30
Sep
2018

JOHN 5:36-40 JESUS SAYS YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO COME TO ME THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE

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John 5:36 "But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish--the very works that I do--bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 "But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

In this section of Scripture,  we will see that Jesus is doing all He can to give them a chance to  be saved by telling them who He is and all of the witnesses to His being God. He tells them the works He does witness to His being God, the Father has witnessed and lastly that the Word of God witnesses to this fact, but they are not saved and will not be saved because they will not believe His witness. It is an amazing fact that those who begin by not wanting to be saved end up not being able to be saved because they harden their heart and then God finishes the process so that they cannot ever be saved. That is why the Bible tells us not to harden our hearts for today is the day of salvation.

Jos 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 1Sa 6:6 "Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart? Ps 95:8 "Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, Heb 3:8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Heb 3:15 while it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." Heb 4:7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as it has been said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts." (NKJV)

Witness of The Father He moves from defense to indictment (accusation), He not only admonishes them for not receiving God’s witness, He informs all as to the real reason they reject Him as the Messiah. Most important of all, Jesus Himself is the form of God (see John 14:9) and the voice of God. It is He who came to make God known to men: no one has ever seen God. The only One, Himself God, who is in the presence of the Father, has made God known (John 1:18).

 37 "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

They have never seen God’s form, nor have they heard God’s voice. Yet both of these were evident at our Lord’s baptism.

God is bearing witness through His Son. Here is the irony. The Jewish authorities will not accept Jesus as the Son of God; they simply will not heed His testimony. Yet, He is the voice of God, the visible manifestation of God to men. They have never seen or heard God in person. God is now standing before them, being accused by them. They are accusing the very One they claim to worship and serve. They do not have God’s Word abiding in them because they do not believe in Jesus, the One whom the Father sent to “declare” or “explain” Him (John 1:18). Is this not a “catch 22”? How can anyone be saved? If people need to trust in Jesus to grasp the Word of God, and they need to grasp the Word of God to see that Jesus is the One to whom the Scriptures bear witness, then no one can be saved. The solution the Bible gives us is that men most certainly cannot be saved on their own; they can only be saved by means of God’s sovereign and gracious intervention, which is exactly what John has been telling us in his Gospel:

Up to this point, it may appear as though Jesus is on the defensive, defending His claim to be equal with God. In a sense, this is true, but our Lord is equal with God because He is the Son of God. It is not Jesus who needs a good defense, but His adversaries, the Jewish religious authorities. In verse 37, the tone of our Lord’s “defense” changes and we see our Lord now taking the offensive, challenging those who oppose Him. Here, He not only admonishes them for not receiving God’s witness, He informs all as to the real reason they reject Him as the Messiah.

The Jewish authorities are accusing our Lord of blasphemy and Sabbath-breaking. They have never seen God’s form, nor have they heard God’s voice. Yet both of these were evident at our Lord’s baptism. Jesus has seen the Father and heard His voice (5:19-20, 30). Most important of all, Jesus Himself is the form of God (see John 14:9) and the voice of God. It is He who came to make God known to men: no one has ever seen God. The only One, Himself God, who is in the presence of the Father, has made God known (John 1:18).

Witness of The Word

 38 "But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.

39 "You search (scrutinize diligently – number of characters on a page, but miss the Messiah) the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  Missed the whole point.

The Word was written not just as a legal document or a self-help book to show us how to live, but it is a love letter from God

They studied the Scriptures diligently, thinking this was the way to eternal life.[1] Ironically, these same Scriptures testify about Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah. How could these men possess the Scriptures and study them, and yet miss the main point of their teaching? Jesus tells them and us: they do not have the Word abiding in them. They are “in the Word,” but the Word is not abiding in them. This is so because Christ is not only the central theme of the Word, He is the key to the Word. Christ is the key that unlocks the message of the Word. The Jews are not willing to come to Him so that they may have life. Thus, they are blind to the central message of the very Scriptures they possess and regard so highly.

The saying attributed to Hillel: ‘the more study of the Law the more life … if he has gained for himself words of the Law he has gained for himself life in the world to come’ (Ab. 2:7).

