by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

The Sign of the Sabbath (3 of 7)
Series: Seven Signs of Christ
Jeff Strite
John 5:1-29

OPEN: There's a story I read once of 3 umpires who were talking about the feeling of power they had on the baseball field. As they talked about what gave them this sense of empowerment, the 1st umpire said - ''I call 'em as I see 'em.''

The 2nd smiled and said, ''That ain't nothing. I call 'em as they are.''

And the 3rd ump lifted his chin and said: ''Well boys... until I call 'em... they ain't nothing.''

APPLY: In our story this morning we have three major players: There's Jesus, the lame man... and the Jews (undoubtedly led by the Pharisees). The Pharisees were the self-appointed set of ''umpires'' in Israel. The Pharisees ''called 'em as they saw 'em'' ... and even when they didn't see 'em, they still called 'em. If there was law in the Old Testament was too vague the Pharisees would ''clarify it'' for God. For example, the Law declared it was illegal to work on the Sabbath, but it didn't define what work was... so the Pharisees helped God out on that. I'm told that The Pharisees defined 1521 ways that you might break the Sabbath

- For instance, if the wick of your lamp burned out on the Sabbath, you couldn't replace it. You had to remain in the darkness.
- You couldn't cut your fingernails, tie a knot, or kill a fly or a flea.
- Women were not allowed to look in the mirror because they might see a gray hair and pull it out - which would have been reaping.
-AND of course, as we saw in our story this morning, you weren't allowed to heal someone on the Sabbath.

Now the story we read this morning is the 3rd of the signs/miracles that John focused on in his Gospel. It is also (perhaps) one of the most unique of the miracles that Jesus performed. John 5:1-8 tells us

''Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids-blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man w ...

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