John 5:8-9
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

The first story in John 5 is the healing of the lame man, and after healing him, Jesus instructs the man to pick up his mat and walk, but in verse 10 it says, “the Jewish leaders objected saying you can’t work (carry your mat) on the Sabbath.”

If you want to get technical about it, the law did forbid working on the Sabbath, which raises the question why would Jesus command the lame man to do something against the rules?

Motive.

When it comes to our relationship with Jesus were either leaning in or were leaning out—why you do what you do matters much more than what we do.

That’s what annoyed the religious leaders so much about Jesus, they wanted a technical rule book, and Jesus wouldn’t give it to them because you can technically obey the rules and miss the point. Let me give you a couple of examples:

#1 – Missing Church (going on a trip, going to the lake, working a job) doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad Christian, but what is your posture? Are you staying home on Sunday because you’re leaning away? You can miss church and be passionately in love with Jesus, but you can also miss church because it’s the early signs that you’re drifting. You can be in church every Sunday and still not know Jesus. The motive matters more than the attendance.

#2 – Moral “grey” areas (drinking, drugs, gambling, cursing, etc.) Everyone struggles with and has different degrees of convictions about certain actions that the Bible leaves up to us. You can drink a glass of wine or play blackjack and passionately love Jesus, but only you know your posture. When you assess your actions are you leaning in or leaning out. You can avoid questionable behavior your whole life and still not love Jesus. The motive makes the difference.

Think of it like two people passing each other going in different directions. At the intersection, the two people look the same, behave the same, attend the same, say the same things but one person is moving forward, and one person is moving backward. That’s the difference between leaning in and leaning out.

As you think about where you are in your relationship with Jesus, are you leaning in or leaning out? Are you looking for loopholes because you want to still be a “Christian,” but you don’t want to follow Jesus? Only you can answer those questions because it’s about the motives of your heart.

Lean in!