The Jewish authorities will not believe in Messiah, and thus they cannot see Him in the Scriptures they study. Christ is a “blind spot” for the Jews, and yet He is both the central figure and the key to the Old Testament Scriptures. Because the Jews are blind to Christ, they read the Old Testament as though a veil were over their faces. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ is that veil removed. The Jewish authorities will not believe in Messiah, and thus they cannot see Him in the Scriptures they study. Listen to how the Apostle Paul explains the “blindness of the Jews”:

12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness, 13 and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the end of the glory that was fading away. 14 But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 16 but whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:12-18).

40 "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Those opposing Christ in our text do so with “veiled faces,” so to speak. They are blind to who Jesus is, and rather than come to Him for eternal life, they seek to take His life.

Why are they so unwilling to come to Jesus for salvation? It is because they seek glory and praise from men, rather than from God. Jesus does not seek the praise of men; He seeks to please the Father. This is because of His love for the Father, just as His Father loves Him (5:20).

[1]Cf. The saying attributed to Hillel: ‘the more study of the Law the more life … if he has gained for himself words of the Law he has gained for himself life in the world to come’ (Ab. 2:7). There are several sayings like Baruch 4:1f., ‘This is the book of the commandments of God, and the law endureth for ever: all they that hold it fast are appointed to life.’” Morris, p. 330.

27
Sep
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2:10 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST LOVE OTHER CHRISTIANS PART 2

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1 John 2:10 says He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.  This verse tells me that a person gives proof they are saved because they love their brother and that we neither offend nor are we offended by our brother since it says in 1Co 13:7 that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  It also tells me that because we are walking in the light, in other words, close intimate fellowship with God we can see the places where we might stumble and thus avoid them.  It also allows us to see things from God's perspective, not ours. Is this the pattern of your life?

23
Sep
2018

JOHN 5:31-35 THREE WITNESSES TO THE FACT THAT JESUS IS GOD

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John 5:31 "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 "There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 "You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 "Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 "He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.

In this section of scripture we will begin to see the first three of 5 witnesses to the Fact that Jesus is God.  The Disciple John will speak of Jesus’ witness, the Father’s witness, and also John the Baptist’s witness.  Even though Jesus does not need to prove He is God, He is accommodating us (mankind) because we are so unbelieving and hardhearted.  He wants to give us every chance of knowing the truth so we can believe and be saved.  He also does it so that there will be no excuses when we stand before Him if we have not believed and are being sent to hell.  God says in 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (NKJV) Have you trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?  If not, do it today.

The word Witness is used 136 times in NT; John uses 77 times, verses 31-39 used 11 times

Witness of Jesus

31 "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true.

The Old Testament law required two or three witnesses (see Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15) for a man to be found guilty of an offense. Jesus has much more testimony than this, but it doesn’t matter since the Jewish authorities are determined not to accept it

 De 17:6 "Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.

De 19:15 "One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.

There is a marginal note in the NASB, which informs the reader that “true” should be understood as “admissible as legal evidence.”

‘If my testimony concerning myself,’ says he, ‘is suspected by you according to the ordinary custom of men, let it go for nothing.’ Now we know that what any man asserts about himself is not reckoned to be true and authentic, although in other respects he speak truth, because no man is a competent witness in his own cause. Though it would be unjust to reduce the Son of God to this rank, yet he prefers to surrender his right, that he may convince his enemies by the authority of God.” John Calvin,

While the Jewish authorities seek to give the impression that they are sticklers for observing the letter of the law, actually they are not. When our Lord stands trial for His life, they employ false witnesses who give conflicting testimony, and yet no objection is raised (Matthew 26:60). The high priest illegally demands that Jesus give testimony about (against) Himself, and then condemns Him on the basis of His testimony (Matthew 26:63). These Jews seek neither justice or truth.

14 So when the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus performed, they began to say to one another, “This is certainly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Then Jesus, because he knew they were going to come and seize him by force to make him king, withdrew again up the mountainside alone (John 6:14-15).

Witness of The Father

  32 "There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. The word another means another one just like him (exactly Like) as in John 14:16 where Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit coming and being just like Him. When Jesus says He bears witness, it means it is a continual action according to the Greek. Mt 3:17 His baptism, 17:5, - transfiguration 27; 51-54 –crucified.  All the Old Testament

Witness of John - 1:19, 29,

 33 "You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.

John the Baptist is a very popular fellow, a man many believe to be a prophet (Matthew 11:9; 14:5; 21:26, 46). Jesus reminds the Jewish authorities of their own high regard for John, when they “sent to John” (John 5:33). Initially, I read John 1:19-28 as an interrogation of John by the Jewish authorities, one carried out with considerable suspicion. Jesus seems to say otherwise. His words in our text seem to indicate that their “sending men” to John is their own “testimony” concerning John’s authority. In John 1, the Jews are really trying to “put words into John’s mouth.” They want John to admit that he is Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet. John is the one insisting otherwise.

