John 5:15-19

John 5:15-19  has Jesus coming off healing a lame man at the pool of Bethsaida.  The religious leaders were upset as this guy was in violation of the rules they had set.  They pressed him for who had told him he could do that.  “The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus—because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath”.  Violating the Sabbath laws was serious business.  If it was accidental, you had to sacrifice for your sin.  If you did it intentionally, you could be stoned.  This healed guy throws Jesus under the bus as soon as he discovered who the man was that had healed him.  He played right into the religious leaders hands.

Remarkably, the healing seemed to make no difference to those who persecuted Jesus. All they could see was that their religious rule was broken, a rule that went beyond the command of Scripture itself.  They were out to get Him. “But Jesus defended himself. My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I”.  Jesus did not try and explain that He had not worked on the Sabbath. There is no denial of what He had done. Instead, He boldly explained to the religious leaders that His Father worked on the Sabbath, and so He also worked on the Sabbath.  He does make clear His relationship with God – He calls Him ‘My Father’ which certainly would have irritated these religious power hungry leaders.

They are livid with His response.  “That really set them off. The Jews were now not only out to expose him; they were out to kill him. Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was calling God his own Father, putting himself on a level with God”.  They didn’t miss what Jesus had said.  They knew clearly that when Jesus said that God was His Father, He declared Himself equal with God. That couldn’t go unchallenged.  They had to get rid of this threat and He becomes a target going forward.  He did not deny what they had figured out from His statement, but continued to speak as One who claimed to be the very Son of God.

But Jesus doesn’t stop with their attacks and threats.  He comes back and gives them a deeper answer.  “So Jesus explained himself at length. I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does. The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing”.  In case anyone had missed it, Jesus made it double, triple and quadruple clear that He was God’s Son.  He explained to the religious leaders some of the nature of His relationship and work with God the Father. The Son does nothing independently. He was and is fully submitted to the Father’s will.  This is the Jesus we know as Messiah!

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.


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