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Saturday, September 10, 2016

My Father -- John 5:16-30

My Father

          Jesus earlier in John's Gospel introduced a new name for God -- "Father." In the flesh, His relationship with His Heavenly Father is intimate like that of a father and a son. As Jesus walked the earth in His flesh body, Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing, and only spoke what the Father told Him to speak. In the spiritual, they are also One and eternal in will, mind and deed. What belongs to the Father also belongs to the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are the three parts of the Godhead each having their role. The Father wills a thing. The Son words it and brings it to life, and the Holy Spirit brings it to fruition through the fruit of the Spirit. The three work together in perfect harmony and agreement. Apart from the Father, Jesus could do nothing! Jesus told us that we could do nothing apart from Him! As Jesus and the Father were One in thought, word and deed, Jesus wants us to be one with Him and each other in thought, word and deed.
          Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because He was doing such things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them. "My Father is still working, and I am also working." For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because He was not only breaking the Sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making Himself equal to God.
          Jesus calls God His Father indicating that He was equal with Him which furthered the anger of the religious leaders toward Him. The Jews wouldn't even write out the sacred name in fullness because they felt God and His Name were so sacred. For Jesus to say that He is equal to the Father would be blasphemous to these Jewish religious leaders. These religious leaders did not recognize Jesus as the fulfillment of their very own scriptures. In the prophetic Psalm 89:26-28 it says, "He will cry out to Me, 'You are my Father......" All that Jesus did as He walked the earth was fulfilling some Older Testament scripture because all scripture is about Him and His finished work of salvation. These religious leaders were spiritually blind because they were rejecting Jesus. Christ didn't come according to their understandings and expectations so they rejected Him. He didn't fit their mold! Instead, the religious leaders sought to prove Him a fraud and a deceiver. Sadly, the deceiver was working through these religious leaders to discredit and destroy Jesus. Instead of receiving and believing Jesus's words, they used His words against Him and turned them into a lie. Jesus even said to them in John 5:43, "You don't receive Me who comes in My Father's Name but you receive those who come in their own name."


          Sabbath means to "cease doing." On the 7th day of creation, God rested because all was holy, perfect, complete and at rest (peaceful). Genesis 2:2-3: By the seventh day, "God had finished the work He had been doling, so on the seventh day He rested from all His work." And God blessed the 7th day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done. God could not make what He created anymore perfect or complete, so He rested in His finished (completed) work. The Godhead -- Father, Word and Holy Spirit -- accomplished creation in orderly progression and in perfect harmony. Only man had the Eternal Spirit of God breathed into Him. Even man/Adam was holy, perfect and complete when God shaped and formed Him and breathed the breath of life into him. When sin entered His holy garden, God had to remove the sinners from His holy place because holiness and darkness cannot reside together. Then the Godhead began the work of restoring in progression and harmony that which was lost through the original sin. This work will continue until God's chosen time. No one knows the day or the hour of the time of the end except God. In the meantime, we are to keep working for the Kingdom of God just as the Godhead is continually working to establish His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
          God began this progressive restoration work through certain chosen men like Abel, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then He gave a promise to Abraham that He would be the father of a great nation who would be God's representative on earth until Jesus was sent by God. Since all of these chosen ones sinned and fell short of the glory of God and His high and holy standards, God had to send His very own sinless Son Jesus to take on flesh and finish the work of salvation and redemption on the cross at Calvary. Now all who believe in God's Chosen and Precious Son Jesus are saved and restored to the Father for all eternity. Jesus's work is a finished work. He said on the cross, "It is finished!" Then He returned to His place of glory at the right hand of His Heavenly Father. Jesus's work need not be repeated like the sacrifices in the Older Testament had to be. His is a finished work done once for all!
          The first Sabbath rest on the 7th day was God resting based upon His completed, perfect work of creating. Then God instituted the law regarding honoring the Sabbath -- the 7th day. The Sabbath was given for man, not man for the Sabbath. This day was to give rest from labor to his people. They were to use this day to worship God, meditate, pray and praise the Lord. This was done to show their reliance upon God for everything -- that Man is not self-reliant but must be reliant upon God.
          After God saved the Israelites from slavery and bondage in Egypt and they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, Moses died. Death of the old; in with the new. God chose Joshua to lead His people out of the wilderness of zin across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Joshua means "Jehovah is salvation." In Hebrew, "yehosua." Joshua is a type and shadow of Yeshua -- Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world who sets us free from spiritual bondage and takes us into God's Heavenly Promised Land and eternal rest. God through Moses delivered God's people from physical bondage, and Joshua led them into the Promised Land. Together, Moses and Joshua's missions foreshadowed what Jesus would do spiritually.
          Joshua reminds the Israelites of the command that Moses had given them, "The Lord your God is giving you rest and has granted you this land." Joshua 1:13  This, of course, is an earthly Promised Land that God had promised to Abraham and his Seed but God also promised Abraham a spiritual Promised Land for all eternity. As Isaac was the promised spiritual seed to be sacrificed by father Abraham, Jesus is the Promised Seed sacrificed by Father God. When we accept the Father's work through Jesus, we enter His rest now and for all eternity by faith like Abraham did with Isaac. "Now we, who have believed enter that rest....." Hebrews 4:3  However, our rest is only partial in this life but will be complete in eternity. Those who don't believe in the finished work of Jesus will not enter that rest because of their disobedience.  For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by their example of disobedience. Hebrews 4:8-11 Believers rest in the finished work of Jesus, not our own works. Disobeying God and His Word dishonors God and is a bad example to others. In heaven, we will participate in God's own rest. It will be a 7th day without end. Alleluia!
          The Sabbath was made for man. God is an inexhaustible source of power and strength. He would not need a time of rest. He is the sustainer of the universe. Since the Godhead is continually doing the work of restoring His perfect creation back to its perfection -- making all things "new" -- He never ceases His work until all is perfect and complete again. He wants that none should perish.
          In Genesis at creation, the Godhead saved the atmosphere from darkness, chaos and disorder. He is continuing His redemptive work through Jesus and the Holy Spirit who save us from darkness, chaos and disorder just as they did in Genesis at creation.
          Those who disobey do not enter that rest because there is no rest in sin. It will be God, not us, who will bring us to obedience through faith. As Jesus's obedience in His flesh body was a trusting response to the Father's love, we are to also obey His Word out of our trusting response to the Father and Jesus's love. When recreation and restoration is complete and all is holy and perfect once again, God will rest based upon His finished work.  It was God's rest at the beginning of scripture in Genesis. It will be God's rest at the end of scripture. It is also God's rest that we encounter on earth as we allow His cleansing Hand and love to remove sin in our lives. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give unto you." John 14:27 

