives, how often do we cling to our "Sabbaths" – our routines, comfort zones, and traditions – at the expense of recognizing God's disruptive grace? Jesus' act of healing on the Sabbath invites us to embrace divine disruptions, for they often lead us closer to the heart of God.
God bless you.