If I understand Jesus (and John 1:19-28) correctly, for a short time the Jews actually wanted John to be the Messiah. This would explain our Lord’s words in Matthew regarding the Jews and John: “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it” (Matthew 11:12, NIV).

The Jews are literally trying to force the kingdom into existence, and for a time they try to force John to become their Messiah. In the very next chapter of John’s Gospel, the Jews want to force Jesus to become their king:

Late in our Lord’s earthly ministry, the Jews challenge Jesus to prove His authority. Our Lord’s answer, and the Jews’ response, demonstrates the high regard the people have for John:

27 They came again to Jerusalem. While Jesus was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the experts in the law and the elders came to him 28 and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question. Answer me and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 John’s baptism, was it from heaven or from men? Answer me.” 31 They discussed with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From men—’” (they feared the crowd, for they all considered John to be truly a prophet). 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things” (Mark 11:27-33; see also Matthew 11:25; Luke 20:4).

 

 34 "Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.

 35 "He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.

Ps 132:17 There I will make the horn of David grow; I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed. Witness of Works  Is 35:4-6 Works only Jesus could accomplish

Early in John’s ministry, the Jews are eager for John to be the Messiah. In our Lord’s words, they “rejoiced greatly for a short time in his light” (John 5:35). But when it becomes apparent that John rejects their religious system (Matthew 3:7-10; 21:32; Mark 3:15), and worse yet, identifies with Jesus as the Messiah he promised would come (John 1:29-36), just as quickly they abandon him. 

They liked the light; it was the heat of His burning for Jesus that drove them away

19
Sep
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2.9 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST LOVE OTHER CHRISTIANS

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1 John 2:9 reads as follows; He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.  What this verse says is that you cannot be a true Christian and hate your fellow Christian brother.  So, to all you folks out there that claim to be a Christian and say you are going to heaven, this means you will be going to church with other believers.  If you are always saying I am saved but I am not going to church with all of those hypocrites, then the Bible says you are not really saved and are not going to heaven.  Because if you really were saved, then you would want to be with the people of God.

16
Sep
2018

JOHN 5:18-30 JESUS SAYS HE IS EQUAL WITH GOD, BECAUSE HE IS GOD PART 2

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John 5:16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." 18 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. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 "that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 "Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 "and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 "and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

 In this section of scripture as we finish it out, we will see that Jesus is equal in works with the Father, He is equal in the ability to save, in the ability to judge, in honor, in the ability to resurrect all, and also in righteousness as His judgement is righteous as is the Father’s. If you don’t believe Jesus is God, then this is the message for you.  He loves you and He came so that you might have life and life abundantly, but YOU have to trust Him as Lord and Savior, because He did everything that was necessary to save you and give you a different kind of life than what the world has, a better one because He will never leave you, nor forsake you (Heb 13:5).  Won’t you trust Him today, it will be the best decision you will ever make.

12
Sep
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2.8 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST DEMONSTRATE WHO HE IS BY THEIR LOVE PART 4

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1 JOHN 2.8  Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

 Lets look at 1 John 2:8 one last time.  It says Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.  John says Jesus is love and we love like Him because of the Holy Spirit. Ro 5:5 says the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. And that ultimately the victory over evil or darkness will be won because 1 John 5:5 says Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

9
Sep
2018

JOHN 5:15-24 JESUS SAYS HE IS EQUAL WITH GOD, BECAUSE HE IS GOD

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John 5:15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." 18 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. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 "For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 "that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

 In this passage we will see the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, in other words Jesus says He is equal with God and is God and this puts the Pharisee’s over the edge.  They wanted to kill Him for healing on the Sabbath, but now they try all the harder to find a way to kill him because in THEIR EYES, Jesus has blasphemed against God, but it is really about them and their power and their authority being threatened.  Jesus tells us He can work on the Sabbath just as HIS Father does, not our Father, but HIS, which says to the Pharisee’s, He is just like His Father.  He tells them He does whatever the Father does, He knows all things just as God does, He will give life (eternal life) to whomever he wills to, that He deserves Honor just as the Father does and lastly that He is the only way to eternal life. For all those who say that Jesus never said He was God, they either did not read this section of scripture or many others, or they are just plain liars and deceivers.  Jesus is God, He always has been, and always will be.