Greater Things

          "Yes, to your amazement, He will show Him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raised the dead and gives them life to whom He is pleased to give it." John 5:20b-21

          Jesus will do even greater miracles than the two healings in John 5. He will raise people from the dead as He did with Jairus' daughter (Matthew 9:25), the widow's son (Luke 7:13-15) and Lazarus (John 11:33-34). His own resurrection from the dead will also shock these leaders. There were three resurrections of the dead in the Older Testament as well -- Zarephath's widow through the mighty prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17:17-24); the son of the Shunammite woman through Elisha (2 Kings 4), and the dead man who touched Elisha's bones (2 Kings 13:21). The 7th resurrection in scripture is Jesus's own resurrection. As we all know, 7 is the number of completion and perfection. In Christ, all who truly believe in Him will be resurrected to eternal life. As believers in Christ and His resurrection power, God worked through Peter to raise Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:36-42), and through Paul who raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9-12).
          Jesus's greatest miracle is imparting eternal life within us. We cannot have eternal life in ourselves. We have life only by Christ living in us through a living faith in Him. Jesus has power over death and life.  Jesus, the Word and the Holy Spirit are resurrecting believers daily as they allow the power of the Holy Spirit and Word to remove sin in our lives and be transformed by the renewing of our mind.
         "I tell you the truth, whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself. And He has given Him the authority to Judge because He is the Son of Man." John 5:24-27 Jesus only speaks Truth. Jesus walked the earth in the flesh like every other human, and then paid the ultimate price so we could have eternal life. Without Jesus, we are physically alive but spiritually dead.
          When Jesus ascended into heaven, the graves were opened up and the dead were resurrected to eternal life following after Him. Faith in Jesus and His Word delivers us from condemnation, cancels the curse of the Law and turns back the fiery sword of judgment in Genesis so we can come boldly before the throne of grace. "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out -- those who have done good will rise to live and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned."

Son of Man

          The first mention of the "son of man" is in Daniel 7:13-14. God is giving the prophet Daniel a vision of what is to come. "In my vision at night I looked and there before me was one like the son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." God is revealing Jesus, the Son of Man, to Daniel. This majestic being in Daniel's vision is presented to the Father as a separate and distinct person who will receive God's Eternal Kingdom. Jesus is the fulfillment of this.


         Abraham called God the Judge of all the earth in Genesis 18:25 as did many of the prophets of the Older Testament. Those who knew God in a close and intimate relationship knew God as Father, just as Jesus does. Because God is Judge over all the earth, all that belongs to the Father also belongs to the Son. God made His Son Jesus Judge over all the earth.


         "Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him." John 5:22-23
          The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One. To dishonor one of them is to dishonor them all. Though believers honor Jesus in an imperfect way because of the sin our lives, obeying His Word will bring him honor.

By Myself, I Can do Nothing

          "By Myself, I can do nothing.: I judge only as I hear and my judgment is just for I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me." John 5:30  Jesus can do nothing of Himself. He must rely upon the Father, just as we can do nothing apart from Jesus and must rely upon Him. Jesus said, "Apart from Me, you can do nothing." John 15:5 We too are not to seek to please ourselves, but are to seek to please God. As Jesus judges righteously, we too must attempt to judge righteously.

          Are you lost and without a Savior who gives you eternal life? Come to Jesus today. Today is the day of salvation. He is bidding you "Come."  Just confess that you are a sinner in need of a Savior and ask Jesus to be Lord of your life from this day forward. You are assured of eternal life. "Come, the Spirit and the Bride say "come."

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