The Healing of the Lame Man:
(Read John 5:1-9)
John gives clear identity and mission of Jesus in his gospel. The healing of sick was the fulfillment of prophecy about the mission of the Messiah (Isaiah 35:6). It is the declaration that the kingdom of God has begun. Jesus healed a man who had been disabled for 38 years on the Sabbath. It happened near the sheep gate, near the pool of Bethesda, which means house of mercy. Jesus singled out this man and asked him “Do you want to be healed". Jesus wanted him to admit that he is helpless and was in need of healing. He showed no appreciation for Jesus in the beginning. But Jesus' question must have awakened his hope. Only when we admit that we are sinners and in need of salvation, we can be saved. Jesus is able and willing to meet our needs. Jesus said, "Get up, take up your bed and walk”. Jesus knew his problem and gave him the power to obey His command. There is power in His word. His obedience brought complete and immediate healing. Jesus gave him strength to carry his bed and walk. He was required to begin a new life and tell others what Christ has done for him. This symbolizes our spiritual healing. Christ not only saves us from judgment of sin but also from the power of sin. Walking symbolizes our spiritual life. Those who are saved must grow in the grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We are not only saved by faith but also live by faith. Christ does all things for our good and for his glory. In Jesus the kingdom of God has come near. Pray that God would use you for the kingdom work by giving you opportunities to share the gospel.
Christ fulfilled the Law:
(Read John 5:10-15)
The healing of the lame man on Sabbath is significant. It was a weekly day designated for rest (Ex 20:8-11). It shows that Jesus has authority over Sabbath. Only though Jesus' mercy and grace we can enter into true Sabbath rest. All our efforts to save us are futile. This man's greatest need was not a healed leg but was salvation of his soul. The healed man immediately ran into opposition. The Jewish leaders became very upset because the man was healed on Sabbath. The man did not know who healed him. Jesus met the man in the temple and said to him “Sin no more". He was called to live in response to the mercy of the perfect Savior. He was perfectly forgiven yet he has to wait to experience sinless perfection in eternity. Believers should not take God's grace for granted and continue in sin. All who believes in Christ are new creation (2 Cor 5:17). God sets us apart to live a holy life. This is possible only through the power of the new life of the indwelling Holy Spirit. When sin entered the world, God’s rest was broken. Jesus fulfilled the Law perfectly and his death put an end to the legal demands of the Law . Christ is able to give rest to all those who believe in Him (Mat 11:28). He sets us free from the burden of law by fulfilling the law. On the cross Jesus said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). He is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28). Christ rose from the dead on Sunday. From earliest days of the church, most Christians observed Sunday as the Lord's day. It is not Christian Sabbath day but a day of remembrance of Christ's death and resurrection. It is a day to rejoice, reflect upon Christ and worship God. Look to Jesus to find rest from all your anxieties and fears.
Jesus is God:
(Read John 5:16-30)
The conflict intensified between Jewish leaders and Jesus because he claimed equality with the Father. It amounts to blasphemy in the eyes of the Jews (5:18). Jesus said, "My Father never stops working, so am I" (John 5:17). Thus He justified the healing of the sick man on Sabbath day. God is the everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). Christ is co-equal with the Father (John 1:1; 17:5). Son reveals the nature of the Father. Christ claimed, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). Father was never without Son or Son without Father. This relationship has no beginning or end. This speaks of Christ's unique divine nature. All that Father does, Son does. He claimed that he could raise the dead to life by raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44). He forgave sin which only God could do. We pass from judgment to life because Jesus took our judgment on the cross. Father committed all judgment to Son. so that the Son would be equal in authority and honor with the Father. Father and Son share the same life. Jesus came to reveal the Father. If you put your faith in Jesus you can personally know God as your Father (John 1:12). To honor Jesus means to honor the Father (John 5:23). So Christ continues his claim to be equal with God by His nature, work, authority and judgment. God's acceptance of us is without reservation because of the finished work of Christ on the cross. Do you know Christ?
Witnesses to Jesus:
(Read John 5:31-47)
The only way to receive eternal life is to see Jesus in the Bible. The entire Bible bears witness to Jesus Christ (John 5:39-40; Luke 24:44-47). The Bible is all about what God does for us. Jewish law requires two witnesses to establish any claim. Christ furnished many witnesses to validate His claims: John the Baptist (33-35), His miracles (36), the testimony of the Father (37-38), and the Scriptures (39-47). Jews always searched the scripture because they knew that in them they have eternal life (5:39). Jesus said scriptures bear witness of Him. Yet they refuse to believe Christ. They sought praise from men rather than from God. This is the worst sin (Pro 29:25). The approval that matters is whether we are in Christ or not. They had great respect for Moses but they did not believe what Moses testified of Christ (Luke 24:27; Deuteronomy 18:15-18). The believers are liberated from the need to be approved by people because in Christ they have been approved by God. Do not put your hope in good works but in the finished work of Christ on the cross.