10.It is the Sabbath. It was the duty of all to maintain the sanctity of the Sabbath, and, therefore, they justly and properly accuse the man. But, when the excuse offered by the man does not satisfy them, they already begin to be in fault; for, when the reason was known, he ought to have been acquitted. It was a violation of the Sabbath, as we have said, to carry a burden; but Christ, who laid the burden on his shoulders, discharges him by his own authority. We are therefore taught by this example to avoid every rash judgment, until the reason of each action be fully known. Whatever contradicts the word of God deserves to be condemned without hesitation; but, as it frequently happens that there are mistakes in this matter, we ought first to inquire modestly and calmly, that our decision may be sound and sober. For since the Jews, prejudiced by wicked dispositions, have not patience to inquire, they shut the door against judgment and moderation; but, if they had allowed themselves to be taught, not only would the offense have been removed, but they would have been conducted still farther, with great advantage, to the knowledge of the Gospel.
We now see how far the Jews were in the wrong. It is, because they do not admit a reasonable defense. The defense is, that he who had been cured replies that he does nothing but by the command of him who had power and authority to command; for, though he did not yet know who Christ was, yet he was convinced that he had been sent by God, because he had received a proof of his divine power, and learns from it that Christ is endued with authority, so that it must be his duty to obey him. But this appears to be worthy of reproof, that a miracle turns him aside from obedience to the Law. I confess, indeed, that the argument which the man employs in contending with them is not sufficiently strong, but the others are faulty on two accounts, that they neither consider that this is an extraordinary work of God, nor suspend their judgment until they have heard a Prophet of God who is furnished with the word.