He’s bold! Jesus healed a desperate man who had been an invalid for 38 long, miserable years. And by doing so, He also gave the man dignity and opportunities…but He did it on a Sabbath. For that, He was persecuted.
His informative defense is found in John 5:17-47. He began by stating, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.”
For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
In those days, no one ever referred to God as “My Father.” But Jesus chose that moment in history to reveal His unique, intimate relationship with God, the Father. Boldly shocking His audience!
With this single statement, the Jews knew that Jesus was absolutely claiming equality with God. He was also declaring His authority over the Sabbath, the holy day of rest for mankind. The Jewish leaders worked so diligently to protect this day and in doing so, they created many rules and became legalistic about enforcing them. They began judging and condemning others. Grace has no breathing room in this kind of environment.
You would think that as the religious leaders created their extensive list of “don’ts,” they would have recognized the magnitude and far reaches of sin, thereby recognizing man’s desperate need for forgiveness for both the sins we see AND the sins we don’t even recognize. But let’s be vulnerable with one another. Aren’t we all guilty of judging others for their sin rather than admitting our own?
Jesus continued with His bold statements. He went on to explain, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.”
Perfect harmony. Minds totally synced. The Father’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven through the actions of His Son. Jesus healed on the Sabbath with His divine power under His Father’ direction. His works always reflect the will of God the Father.
Why? Love. Ongoing, never ending, forever love.
Jesus didn’t stop there. He could have. He had already offered His defense. He went on to boldly declare that He has authority over eternal life.
“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”
”I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
”My judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself, but him who sent me.”
For me personally, Jesus nails it. Two things that are impossible yet deep down, within me existed a yearning for them. No condemnation for sins. Eternal life in the presence of God.
Jesus didn’t try to please the crowd. He knew listeners would each have to make a choice—believe Him or reject Him. Rejection would push people to hate Him, and that would ultimately cost Him His life. He’s bold!
It’s the same story today. Once people hear Jesus’ words, they are faced with a decision. Believe who He says He is. Believe He will do what He said He will do. Or reject Him. We can’t pick and choose. We are either all in or we are out. Believe Him or reject Him.
For those who listen and believe, there will be no condemnation. Instead, we enjoy eternal life with God. Awww, deep sigh! It’s that simple.
Jesus offers life but He offends and angers many.
His devoted church is charged with extending the invitation to “hear His word and believe.” And that will also offend and anger many.
Questions to ponder:
What side have I chosen? Do I believe everything Jesus says? Or are my “feathers a little ruffled” with something He says?
Are we, His church, being bold in our commitment to Him? Are we bold in sharing His word?
Do we honor Jesus?