 15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

There is no indication of any repentance, no mention of faith, and no inquiry as to who Jesus is or what He is about (as with the Samaritan woman). We are only told that after this confrontation, the man goes to the authorities to reveal Jesus’ identity to them. It is almost too terrible to be true.

 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.

John tells us that they “began persecuting him.” I was initially inclined to think that this “persecution” involved constant questioning, challenging, and heckling, and no doubt efforts to discredit our Lord before the people.

 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working."

  1. The expression ‘My Father’ is noteworthy. It was not the way Jews usually referred to God. Usually they spoke of ‘our Father,’ and while they might use ‘My Father’ in prayer they would qualify it with ‘in heaven’ or some other expression to remove the suggestion of familiarity. Jesus did no such thing, here or elsewhere. He habitually thought of God as in the closest relationship to Himself. The expression implies a claim which the Jews did not miss.”
  2. Our Lord’s response to the Sabbath question here is unique to John’s Gospel.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11, NKJV).

  18 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.

The Sabbath is the “sign of the Mosaic covenant,” and thus to violate the Sabbath is to be worthy of death (Exodus 31:14-17; 35:2-3; Numbers 15:32-36). The Fourth Commandment requires the people of God to imitate God, who “rested” on the seventh day of creation. The logic is simple: God rested on the seventh day, and so must men. But Jesus gives us a very different twist on this. He argues that God is constantly at work, even on the Sabbath. Since God is working non-stop, the Son is also working, and cannot cease for the Sabbath.

The inference is very clear: Jesus is claiming that God is His Father; He is claiming to be God. If our Lord’s claim is true, the Jewish authorities cannot and should not hinder the working of the Son of God on the Sabbath.

In what sense is God “working”? There is certainly a general sense in which God is working to maintain His creation and to bring about His plans and purposes: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, NASB).

There is a specific sense in which God has been “at work” from the time of creation on, bringing about salvation for fallen men. Mere men can contribute nothing to this “working.” It is God’s work. And so men should rest on the Sabbath. But since Jesus is God, then He, as God, must work at that which His Father is working. A part of that saving work is healing the sick (see Luke 4:16-21; John 11:2-6).[1] The Jews are therefore wrong in condemning Jesus for healing a man on the Sabbath.

The three chapters of this section, John 5-7, record the shift from mere reservation and hesitation about Jesus to outright and sometimes official opposition.

This incident in John 5 does two things. First, it discloses the wickedness of unbelieving Jews, especially of unbelieving Jewish leaders.

The second thing this incident in John’s Gospel does is to provide the occasion for Jesus to state very clearly (and very early in this Gospel) just who He is. I have often heard someone say, “Just who do you think you are?” Jesus tells these Jewish leaders who He is, and they do not like it at all.

Our text has several more lessons to teach us, which I shall briefly mention.

  1. We cannot help but notice that those who are most in the wrong here are those who are most assured of being right.
  2. Doing what is right does not always result in a righteous or a rewarding response
  3. This passage is a reminder of the “weakness” of signs and wonders, and of the power of God’s Word.
  4. Finally, we see in our text a beautiful example of sovereign grace

[1] In the Greek text, the word translated “save” is the word often used to describe our Lord’s work of healing men (see, for example, Matthew 8:25; 9:21-22; Mark 3:4; 5:23).

6
Sep
2018

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 1 JOHN 2.8 THOSE THAT KNOW CHRIST DEMONSTRATE WHO HE IS BY THEIR LOVE PART 3

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1 JOHN 2.8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

 Let’s look at 1 John 2:8 once more. It says Again, a new commandment I write to you, We saw last time that the commandment to love was old, but new in quality. Jesus said in John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, and how did He love us?  It tells us in 1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren and Jesus said in John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends

3
Sep
2018

JOHN 5:1-18 JESUS HEALS A MAN BY THE POOL IN JERUSALEM

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John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" 7 The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." 8 Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed." 11 He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'" 12 Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 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." 15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." 18 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.

