Tuesday, February 21, 2012

John 5:17-18

Hope you all enjoyed your Presidents’ Day weekend! Mine was centered on birthday celebrations for two of my grandchildren: Lucy (age 4 and 4 mos. - she delayed hers), and Beau (age 9). Lucy’s was a “Fancy Nancy” party - very girly, with boas, tutus, purses, and tiaras! Beau had a unique party. He had planned a day at a trampoline place, but he broke his wrist Thursday, so they quickly changed plans, and he and 7 boys and 3 girls went to a cooking school! It was a blast! The boys loved it! They were high-fiving each other as they successfully prepared stuffed pizza, fettucine alfredo (they made the noodles), chicken fingers, and chocolate cake! Some women are going to get some great husbands one day!

Today we begin the study of the rest of chapter 5 of John. If you own a “red-letter” version of the Bible, you will see that this is a long speech by Jesus to the Jewish leaders that were upset about his healing the lame man on the sabbath. Today we’re just going to look at two of the verses:

Jesus said to them, “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. (John 5:17-18)

I’ve heard people say that Jesus never claimed to be God. Well, tell that to His audience! The Jews knew exactly what he meant with this statement, and it made them more determined to KILL Him! Imagine! These are the religious leaders! But they understood the implications of what He was saying when He claimed God was His Father. We’ll see through John’s gospel their violent reaction to His claims, which eventually lead to His crucifixion.

When Jesus called God His “Father,” he was claiming the DNA of diety. It was His relationship with and to His Father that underscored everything Jesus did during His years of ministry. In responding to the charges about working on the Sabbath, Jesus reminded them that the Father works 24/7. God is at work sustaining the universe throughout the day and night. He takes no Sabbath break, and, so, Jesus, too, worked whenever there was a need.  Jesus merely reflected what He saw His Father doing.

Keeping our relationship with God at the forefront of all we do is the key to our own ministry, as well. If we will just put Him first and let Him shine through us, we will be so much more effective, and every other relationship will fall into place. If Jesus needed to get away continually to pray to His Father, how much more do we need to do that each day?

When Jesus made this statement, it outraged the Jewish leaders! In their minds it was a blasphemous claim. And it would be, too, if it weren’t the truth. In the remaining verses, we’ll see Jesus make claims that would be considered crazy if He weren’t actually the Son of God! He was certainly not interested in political correctness!


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