John 5 Choosing Truth Over A Lie

I am not to marvel at the fact that Jesus has life in Himself just like the Father, and that He has the authority to execute judgment. I am to marvel at His works, not His authority.

Why?

My experience is that I am emotionally distanced when I ponder on His judgment power, but when I ponder on His love, His motivated works of healing and meeting needs, then I am drawn near. That is where he wants me, wants you.DSCN5222

Next Jesus takes the time to make His legal case for the authority He has just declared He has. He is speaking to the religious leaders and to the public in the center of the place of worship and authority. Jesus provides witnesses. One is John the Baptist, a witness the leaders had already sent emissaries to and received back the testimony. The works Jesus is doing in their midst is also legal evidence. The scriptural evidence of prophecy fulfilled in Jesus also provides witness evidence. He has a solid case. The choice to believe is our own, just as it was then as Jesus spoke to those in authority and in the temple.

Jesus listens and obeys the Father, He doesn’t self-initiate. Do I listen and obey God or do I strike out in my own will and plan?

Jesus does not brag, but He speaks truth about Himself. He lets His work tell about Him, it is His portfolio, His resume, His C.V. His works show who He works for, who sent Him onto his job site.

The words of the Father abide in Jesus, He is the living representative of all authority over life, a living manual. Coming to Jesus is coming to life.

When Jesus met with the challenge from the Jews and judgmental rejecting attitudes, the things He shared were lengthy teachings and were deeply challenging to their current belief system. He upset their apple cart.

DSCN6322At issue, they cannot believe when they rely on each other for approval and praise. They don’t really believe Moses, even though they claim to. Moses spoke of Jesus. If they choose not to believe Moses, then they cannot believe what Jesus teaches. This is the heart of the issue.

He knows many hearts will reject Him yet He confronts them with the truth that they will choose to treasure a false belief over choosing the truth – Him. Because they seek the approval of man, they cannot receive Him. (vs 44.) Jesus confronts them with their sin that prevents them from accepting the truth, from actually finding what they are seeking.

  • What do I seek and yet cannot find because the sin of wanting acceptance and approval from others stands in the way?
  • Is there truth that is staring me in the face, but in accepting His truth, I risk the displeasure of my peers?

Lord, let me choose you. Let me risk the disapproval of man, for the acceptance and approval of You!

John 5 Jesus Speaks

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  • If I do as Jesus did, I will do as the Father wants me to do.
  • I am to marvel at the works of God, He WANTS me to marvel.
  • Jesus gives life to whom He wishes.
  • Jesus is responsible for all
  • When I honor Jesus, I honor the Father.
  • True hearing Jesus + believing Jesus = eternal life without judgment.
  • Jesus is the Son of Man, He has authority to judge, He understands both Godhead and humanity. All in the tombs hear the voice of the Son of Man.

I learn a lot about You, Jesus, in here, in these few words You spoke and are recorded for me to hear You utter these words into my heart 2,000 years later, for Your Word is alive. That alone is something to marvel at. Those who have eternal life have it because it is Your desire for them. It is Your gift to give. I can desire it for another, but only You can give that gift. I can tell people about the gift You gave me, but You must draw them to You and they must receive it. There You are, Salvation in the midst of His own people. And some are despising You, hating You, wanting You dead. In the midst of this crowd are some who long for You, desire the gift You have to give. You speak to them all so that the some who will receive, may hear. All dead will hear Your voice. All dead will rise. Those who reject You when they hear You, will have judgment. Those who receive your gift, rise to life and will also have judgment. Now is the time for gift giving, for sharing, for hope deployment.

John 5 Being One With The Father

This next section (v19-46) in John is pure quotation. How often have I wished to hear the voice of God, to know what it was like to hear Jesus words as He spoke them? Well, here it is! There are two long sections in here and they are full of His heart towards us. they are spoken as an answer, not to a direct question but rather as an answer to the threats against His life and the challenge of His authority over the man-made established religious authority structure.

