Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

In today’s Gospel, Jesus cures a man on the Sabbath.  The man is given the ability to walk again.

Jesus’ ability to do that is founded in who he is.  This is something that many of the Jews failed to recognize.

Jesus came upon many people there who were lame, blind, or otherwise suffering physically.  He could have cured them all. He cured one so that all might choose to believe.  But he was able to cure because he is God. 

The laws regarding the Sabbath were given by God for the benefit of the Jews.   It is absurdity to try to force God to act within the limits of these laws given to his creatures.  The only reason why one would expect Jesus to comply with these laws is because one does not recognize his divinity. 

We do not read verses 17-18 as part of the Gospel today, but they really summarize the issue of Jesus and the Sabbath.  Jesus says:

“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”  For this reason, the Jews tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath, but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.

Not only do they not recognize Jesus’ divinity, they regard his claim of divinity as blasphemy. 

God transcends the laws regarding the Sabbath.  They exist to get us to take the time to worship God and to rest.  These are human needs.  God has no such needs.

Right now, it seems that our Sabbath is potentially every day.  At the same time, it is possible that we disregard the Sabbath completely.  Even in the midst of the disruptions today, we still need to take a day to worship God and to rest from our other concerns, even if we cannot gather in church.  We need to have a day focused on the Lord.