Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Mt 11:28

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Oct 7, Jn 5

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Today's reading is Jn 5. Tomorrow's are Mt 12, Mk 3, Lk 6. 

Jn 5 has much to say about who Jesus is. Many will read this chapter and focus on what He does, which is important, rather than why He does it, which is even more important. He is establishing His credentials as the Messiah and the only Son of God. This is important to us because our relationship with Christ should be based on who He is, not what He does for us. John's gospel has been given to us to make the case that Jesus is the Messiah. It should be read with that in mind.

In vs 1-16, Jesus heals one out of a great number of people who gather at the Pool of Bethesda. Here's what the site looks like today. It is directly north of the temple mount.



The man Jesus heals never exhibits the type of faith many have come to believe is necessary for a healing. All he ever acknowledges is a desire to be healed. He not only fails to show any true faith, he doesn't even know who Jesus is (Jn 5:13).  Amazingly, after being healed, he shows no sign of conversion or even gratitude. The man actually turns Jesus in to the Jews when they confront him. 

The Jews criticize Jesus for healing on the Sabbath to which Jesus replies that He is only doing the work of the Father and the Father is working on the Sabbath. Throughout it all, Jesus is actually making a few points, at least one of which is readily apparent:
  • Jesus has the power to heal.
  • Healing occurs at the will of the Father and has little to do with the faith of the one being healed.
  • Jesus hints at His union with the Father in revealing that the Father works on the Sabbath which is what He is doing. The Jews get what He is saying and are incensed (Jn 5:18).
  • He is not here to heal everyone. If so, He would have healed everyone at the pool. His healing of the man at the pool is an example of how God sheds His grace on whom He chooses, not based on anyone's merit (Rom 9:15). 
  • Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. 
In Jn 5:19-29, Jesus not only establishes His divine authority as the Son of God, but declares that He will execute judgment on all those who reject Him. Jesus becomes the dividing marker for everyone ever born bringing eternal life to those who believe in Him and eternal damnation to those who reject Him!

In the rest of the chapter (Jn 5:30-47), Christ presents His credentials. John the Baptist spoke of Him. Moses spoke of Him. The Scriptures speak of Him. Many who hear these testimonies are so consumed with self-interest and self-elevation they reject the truth and bring judgment on themselves. 

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