Sunday, April 27, 2014
He So Offended
And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed." He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'"
Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."
The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and fought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus said to them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working."
Therefore, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
So the paralyzed man at the Pool of Bethesda was healed by Jesus. He was told to take up his bed and walk. Oh, the offense! How could the Jews be so offended that a man could now walk? Where is the rejoicing?
And oh, the laws those Jews had. Laws no one could ever perfectly keep. And these people were in the midst of One who was speaking of Himself...the One who would one day die that these impossible laws would no longer be a stumbling block for them. One Who would free them from the captivity of not only all these laws but their sins. Their access to God would be free, no longer subject to the Jewish priests. No sacrifices necessary. Just open communication with the Father.
Jesus so wanted to show these people that His way was a new way. Only God's laws were necessary, not man's added laws. These rituals practiced were useless. And in the process, as we will see, the religious leaders would be offended by one Man who would turn the world upside down with His teachings.
Jesus so offended. He told a man to take up his bed and walk. According to Jewish customs healing on the Sabbath was forbidden. So was the act of carrying anything. Two strikes against Jesus. And more to come.
Jesus also made the comment that "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." He was equating Himself with God...blaspheming in their eyes. How did they know this? The Greek word for Father had no special meaning; I looked it up! So it had to have been the miracle which they took offense to. It was the other healings and miracles they knew He had done. Who but God could heal? Yet they still did not want to believe Jesus was Who He said He was...the Son of God...come to take away the sins of the world. Imagine what this would do to their religious views. He was a threat.
In the end we find out that He was right and they were wrong. And knowing this, believing He has the power to do all things even today, should be our great comfort, should drive us to seek Him for our salvation. Should...
We find that we need not make the same sacrifices, nor do the works that once were necessary to enter into relationship with God. We just believe in our hearts that He alone has the power to heal and save our sorry souls! He heals all spiritually who desire Him. That is the greatest healing of all. Armed with that we can live our lives without fear of our future. It is secure because He has healed our broken hearts and bodies. We are no longer offended by His name. He has taken the old man and made it new...in Christ Jesus. Hallelujah and Amen!
Ephesians 3:9-12 - and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.