Pastor's Passage - June 7, 2020
1After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
John 5:1,2…5-9, 16-18
Jesus had now come to the end of the first year of His public ministry. The second year of His ministry, upon which Jesus now entered, was to be a year of great public favor. His activity during this year would be intense and His fame was destined to be hear d through all the land. Nearly all the year was spent in Galilee, but there was a feast, presumably of the Passover in Jerusalem, which He attended before starting His greater activities in Galilee.
The Lord now sought out a man He intended to heal and healed him deliberately on the sabbath day. The challenge in chapter five is centered around two issues: The Lord’s question to the sick man of being made whole and the Lord’s challenge to the sinful men who questioned His right to heal on the sabbath day.
Our Lord will neither heal nor save people against their will. The man’s answer showed at once that the delay in his healing was no fault of his. The Lord spoke with divine authority and with enabling power. It never occurred to him to disobey. Faith surged in his soul, ability to respond flooded into his paralyzed limbs. He did what he was told and immediate was made whole and took up his bed and walked.
And on the same day was the sabbath, John added thus our attention is directed from the salvation of a sinner to the regulations of the sabbath. The rabbis had turned sabbath-keeping into a chore. What God had ordained to do a blessing. They had converted into a burden. As far as God’s sabbath rest was concerned, that rest was not the rest of inaction, but the rest of divine satisfaction in a work well done. The Father’s sabbath was soon broken by the introduction of sin into this world. That broken man by the pool of Bethesda was a prime exhibit of the ruin that sin had brought into the world. The healing of that man on the sabbath was part of God’s work in this world.
Is your work for God today a burden or a blessing?