If I am seeking to do as Jesus did, then I img_2542will be obedient to God’s examples. Jesus followed the example of The Father. Jesus is so completely One with The Father, that He cannot do anything alone. Jesus, because of the love of the Father, is shown all things that the Father is doing and so He knows what to do and how to do that ‘what’. We are promised, I even am promised, to be shown even greater works so that I may marvel. Get my mind around this!  The marvel is gnawing at the edges of my soul. Jesus, God in the flesh, while living out for us how to live for God, is one with God, and His works reveals that the LOVE God has is the power by which Jesus knows what God is doing.  Thus, all that Jesus does is the same as what God is doing. Jesus promises His listeners that the works they have seen so far are only the beginning. They shall all marvel.

Key is the relationship of love. This is the phileo love. Defined as being used to, or fond of doing, to sanction or approve. Because God approves of Jesus, because God is fond of doing for the Son, because God is used to doing and sanctions the Son, God shows the Son everything God is doing. Deiknyo giving metaphorical evidence, or showing by words or deeds, to the eyes, this is what showing means. I want to see God? I want to see Jesus? Then receive His love.

dscn5533.jpgLord, you prayed at the end of your earthly life for me when you prayed for those yet to come, in that upper room with your closest friends. You prayed that we would be one as You are one with the Father. This is so that we can be shown how you are working. So we can know how to act and what to do. No wonder the enemy uses division to fight against you. Lord, make us one. One with you. One in thought and action. Obedient to your vision. Marveling at who You are.

John 5 Response to Unbelieving Religious Authority

dscn4540Jesus did not obey man’s Sabbath rules. “My Father is working until now” v17. God The Father rested (one day) and in Jesus we see that He continues to work. Jesus’ work, doing The Father’s will, has been healing and teaching salvation, finding people who wanted help.  When Jesus was met with unbelieving power authorities, He challenged that authority by:

  1. Breaking their rules
  2. Trumping their power
  3. Freeing their captives (the man at the pool seeking healing their way)
  4. Declaring truth (Son of God)

We can be certain that it is clearly understood that when Jesus said “My Father is working until now and I Myself am working” that He was declaring Himself equal to God, because their rejection of that declaration is why they sought to kill Him with even greater desire than before. It is early in His ministry, yet the hatred is there already that seeks to kill Jesus. Jesus is not ignorant of this danger. It does not stop Him from doing the work He has come to do. He will do so on His schedule. As always.

Trust in The Lord, knowing His timing is always perfect, not fearing any consequences of doing His perfect will. Always His will is to love. Even in the face of hatred, He chose love towards those in need and healed those who wanted healing.

  • Do I know someone seeking today?
  • What shall I do?
  • Am I loving those who hate me?
  • Am I loving those who are victims of hate around me?DSCN2661

John 5 On Walking

On the Sabbath, there is a dscn0960Jew who is walking around carrying something. That is considered work. So the authorities confronted him over his flagrant violation of their added laws, (not Torah law). “You can’t do that today.” He was ordered to stop. Yet someone of higher authority had ordered the man to do this. That was his answer. “The one who has the power and authority and healed me this day, told me to do this. That is why I am doing this.” Now the story becomes about who is the authority and who the rulers are judging based on his response. They demand to know who would dare contradict their rules. The cured man may feel the weight and oppression of their indignation, because of his obedience in his actions to the command of Jesus. He cannot tell them what they want to know. He does not know Jesus! He only knows he was healed when he obeyed the command He spoke to him, “Arise, take up your pallet, and walk.”

He was told to do three things. First, he was told to do what had been impossible for him to do for 38 years. Arise. Then he was told to do something else, unthinkable, after doing the impossible he was to do the illegal. Then he was told to take an action that was bound to be confrontational. How much did he want to be healed? Enough that he was willing to obey in all three commands. So, on those 7 simple words he took his stand. He bent over, lifted the symbol of his sickness, the pallet he had lain on for 38 years, and he dscn5232started walking around. He was a walking advertisement in his time to the life changing authority of Jesus vs. the religious rulers and their rules. He walked out his testimony. He was confronted because of his testimony. He had an incomplete testimony, because he did not know Jesus. Jesus did not leave him in that situation, but Jesus later sought him out.

