In this chapter, Jesus lectures the Jews. What he says applies not only to Jews but also to the prideful, the complacent, and the privileged.
Healing on the Sabbath
Jesus heals a man who has been an invalid (blind, lame, and/or paralyzed) for 38 years. He does this on the Sabbath, which causes the Jews discomfort.
The Sabbath is a day of rest, traditionally rooted in when God created the world and rested on the seventh day. (Yes, back then the weekend was only 1 day out of the week.) The Jews observed the Sabbath to such a ridiculous degree that they wouldn’t do anything that bares even the smallest resemblance to work. Work is prohibited.
If a sheep runs away on the Sabbath, you would need to wait until tomorrow before searching for it. If someone has a heart attack on the Sabbath, that would probably need to wait until the next day as well. (That person would be dead by then.)
Here, the Jews followed the Letter of the Law and completely missed the Spirit of the Law. The intention of the Sabbath is to promote rest, not to use it as an excuse to be lazy or delay the urgent. Jesus intentionally provokes the Jews by healing on the Sabbath to prove this point.
The Authority of the Son
Jesus equates the Son to the Father. He shares the very many authorities granted to Him by the Father.
For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.John 5:22-23
This is really key because Jesus is our bridge to the Father. Without Jesus, we would definitely be judged and condemned for our sins.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.John 5:24
All we have to do is believe. No need to try and earn our way because we’re not capable of doing that in the first place.
Witnesses to Jesus
Jesus then goes on to lecture the Jews about the many witnesses that they have rejected.
Jesus is bearing witness about Himself as He speaks and performs acts of miracles. When He healed on the Sabbath, the Jews reacted with “why did He heal on the Sabbath” instead of “wow! miracles!”. Rejected.
2. John the Baptist
John the Baptist bore witness that he was sent ahead of the Christ to prepare the way. The Jews actually went to seek John out. Just flip back to John 1. But they did not listen to John’s testimony. Rejected.
3. The Father
Throughout their history, the Jews have been looking forward to the Christ. Every act God performs and every prophet God sends bears witness to Jesus. But they did not listen. Rejected.
4. The Scriptures
Finally, the Jews, who are so proud of their laws, turn to the Scriptures. Even the Scriptures bear witness about Jesus. Moses wrote about Jesus. But the Jews are so deeply entrenched in their pride and sin that they do not see Jesus for who He really is. Rejected.
1. Have Love
But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.john 5:42
Jesus condemns the Jews for only paying lip-service. They do not have love. 1 Corinthians 13 says if we do not have love, nothing matters. Thus, we must have love.
Finally, simply believe. The beauty of Jesus is that He makes things simple. You don’t need to be as highly educated as the Pharisees. You don’t need a PhD or a Law Degree. It’s for everyone.
And let’s be grateful it is so. For if God were to add other requirements in order to be saved, we would for sure all fall short.
Every weekend I write about some thoughts, life lessons, and interesting things I came by for the week. I'd love for you to join.