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On the Job 24/7

Briefing: When you took your oath of office, did you swear to be vigilant both on and off duty? Do you consider yourself a law enforcement officer even when you are off the clock?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 5:16-30.

On the Street: In this passage of scripture we see that the Jews were so angry with Jesus that they wanted to kill Him. They were angry because He healed someone on the Sabbath (Saturday). They were not amazed that He had the power to heal, only that He was doing it on the Sabbath. To the Jews, the Sabbath was a day that you were not supposed to do any physical labor. It was a day of rest. I guess if you were a law enforcement officer in Jerusalem during Jesus’ time, you did not have to work Saturdays.

If someone is in trouble, they call 911. Are there certain times that 911 operators are on duty? Do they only take calls between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.? Of course not; first responders work 24 hour a day. Police, fire and EMS are available to assist anyone at any time, day or night.

First responders are not the only around the clock operation. When I am in trouble and need help, I have the assurance that my Rescuer, my Savior, is not only on duty but can be at my aid before I even have to ask.

How important is it to have someone available to come to your aid no matter the day of the week? What would happen if all first responders only worked from 9-5 with weekends off? I believe it would not take long for chaos to take over.

Jesus tells the Jews, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” John 5:17 (NIV). Jesus is never “off the clock”. He can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. He does not take off for weekends or holidays. He can be counted on to always be there, even when you don’t believe He is.

The Jews were also mad at Jesus because He was calling God His Father (which is true). The fact that Jesus called God His own Father works to explain how He could legally heal on the Sabbath. The Jews had a law that prohibited anyone from doing work on the Sabbath, including healing someone. The fact that Jesus was God’s own Son exempted Him from this law. From a legal standpoint, you cannot be arrested for criminal mischief if you break something that belongs to you. The Sabbath belonged to God. In Matthew 12:8 (NIV) Jesus says, “For the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath”. Because the Sabbath was His to begin with, He had the legal right to do anything He wanted on the Sabbath. Of course, this is a defense to His actions that is not necessary. He is God.

Investigational Resources: Jesus healed seven people on the Sabbath: see John 5:1-18, Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:29-31, Luke 13:15, 14:5, John 9:1-16, Luke 13:10-17, Luke 14:1-6.

Officer Safety Principle: Just like the confidence the people of your community have in you to be there when they need you, we have that same confidence in Jesus. Our back up is always with us.

from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!