“Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk.” Matthew 22:15 (NKJV)
During WWII, German U-boats were not only found in Europe. In fact, in 1942 there were 19 U-boats off the Eastern side of the United States, and their goal was to sink as many ships as possible.
On January 18, 1942, a U-boat sank the Allan Jackson, an oil tanker. Twenty-two men lost their lives. A few days later, U-boats sank 5 ships. After that , at least one boat was sunk every day.
Something had to happen to protect the shores of North America, and on April 14, 1942, a Navy Destroyer, the USS Roper, was sent to the East Coast. That same day the USS Roper sank a U-boat. In addition, the United States increased their air and surface patrol craft, using advanced anti-submarine technology. The U-boats continued patrolling the East Coast, but never again did they enjoy the successes of the spring of 1942.
Jesus also faced a special kind of U-boat-namely, Pharisees and Sadducees. Their goals was to destroy Jesus completely. They were vicious!
Interestingly enough, those who are religious are quite jealous. Many of them opposed anyone who has been healed by Jesus. Truly, no human can heal someone of a disease or infirmity! Only our Heavenly Father can do this! He is the one who heals!
The religious pray for healing, but they always add in their prayer, “Only if it is your will.” They put doubt in their prayers, forgetting that healing through the ages has been the norm by our Heavenly Father.
“Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people-blind, crippled, paralyzed-were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, ‘Do you want to get well?’ The sick man said, ‘Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.’ Jesus said, ‘Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.’ The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off. That day happened to be the Sabbath.” John 5:1-9 (MSG)
Jesus is always compassionate. He heals anyone in need. Notice that this invalid never even asked Jesus to heal him. Jesus is the one who approached him and consequently healing occurred!
The religious were not happy at all: “The Jews stopped the healed man and said, ‘It’s the Sabbath. You can’t carry your bedroll around. It’s against the rules.'” John 5:10 (MSG) “That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus-because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath.” John 5:16 (MSG) . Their rules were way more important than compassion. Not so with Jesus!
“Next a poor demon-afflicted wretch, both blind and deaf, was set down before him. Jesus healed him, gave him his sight and hearing. The people who saw it were impressed-‘This has to be the Son of David!’ But the Pharisees, when they heard the report, were cynical. ‘Black magic,’ they said. ‘Some devil trick he’s pulled from his sleeve.'” Matthew 12:22-24 (MSG) It wasn’t even the Sabbath and still they criticized the Son of God! It still didn’t stop Jesus for healing others!
He cannot help but to have compassion towards those in need, and healing was his every day event. Droves of people went to him for healing and He healed them all. “When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw a large crowd. He felt sorry for them and cured their sick people.” Matthew 14:14 (GW) We should too. By depending upon our Heavenly Father, healings will occur. We are not here to criticize, but to follow in the steps of Jesus: “He left you an example so that you could follow in his footsteps.” 1 Peter 2:21b (GW)
It’s way better to be a Navy Destroyer to protect people than to be a U-boat destroying people. What do you think?
(To access the entire “The Helpless Heroes and the Vindictive Prideful” devotional series, please click here.)