Day 11 - Monday, March 9 The Son's Work on the Sabbath DAILY READING - Jn 5:16-47 Jesus has just performed a miraculous healing, at the pool of Bethesda, on the Sabbath. The healed man hightailed it to the temple to tell the Jewish leaders that Jesus made him well. The Jewish leaders met the healed man with criticism, not joy. Do you think this surprised the healed man? What do you think was the healed man’s intention in telling the Jewish leaders? We begin today’s reading with some fuming Pharisees. The Sabbath is sacred to the Pharisees. A sacred day of rest is not a request from God, it is required. From the perspective of the Pharisee, Jesus’ work on the Sabbath is cause for persecution. Read Exodus 20:1-8. Why is the Sabbath so important to the Pharisees? Jesus provides a defense to the Pharisees. He says: “ Father is at his work to this very day, and I too am ” (Jn 5:17, NIV). Read Genesis 2:2. What did God do on this day? John 5:17 and Genesis 2:2 seem to contradict each other. Yet, Scripture is true from beginning to end. When Scripture seems to contradict itself, I think we have to ask how both statements can be true. Sometimes our vision is limited. Kingdom vision is broader than human vision and we must expand our minds to look for greater possibilities. How might God be at rest as stated in Genesis and “always at his work” as stated in John? Romans 8:28 tells us that God is at work, in all things, for the good of those who love him. If God is at work in all things, does that mean He is always working? Do you believe God works intimately orchestrating our individual lives in coordination with us or do you think God works more transcendently, orchestrating the bigger picture for the good of all humankind? What are the implications for each? Other ideas? Is it possible that both might be true? How? Now that our imagination is fully engaged, let’s take a look at why Jesus says MY Father in John 5:17. Jesus could have said, “Our Father” or “God”. He didn’t. He sent a clear message to the Pharisees. What is the message Jesus was sending? Jesus is making a statement about his Sonship. He is the Father’s Son. He has a special relationship with the Father. Jesus goes on to say that he can do nothing without the Father. The Pharisees think Jesus is equating himself with God. That didn’t go well for Israelites in the past, humans equating themselves with God. Pharaoh (Ezk. 29:3), Joash (2 Ch. 24:24), Hiram (Ezk. 28:2), and Nebudchadnezzar (Isa 14:14), stand under ruinous judgement when they equate themselves to God (Carson, 249). The Pharisees can’t imagine how the One God could be anything but One God. Anyone challenging the idea of the One God was charged with blasphemy. Can you see why the Pharisees had an issue with Jesus? Was Jesus equating himself with God in John 5:16-47? Looking closely at Jn 5:19-20, what kind of relationship is represented? How does this relationship REVEAL the Father? What does the love between the Father and the Son say about God’s nature? What does this relationship model for us? Jn 5:39-40 says something about our use of Scripture. Scripture testifies to the Truth of Christ and is one of the ways to know Him. According to Jesus, is knowing Scripture and knowing Jesus the same thing? How is knowing the WAY to Jesus different than knowing Jesus? What is required for the latter? How well do you know Scripture? How well do you know Jesus? How does John 5:16-47 guide us in our relationship with Christ?