 In this section of scripture we see Jesus seek out a man who has been sick for 38 years.  The man does nothing to deserve this healing, does not trust Christ and even turns on Christ for confronting his sin. But this is THE Jesus who loves us and does things for us even when we don’t deserve it or even mistreat Him. Also we see that Jesus tells the Pharisees He is God, most people would say that Jesus never said that in the Bible and they would be wrong because they wanted to kill him for it.  This scripture also shows us that Jesus has compassion on us even when we don’t deserve it and it also shows the inhumanity of man in that the Pharisees don’t care that the man is healed, all they care about is that he and Jesus broke THEIR LAWS.  Because God is not like they are, he is in the healing business all the time.  Imagine if hospitals, fire departments, and others who take care of people were closed on Sunday, God is open for business all the time, because He loves us unconditionally.

           It seems to me that John is showing us something about Jesus’ knowledge, his compassion, and his power.

This man is in a desperate situation. A picture of us in our sinful condition. Helpless, hopeless, hurting.

1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.

 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.

 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.

First, Jesus is in Jerusalem again, and he makes a point to go to a pool where people with diseases and disabilities wait for the troubling of the waters, because healings happen in this pool. Jesus walks in among this crowd of people.

 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.

Jesus’ knowledge

 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"  Some people don’t want to get well, involves work, feeding himself, getting a job, won’t be taken care of without having to do anything.

Isa 35:4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you." 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.

Luke 4:16-20, from Is 61:1-3

Jesus knew his situation. When you know Jesus, this is the kind of person you know. A person who knows you perfectly—knows everything about you, inside and out, and all you have ever felt or thought or done. “You discern my thoughts from afar. . . . Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Psalms 139:2–4). The more you know about Jesus, the more precious this truth becomes.

Jesus’ Compassion

7 The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." The man misses Jesus’ point, He is like most of us with our positive thinking saying we can do it, it just may take awhile. 

Mr 2:17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

You don’t have to get better to get well.

Here it seems that somewhere along the way, a copyist drew a marginal note of explanation into the actual text. Verse 7 begs for an explanation. How the pool worked is not essential to the story. The fact that Jesus worked is essential to the story.

He didn’t say be encouraged, or it will happen, or I will help you get in, or let me make you comfortable (in your sin)

Jesus’ Power

 8 Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk."

Have to do what Jesus says to do, when, where, how, and if He tells us.  Phil 4:13 – tells him to do something, human responsibility and God’s sovereignty working together. Take your bed, in other words cut off the possibility of going back to where you were at. Trust Jesus to help you do it.

 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.

And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” The words “at once” signify the immediacy of Jesus’ power. 

This is John exulting again in the sovereign power of Jesus the same way he did in John 2:1-8 when He made the water into wine and it happened without a word and as soon as the jars were filled and in John 4:52–53 where   the official’s son was healed at exactly the seventh hour 15 miles away when Jesus said the words.

 Is John going to shift from the glory of Jesus to the ground rules of the Sabbath? The answer is no. The Sabbath issue is raised, but it’s raised in a way that amazingly keeps the focus on the glory of Jesus. Watch what John does.

He knows this will create conflict.

Why did Jesus do this other than to create a conflict with the Religious leaders

  10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed."

He also reminds us of the importance which Judaism has placed, and continues to place, on the keeping of the Sabbath:

May we be privileged, by virtue of the proper observance of the Shabbath, to see the final redemption of Israel. Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, “Were Israel properly to observe two Shabbathoth, they would immediately be redeemed” (Shabbath 118b). Until such time, God’s only dwelling-place on this earth is within the four walls of the Halacha (Berachoth 8a).[1]

 

 11 He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'"

Takes the focus off of himself, he is still a selfish person

 12 Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?"

Pharisees don’t care he is healed, just that he broke their laws. The law called for stoning. Jer 17:21 'Thus says the LORD: "Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; 22 "nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.

 Morris points out (p. 307, fn. 33) that the word rendered “slip out” is found only here in the New Testament, and that it means “‘to bend the head aside’ (AS), and thus ‘to dodge.’”

 Notice how John refers to this fellow as “the man who had been healed,” while the Jews can only see him as the man carrying his mat on the Sabbath.

Jesus healed and disappeared before the man could find out who he was. He didn’t even know who healed him. Does this mean Jesus had no intention of dealing with this man’s soul? Was he content just to do a random miracle and leave the man in ignorance as to where it came from?

 14 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." 

