Imagine yourself in a crowded street in Galilee. Jesus is there and you have found yourself swept up in a crowd of onlookers who have heard Jesus is on his way into town and a rush of people have gone out to see him. Through the bobbing heads and undulating crowd you spot him. Jesus is walking toward you with his disciples right alongside him.
When he and the crowd meet, greetings are exchanged and someone shouts a request for him to teach. Seating himself on a rock within reach of you Jesus sits upon a large stone and begins teaching. About an hour into the lesson a man is escorted through the crowd right up to Jesus. You notice those escorting him are the Pharisees and they ask Jesus whether or not it is lawful to heal the man…which makes total sense considering it is the Sabbath.
Jesus reaches out and heals the man to the disdain and adulation of various members of the crowd. His action stuns you but more than that it drives you into trying to wrap your mind around what you have just witnessed. The religious leaders are upset by this. Certainly they know the scriptures better than you do…you can’t even read! Certainly they should have better insight into matters of the law and righteousness than most. Their being upset is confounding to you because you know what you saw and you know that sort of thing requires spiritual power that must come from somewhere.
Is God a lawbreaker? Does God co-conspire to transgress Sabbath, is God above Sabbath, has Sabbath been misdiagnosed or is Jesus sinning by means of power via dark spiritual forces? It is impossible to wrap your mind fully around what you have just seen and it is even more difficult to fully wrap your mind around Jesus himself. But you are determined to try because you know that no matter what anyone else has to say about it that what you saw happen was a miracle from God, confirming Jesus as someone who is from God and of God.
We can draw some parallels between this story and what we experience today with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is either active or He is not. The activity of the Spirit is not contingent upon people accepting that the Spirit is doing what the Spirit is doing. It leaves us trying to wrap our minds around the person of the Holy Spirit. Some say He is no longer at work. Some say the Spirit is involved in every single thing. We will never have this worked out completely but we should be convicted of a few things: That the Spirit is at work, that we will never fully understand the Spirit himself, and that we desperately, absolutely acknowledge His work and want to know Him more.