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…and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” John 5:10

Read: John 5:10-18
John 5


Jesus asks the 38-year invalid if he wants to get well. Instead of answering, the man complains that he can’t get into the water to be healed. Although it’s the Sabbath, Jesus commands him, “Pick up your mat and walk,” and he does.

The watching Pharisees couldn’t care less this man is healed but are indignant that he’s carrying his mat (which is considered work, and working on the Sabbath is forbidden). The Pharisees had morphed rules—initially meant to help Jews follow God—into a system of religious power and oppression. Jesus challenges this system by telling the man to “carry his mat.” When they confront Jesus, he talks like he’s equal with God. At this point, it’s not about the healing or the mat-carrying but who Jesus claims to be. The Pharisees can choose to believe in his authority, thus denouncing their religious system, or get rid of him.

We have the same choice today. Either we accept Jesus for who he says he is and follow him—or we rid ourselves of his authority. Watch this video as Pastor Jeff Manion explains how Jesus not only challenges the Pharisees’ system but ours as well.


With open hands, pray and ask God to show you one area where you’re resisting God and hanging on to your own system. Journal ways you can let go and let God be in charge. Then commit to learning how Jesus wants you to live and take one step today.


Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse! View previous verses at beyondtheweekend.org/biblememorypractice.

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.