Based on what Jesus says his sickness was most likely caused by sin Jesus finds the man in the temple. Once more, He has sought him out. Jesus must know that doing so will identify Him to the authorities and cause Him great trouble (just as He knew that this man had suffered long and hard when He chose to heal him—verse 5:6). Even knowing this, Jesus goes to him with one thing in view—to warn this man to “stop sinning,” lest something even worse happen to him.[2]

No. And we know this because in verse 14 it was Jesus who found the man, not the man who found Jesus: “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.’” Jesus had no intention of walking away from this man and leaving him with nothing more than a healed body.

Notice two things. At the end of verse 13, the reason Jesus walked away from the man was that there was a crowd there: “Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.” The place was filled with sick people and, no doubt those who cared for them. Had he stayed there after healing one man there would have been a tumult of miracle-seeking. This is not the main thing Jesus is after.

So notice, secondly, how this is confirmed in verse 14. Jesus seeks out the man in the temple and tells him the real issue in his healing. “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.’” What’s the issue? The issue is holiness mainly, not health. “I have healed you to make you holy.”

“Turn from Sin to Me”

Do you see this? “Sin no more. Stop sinning. My aim in healing your body is the healing of your soul. I have given you a gift. It’s free. It came first, before my command. You didn’t earn it. You weren’t good enough for it. I chose you freely. And I healed you. Now, live in this power. Let the gift of healing, the gift of my free grace, be a means to your holiness.”

And yes, he warns him that, if he turns away, and mocks this gift, or makes an idol out of his health, and embraces sin as his way of life, he will perish. I take that—final judgment—to be the “worse thing” (in verse 14) that will happen because there aren’t many natural things worse than the 38 years this man endured, and because in verses 28–29, Jesus says, “An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

In other words: “I have healed you that you may be holy, that you may stop doing evil, and that you may not rise to the resurrection of judgment, but to the resurrection of life. I have pointed you to myself as a life-giver. I heal in more ways than one. Don’t turn from me to a life of sin.”

Ga 6:8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

He Healed Only One

The implications of this are huge for the diseases and disabilities that we deal with today. Jesus walked into a huge “multitude of invalids” according to verse 3. And he heals one man. Just one. And disappears before even that man can know who he was. He leaves hundreds of invalids behind unhealed. Then he finds the man in a less conspicuous place and puts all the focus on holiness. “Sin no more.”

The point is this: In the first coming of the Son of God into the world, we receive foretastes of his healing power. The full healing of all his people and all their diseases and disabilities awaits the second coming of Christ. And the aim of these foretastes which we receive now is to call us to faith and holiness.

Healing Is the Exception, Not the Rule—For Now

Most people who suffer from disabilities in this life will have them to the day they die. And all of us, till Jesus comes again, will die of something. Here and there, some are healed. We believe in miracles. But even though Jesus had all the power to heal, he did not usher in the final day of perfect wholeness. His ministry points to that day. But while this age of groaning lasts (Romans 8:23), healing is the exception, not the rule. And that is not because we are weak in faith. To be sure, we might see more miracles if we expected more and believed more.

But Jesus left hundreds unhealed at the pool of Bethesda. And told the one man he did heal, who had not even believed on him—to wake up. I am pursuing your holiness. The main issue in this age till Jesus comes back is that we meet him—meet him—in our brokenness, and receive the power of his forgiveness to pursue holiness. In this calling to faith and holiness, the disabled often run faster and farther than many of us who have our legs and arms.

First for Holiness, Then for Health

But for now, may the Lord open your eyes to know Jesus personally, as one who knows you, and has compassion on you, and is sovereign over your body and your soul, and the one who has come with saving and healing power first for the sake of your holiness, and then finally for the sake of your everlasting health.

Notice this man did nothing in this section but complain he couldn’t get into the pool.  He was helpless, hopeless, and hurting, but Jesus did this for him anyway.  This passage is not about positive thinking, you can do it so take up your pallet and walk, it is about Jesus who can enable us to do whatever He wants us to do.

This means when we minister to people we should not only minister to their physical needs, but make sure we don’t forget the greatest need of all the spiritual need for Christ and where they will spend eternity.

John 8:32-44 Came to set us free

[1] Ibid, p. xxxii.

[2] We must understand our Lord’s words here in the light of His words to His disciples in John chapter 9. There, the disciples automatically assumed that the man’s blindness was the result of someone’s sin. In that case, it was not so. That man had been born blind so that God might be glorified when our Lord healed him. In this case, the man’s sickness actually did result from his sin (see also Numbers 12:9-15; 2 Kings 5:25-27; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 11:30). Sickness may be the direct result of sin, but it is not always, not necessarily, the case.