John 5 Jesus returns to Jerusalem and heals a man (on the Sabbath) by the pool of Siloam not because he sought healing but because of Jesus’ heart of compassion. The man “immediately” obeys to pick up his mat and walk. Jesus has disappeared from this scene but the religious police accost this innocent man and charge him with breaking the Sabbath.
In the book of Numbers, we read of a story of a man who truly broke the Sabbath by picking up sticks and is stoned to death. Was this on their mind? When hearing their threats, did he, too, recall that story? Picture that, and now you understand his fear; what transpires next, and why we sometimes react as he did.
Jesus finds the innocent healed man, and he reminds him that his healing is for a purpose; that he sin no more but use his healing for a greater purpose. Yet, as Proverbs reminds us, the fear of man is greater than the fear of God. [Prov 29:25] and so he rushes to the religious leaders to betray his healer. Now we see the true intent of their heart; they sought to find him to kill him.
The religious police didn’t want the man healed on the Sabbath, but they were willing to kill Jesus. So which is the greater sin?