What if you’ve known and believed in something your whole life and one day someone comes and proves it otherwise? Would you be open to learning something new or stick to what you already know?
The Miracles of Jesus
In the previous chapters, Jesus had already done 2 miracles or “signs” (turning water into wine in Cana and the healing of the officer’s son in Galilee). In the opening of Chapter 5, Jesus performs the third miracle in the pool of Bethesda.
Jesus healed an invalid man on a Sabbath day. It did not end there though. Jesus told the man to stand up and carry his mat. People should not do these things on a Sabbath day. Jesus did the miracle to openly challenge the local religious leaders. As you may have noticed, they paid more attention as to who told him to do work than the fact that the man was miraculously healed. The man violated the Sabbath day by carrying his mat.
And when he was questioned, he pointed his finger to ‘the man who made me well…’ The exchange of conversation that followed made the Jewish leaders want to crucify Jesus. Why did it come to the point that they wanted him to be crucified?
It is because someone showed up and told them an entirely different concept about God. Because it was blasphemous, so bad, and shocking to them, they wanted to crucify Him.
Jesus broke the Sabbath. And not only that, He called God as the Father, making him equal to God. This IS the truth, but at that time, no one was allowed to freely and easily say the name of God, more so claim him to be his father.
The Jews, especially the scribes, were very careful when they had to write God’s name. They had such reverence towards God that before they write down God’s name, they have to do a ceremonial bath first and wipe clean or even change the pen they were using before writing His name.
Once it is done, they do the ceremonial bath again and wipe or change the pen. This is done every time they have to write down God’s name. Nowadays, God’s name has been misused and placed in a level with explicit and curse words.
How about you, do you place such reverence and respect towards God’s name and His holiness, or don’t give it the respect it is due?
The 3rd miracle intensified the gap between Jesus and the Jews. And Jesus took this opportunity to boldly state His claims of who He is.
Claim #1: One with the Father in His Actions (John 5:19-20)
The Messiah started this verse with a serious tone, saying “very truly I tell you…”(vs. 19, 24, 25). Undoubtedly, this tells us that the words spoken here are very important that they must be heard and obeyed. Jesus is identifying Himself with God.
This is true. As John has mentioned at the beginning of the book, Jesus is the Word. He has been with God before creation. They are the Trinity God: one God, 3 distinct personalities. Upon calling God as His Father, He is also making Himself equal with the Father.
“Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” Though Jesus Himself is God, He still does what the Father wants to do. When there is equality in action, there is equality in everything. Jesus cannot do the things He does apart from His being the Son of God.
A Limitless God
Jesus is God, and He is equal with God. Yet He chose to become man and die on the cross for our sins in order for us to have a way to heaven.
We must not limit Him as only Jesus of the New Testament, but Jesus who existed with God before everything. This was one truth that the Jewish leaders could not grasp, thus making them so angry with Him.
God and Jesus are two separate persons and can separately do things on His own, but by the virtue of Jesus’ love for the Father and His identity in the Father; He does what the Father wants and does what He sees the Father is doing.
This is the type of relationship where two hearts beat as one. This is one truth we must always remind ourselves of: When you see Jesus, you see the Father. The time you hear Jesus, you hear the Father. When you obey Jesus, you obey the Father. When you love Jesus, you love the Father.
Jesus is equal with God the Father. We must claim this repeatedly, we must confess this repeatedly, pray about it repeatedly. We must not allow this truth to lay dormant in our hearts.
Claim #2: The Power to Give Life (John 5:21, 24)
The claims that Jesus made in front of the religious leaders were so shocking that this became the beginning of His death. The Jews started plotting for His death. Jesus did not only claim to have equality with God, but he also claimed that He has the power to give life.
He has mentioned giving life twice. The first one is giving life to the spiritually dead, and the second one refers to the resurrection.
Not recognizing the voice of Jesus and not having a relationship with Him as your Lord and Savior, means you are considered spiritually dead.
Salvation is very simple, but the benefit is from eternity to eternity. You only need to hear and believe. You need to stop and hear God’s voice. Be still and listen to His message. Have we been still before God and listened to His message for you today?
The Power of Words
Romans 10:9-10 says, ”If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and is justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
Pastor Serge heard this message, and He believed. And he was changed. There will be no change unless you hear and believe God’s word first-hand. Have you heard God’s message for you? Do you truly believe what you are hearing right now?
In verse 24, Jesus says that in order to cross over from death to life, we need to hear, believe and we will be changed by the word of God. Spiritually, we are all dead without Christ. And it is only through Jesus can we have life.
Claim #3: The Authority to Judge (John 5:22,27)
God gave Jesus the authority to judge us. In the end times, there are two kinds of judgment: the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Great White Throne judgment.
The Judgment Seat of Christ is the judgment for the believers and the Great White Throne judgment is for the non-believers. In both judgments, Jesus stands as the judge.
John 5:28-29 says that in the judgment day, all will hear Jesus’s voice – even the unbelievers. And they will be raised to be condemned. God has given Jesus has the authority to judge, and it will be His voice that will be heard and raise the dead to life.
The Path to the Savior’s Crucifixion
Jesus was so blasphemous for the Jewish leaders that “they tried all the more to kill Him;”( John 5:18). It was too much for them to comprehend. This became the start of His path to His crucifixion, to His death. And Jesus knew that this will happen to Him.
In 1 Corinthians 15, we’ll know about the last trumpet and what will happen when we are resurrected and given a new body. After the resurrection, we can enjoy the fullness of Christ in an immortal and glorified body free from sin and sickness.
We can enjoy a pure relationship, unconditional love, worship in the presence of God, and freedom from pain and tears.
Pastor Serge leaves us with this verse: “that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” (John 5:23)
Through studying the book of John, we get to know Jesus on a deeper, more personal level. We see His claims and His miracles. With these, ask yourself, Is Jesus right about who He claims to be? And if He is right, what do you plan to do about it?