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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Attitude of the Pharisees re Healing of the Invalid Man at the Pool of Bethesda -- John 5:9-15

     
          
           Jesus has healed the invalid man by the power of His Word in Bethesda, the "house of mercy." Jesus showed this man compassion, mercy and grace even though this poor man didn't even know Jesus. In Christ, we are in the pool of mercy and grace. He is our healer.
         The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the Law forbids you to  carry your mat." But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, "Pick up your mat and walk." So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?" The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. John 5:9-13



         Jesus has the authority over the Sabbath because He is Lord of the Sabbath. The fact that Jesus healed this invalid on the Sabbath further infuriated the Pharisees. The accusers and law-keepers felt that this invalid had disobeyed the Law regarding no labor on the Sabbath because he was carrying his mat. (Sabbath Law: see Exodus 31:14; Leviticus 25:4) The religious leaders had added many stipulations to this law regarding Sabbath making it burdensome for God's people. They had made it unlawful to even carry sticks or a mat on the Sabbath. This was not our merciful God's intention for the Law. Jesus, like His Heavenly Father, did acts of goodness, mercy and grace everyday including the Sabbath day. Rabbi Jesus told this healed invalid that he could carry his mat on the Sabbath Day. Jesus broke through the Law to do an act of love, mercy and grace. Obedience to the Law was commanded by God, but acts of mercy and grace come from love for God and one another.
          Jesus was "born under the Law." Galatians 4:4 Jesus observed Sabbath because He came through the Israelites to fulfil the Law and the Prophets. God had given the Law to the Israelites so an Israelite must be the one to fulfill it. God even narrowed His Savior down to the tribe of Judah. This is why Jesus had to come through the Jews, but never forget that He was, is and will ever be God along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was a "perfect Israelite" who perfectly obeyed all of God's requirements regarding His laws, statutes and ordinances, thus fulfilling it all. Once something is fulfilled, it is completed. In Christ, no longer is obedience to the Law through demand necessary because Jesus did it willingly and perfectly once-for-all. He did what no other man walking the earth could because of the weakness of our sinful flesh. Jesus had full power over His flesh because He had no sin. We are born sinners because of the sin of the first woman and man making us weakened. Those who love and serve Jesus are now under His grace and truth. We are now the righteousness of God in Him not through our own works. Psalm 4:3: But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is holy.
          Observance of the law and statutes given by God set the Israelites apart for God. Galatians 3: 17-19: The Law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God (Abrahamic) and thus do away with the promise. For if inheritance depends on the Law, then it no longer depends upon a promise, but God in His grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed (Jesus) to whom the promise referred had come.  Now under grace and truth in Jesus, we are set apart for God whether Jew or Gentile through His willing obedience and ours because of our love for God and Jesus. 
          Until Jesus cried out on the cross "It is finished" everyone was under the law. Once the Perfect One Jesus obeyed the Law perfectly and shed His sinless blood on the cross, all who believe in Jesus are set free from the demands of the Law and its penalty of death. There will be no other who can or will obey the Law perfectly, including the most dedicated Christian. James 2:10: For whoever keeps the whole Law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. Salvation is not the reward for a holy life. It is the gift of God through His holy Son. Acts 4:12 Under grace, we obey God out of love for Him and others. To claim salvation through law-keeping exalts man not God. Accepting God's grace through His Son's finished work on the cross exalts God not man.
          
Jesus Found the Healed Man in the Temple   


          Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. John 5:14-15 Instead of temporary rest on a mat, this healed man will receive eternal rest in Jesus.
         Jesus came into the world to find the lost sheep -- beginning with the lost sheep of Israel. This crippled man was in deep need of a Savior for eternal life and healing.  Jesus showed this crippled man his love and grace, spoke the truth and told him to stop sinning. Being lame was bad but being spiritually dead was worse! Jesus not only healed this man, He breathed new spiritual life into him. Now that this man belonged to Jesus, Jesus warns him not to keep sinning. Why? Because Jesus loves him and knows that there is no life in sin -- only death and destruction. Love is always Jesus's motivation to those who seek Him and believe in Him. We are His children. He must warn us of danger. Jesus's love, grace and truth is far above man's tradition!
          What has you down, feeling defeated and hopeless? Get up and walk according to Jesus's Word. You have the power of the Holy Spirit and Christ within you. Nothing is impossible to those who believe and walk according to God's Word. If Jesus gives you the power to "rise," He will give you the power to "walk" in His ways to the glory of His Name. Keep your eyes upon Jesus the lifter of our heads.





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