Message/Application: In John 5 miraculous things were happening but the Jews were so offended by Jesus that they were overlooking the miracles and accusing him by the standards of their own traditions and interpretations of the law. When Jesus healed the man by the pool of Bethesda he told him to pick up his mat and walk. It boggles my mind that when they saw a man whom they knew was sick and unable to walk for 38 years they had absolutely no response to the miracle. They were completely fixated on the fact that Jesus told the man to pick up his mat on the Sabbath. They considered this a violation of the Sabbath rule of “not to work.” I can’t help but wonder if they internalized the miracle in their hearts but simply chose not to respond to it, or whether they were really that unmoved by it. As the chapter continued on, Jesus was acknowledging their rejection of him and he told them that he couldn’t testify to himself but others could. He pointed out the fact that the Scriptures that they held with so much honor testified of Him. Again, they were blind to this. He reminded them that John the Baptist, whom they respected was testifying to Jesus, but they didn’t see that either. God the Father and even Moses all testified of Him but they were completely blind to this. Spiritual blindness is a dangerous thing and as I wondered how this happens, it occurred to me that seemed to begin with that religious attitude that elevated a tradition of man in place of the law. Because they missed the heart behind the law, they were unable to see the heart in anything else. Including in Jesus.