Daily Word

Sabbath breaker or Maker? | John 5:14-17

14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

John 5:14-17 (ESV)

Healed AND Saved?

First let’s deal with the man. Surely he was healed, but was he saved? Did he trust Jesus as the Messiah and choose to obey him? The real question is, Did he keep carrying the mat after the encounter with the Jewish leaders? If he kept carrying it, it would show he is obeying Jesus and grateful. If he set it down, he feared the Jewish leaders more. Morris thinks, “The man who had been healed seems to have been an unpleasant creature…as soon as he found out the identity of his Benefactor he betrayed Him to the hostile authorities.” (Morris cited on enduringword.com)

Mentor of betrayers?

Does this account remind you of another betrayer? Like the lame man, he was blessed by Jesus (though maybe not healed). Like the lame man, he betrayed Jesus. Jesus warned Judas in advance (Matthew 26:20-25) as he did this lame man. They both continued in their intention and betrayed Jesus.

Yet to be clear, what is different is: Judas’ actions were foretold (Acts 1:16-18) and Satan entered Judas (John 13:27). I believe Jesus knew about the man’s meeting with the Jews and sought him out to give this warning because He cared. What was the man’s sin? How long after the miracle did Jesus seek him? We don’t have answers. Lest we lose sight of the forest for the trees, remember Jesus knew and loved him.

Sabbath breaker or Maker?

As we mentioned yesterday, these Jews missed the Messiah and focused on their law. So they began a persecution of Jesus that ended about 1.5 years later with His death. They had the gall to call the Sabbath Maker a Sabbath breaker!

God’s rest

Now, did God really break His own Sabbath commandment? Surely He doesn’t rest once a week! Could you imagine if He did!? “The Bible clearly says that God does not need sleep or rest (Psalm 121:3-4, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep). The rest of God on the seventh day was given for man’s benefit, not God’s, demonstrating a pattern of rest necessary for man’s well being.” (enduringword.com)

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Lions resting. Image from Pxfuel.com

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