Here is my sermon on the last portion of Mark 2, where Jesus is doing a bunch of stuff on the Sabbath. The leaders of Jesus’ day had so many Sabbath regulations that it was hard to keep track. Jesus knew them all though and went through breaking the ones they made up in an almost systematic manner. He really wanted them to consider that He might really be from God.
V. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, ‚ÄúDo you believe in the Son of Man?‚Äù
When Jesus asks the man this, the man doesn‚Äôt know who Jesus is, but the man would know that Jesus was a Rabbi (other people approached Him and called Him Rabbi or teacher) but He is questioning the man outside the synagogue and after the man‚Äôs sentencing and exclusion. At this point it seems that the man is free from worrying about being caught or accused‚Äìhe has nothing to lose. I wonder if Jesus knew that as long as the blind man staying in that setting, he would not be His disciple. Once the man is ‚Äòfreed‚Äô from the synagogue, he no longer refers to Jesus as a prophet, like he did before the court, but says he‚Äôll believe in the Son of Man if he can see who He is.
I think this question by Jesus was a defining moment, where Jesus was feeling the man out. It was a heart check version of ‚ÄúWhat are you going to do now?‚Äù After all of the questioning and probing, the man did not begin to think, ‚ÄúMaybe it was just a coincidence, or maybe that guy healed me is a sinner because he made mud.‚Äù He did not waver in unbelief about the power of the man that healed him.
I know in the present time, when a miracle occurs, people begin to ask questions, be skeptical, and look for a logical and scientific explanation (I‚Äôm talking about church people here) and after a while the person telling the tale can begin to explain the events in such a way that shows that God did not have to intervene. This man did not go down that road. Jesus gave him a moment to decide if he was going to stick with his faith in his Healer or recant, and when the man stuck with Jesus, Jesus stuck with Him.
‚ÄúIf anyone carries anything from a public place to a private house on the Sabbath intentionally, he is punishable by death by stoning. ‚Äú Barclay on the Mishnah in the commentary on John 5
So when the pool guy says ‚ÄúThey guy that healed me told me to‚Äù he‚Äôs not just making excuses‚Äìhe‚Äôs defending himself from a STONING! I thought it was bad to carry the bed, but not DEADLY ILLEGAL! Bonhoeffer said that ‚ÄúWhen Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.‚Äù and some people sooner than others 🙂