  • What testimony do I have to walk out that might confront authority?
  • Am I willing to pick up my burden and be confronted?
  • Has there been a time in my life where I have obeyed Jesus, experienced His loving action in my life before even knowing who He was?
  • How well do I know Him even now?

When this man met Jesus, it becomes apparent that his sin had affected his health and he was to change his ways so nothing worse would happen.

  • Has there been a health issue I have had as a result of sin?
  • Have I been healed?
  • Have I been commanded to walk carrying a symbol of my illness as a sign of the healing power and authority of Jesus?

The Hebrew word for walk means:

  •      to live
  • to regulate one’s life
  • to conduct one’s self
  • to pass one’s life

The command is given in the present imperative meaning that he is to go on walking, carrying his evidence with him. The getting up is in the same tense. It is a word of arousal, indicating a choice to be made. Daily we make this choice. Again and again, to arouse ourselves and walk for Him!

Jesus healed the man and gave Him time before he taught him.

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John 5 Respond-ability

What did you do in Galilee, Lord? You had to be there for a time. Yet John, in selecting what signs to write about, has only told us about the official’s son whom You healed at a distance, showing that the power of your word does not require your physical presence in order to be effective.

Now you are headed back to Jerusalem for a feast. Did you go through Samaria and spend time with the same people again? Did you rest in a different town? John cannot tell us everything, not enough books in the world could do that he says. So he picked these things.

dscn4808What was the feast?  It is most significant as it is Passover; the feast commemorating the Exodus from Egypt when the covering of blood protected God’s people from death, and started them out of bondage into the Promised Land. Jesus, having just healed the official’s son, now walks into a place of hope. This is a place where hope is slim but healing has come to the one who could get into it fastest.  Now, first, in walks The Lamb of God, at Passover, to the pool of Bethesda.

Jesus enters.

He goes to the man with the least hope, the least possibility for a cure. He has been sick for 38 years. Someone was kind enough to help him get to the place, but not committed enough to help him get into the water at the moment it stirred in hopes of a healing. That is the one Jesus goes to. Perhaps since it was also the Sabbath, no one was allowed to help him as that might be considered work. This is the situation Jesus chose to confront.

And confront it He did! He walked straight up to the least man, the worst off and asked him, “do you wish to get well?” How many trite get well cards have I seen and sent? Of course the sick want to be well. Jesus know this so the purpose of the question is not to be trite but to allow this man to express his need aloud and declare to all what his situation is. This man does not seem dscn4479to have any clue who Jesus is nor what reputation is beginning to surround Him as his response addresses Jesus as “sir”. Basically he tells Jesus his situation is hopeless as he is unable to meet the conditions required to receive healing. Jesus commands him simply to “get up, pick up his pallet and walk.” Jesus commands him to do first what he cannot do and also to break the Sabbath rule against work. The man has to choose between the command of Jesus or the rule of religious authority. It is a choice between obedience to the creator or the created. Not that he understood this. All he understood was his need, his hopelessness, the lack of help to get the slim provisions offered by the religious authority.

When my situation seems hopeless, if Jesus gives me the choice between his command and the rule of some human authority, Lord, let me choose to obey you! The man responded instantly, immediately. He did not ponder, he did not hesitate. His longing for healing had him literally do what for 38 years he could not do. He jumped at the hope the command offered. He took the command and discovered in the decision from hope of healing to choice of obedience, he was strengthened in body to actually do as Jesus, God Himself, commanded him to do. Let me Lord never hesitate to do what you command. Use my neediness to build strong desire to obey you so that when the command and the moment comes for action, I too jump to obey, not understanding how I can physically even do what you command, but that if You say it, I shall obey it and You will make it happen.