At that time, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem, by the Sheep gate, a pool called in Hebrew Bethsaida, having five porticoes. In these were lying a great multitude of the sick, blind, lame, and those with shriveled limbs, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel of the Lord used to come down at certain times into the pool, and the water was troubled. And the first to go down into the pool after the troubling of the water was cured of whatever infirmity he had. Now a certain man was there who had been thirty-eight years under his infirmity. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been in this state a long time, He said to him, Do you want to get well? The sick man answered Him, Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred; for while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus said to him, Rise, take up your pallet and walk. And at once the man was cured. And he took up his pallet and began to walk. Now that day was a Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who had been healed, It is the Sabbath; you are not allowed to take up your pallet. He answered them, He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your pallet and walk.’ They asked him then, Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your pallet and walk’? But the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had quietly gone away, since there was a crowd in the place. Afterwards Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, Behold, you are cured. Sin no more, lest something worse befall you. The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had healed him.
A lesson of the importance of knowing the difference between the regulated thing and the right thing.
There are times when we may take comfort in the knowledge that rules protect us. They meter out time, regulate our diet, keep a sense of safety for us when we cross streets. But sometimes that comfort actually becomes complacency. The rules meant to keep order become rules that force us to a choice: maintain the status quo or upset it and do what we know to be right.
When confronted with a moral choice, we must always follow our hearts and what we know is right. We must be on guard to watch for the complacency that the rules allow, and may actually foster.
Each choice is a grand choice, no matter how simple it may seem to be.