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19 April 2021

John 5:10-23 - Part II
He that Made me Whole


Part I of the study of John 5 ended with Jesus telling a man, who had been sick 38 years, to take up his bed and walk. Immediately the man was healed, picked up his bed and headed for the temple. At the temple he was questioned by the Jews: John 5:10-15: 10. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13. And he that was healed did not know who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 15. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

First, notice that the Jews did not praise God because the man was healed, but instead, focused on the breaking of the law. They understood the Sabbath day only as a ritual with certain requirements. From where did they get their understanding of the law, that no physical burden was to be carried on that day? Jeremiah 17:21-22: 21. Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; 22. Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. Being that the man was healed the Sabbath, Jesus knew that he would go to the temple. He was confronting their beliefs. Why did he not just say so in plain language? Because he only taught in parables. We are to examine our resting place (bed), and seek to know true Sabbath keeping by resting in Jesus Christ every day.

Several times, when Jesus healed people, he would instruct them to tell no one, but they always did tell others. Mark 7:35-36: 35. And his ears were opened, and at once the impediment of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. 36. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they proclaimed it (New Jerusalem Bible). Jesus instructed the healed man and those who brought him, to not tell anyone. Why? The explanation for this is in another incident at the time three of the disciples were with Jesus when he was transfigured: Mark 9:9: And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. Everything Jesus taught and all that he did is to be understood in the context of the cross. We have been taught and teach all kinds of things before anyone understands the cross. We know that the law is spiritual, and now we are learning to fine tune everything by taking up the cross daily. How? By comparing everything we know to the principle of love to see if it fits. If what we believe disagrees with love, then it contains error. Example, Jesus did not die on the cross to pay a sin debt or to propitiate God. He died to demonstrate his and the Father’s love for all humanity.

When the healed man revealed to the Jews who told him to take up his bed, they confronted Jesus: John 5:16-18: 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 works 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. Again, the focus is on the law and not the miracle of healing. They sought to slay Jesus because, as they understood the law, he was a Sabbath breaker and should be stoned.

Numbers 15:32-35: 32. And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. 33. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 34. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. 35. And The Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. Do you believe that everyone who is NOT worshipping on the seventh day should be stoned to death? I do not, neither do Sabbatarians. However, Sabbatarians pick and choose which part of the letter to keep, as do all religious organizations. The Son was the God of Israel, and he was with them in the wilderness. Israel is a type of us all while in a spiritual wilderness, when we abode by man’s opinion of the law.

Notice the answer of Jesus to the Jews: My Father works and I work - WE are working on the Sabbath day! The Jews sought the more to kill him because in their minds Jesus made himself equal with God. They must have considered “equality” more serious than breaking the Sabbath. Now, verse 18 is often lifted out of context and quoted by those who believe the Trinity doctrine to prove that the Father and Son are equal. The answer Jesus gave refutes that interpretation: John 5:19-21: 19. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he [may perceive] the Father do: for what things soever He [may do], these also do the Son likewise. 20. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that Himself does: and He will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21. For as the Father raises up the dead, and [gives life to] them; even so the Son [gives life to] whom he will.

John 5:22-23: 22. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23. that all may honor the Son, even as they honor (g5091) the Father. He who does not honor (g5091) the Son does not honor the Father who sent him (RSV). Verse 22 also proves the Father is greater than the Son in their sphere, as the Father delegated all judgment to the Son (cp John 14:28). The Greek word timao (g5091) has the proper meaning of to fix the value. How do we fix the value of the Father and Son? By obeying instructions given by Jesus. Proverbs 21:21: He that follows after righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor. The Father raises the spiritually dead though the Son. The Son [gives life to] whom he will because God has given him the judgment to give life.

Since the Father has given Jesus all judgment, then when we obey Jesus we are also obeying the Father, and honoring them both. This idea is contained in the next verse also, in addition to how the spiritually dead are raised. Here is the verse from the Greek Interlinear: John 5:24: Truly, Truly I say unto to you, that the one hearing and believing the One that sent me, has eternal life and comes not into condemnation, but is passed out of the death into life. The passing from death into life here, is not immortality received at the physical resurrection of the righteous, but a spiritual quality of life by hearing, believing and putting into action the things we learn that we may honor God and love others as ourselves. Romans 6:3-7: 3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were [immersed] into Jesus Christ were [immersed] into his death? 4. Therefore we are buried with him by [immersion] into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of (eternal) life. 5. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection: 6. Knowing this, that our old man (perverted, carnal way of thinking) is crucified with him, that the body of [the] sin (nature) might be [inactivated], that henceforth we should not serve [the] sin (nature). 7. For he that is dead is freed from [the] sin (nature). [Greek] (supplied for clarification). To be immersed in Christ is to understand the cross and what it reveals about our corruption and lack of love for others, as well as God’s infinite love for all humanity. Walk in the light. Amen.

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