Only Believe. Really!

Written by on May 30, 2018

Amazing! Jesus called God “My Father”, and it made Him equal to God (John 5). This is amazing teaching from Jesus. The setting is recorded in John 5 when there is described yet another altercation between Jesus and his religious detractors. Jesus had just healed the crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda…

Jesus uses a tense and conflicted situation to teach a sublime truth about Himself and the relationship He had with His Father.

“…Jesus return to Jerusalem to observe one of the Jewish holy days. 2 inside the city… There is a pool called in Aramaic, “The House of Loving Kindness.” Hundreds of sick people were lying there on the porches – the paralysed, the blind, and the crippled, all of them waiting for their healing…

5 Now there was a man who had been disabled for thirty-eight years lying among the multitude of the sick. 6 when Jesus saw him lying there, he knew that the man had been crippled for a long time. So Jesus said to him, “Do you truly long to be healed?” – John 5:2,5,6 (TPT)

Without commenting too much on this story, which is brilliant, and without commenting about the fact that the crippled man had been lying there for 38 years, the same length of time that Israel was wandering in the wilderness (see footnote in The Passion Translation related to John 5:5 which is worth a read), Jesus performed this miracle on the Sabbath by telling the man “Stand up! Pick up your sleeping mat and you will walk!” My guess is that if the man had not picked up his mat he would not have walked. If that man had considered the rules related to the Sabbath day he might’ve argued with Jesus that this was not the time or day to pick up his mat. If he had followed the rules he would not have been healed. However, he chose to listen to the voice of Jesus and not rules and regulations. He was immediately healed and set free!

Let’s read on…

9“So he rolled up his mat and walked began! Now this miracle took place on the Jewish Sabbath.10When the Jewish leaders saw the man walking along carrying his sleeping mat, they objected and said, “What are you doing carrying that? Don’t you know it’s the Sabbath? It is not lawful for you to carry things on the Sabbath!”

11He answered them, “the man who healed me told me to pick it up and walk.” 12“What man?” they asked him. “Who was this man who ordered you to carry something on a Sabbath?” 13But the healed man couldn’t give them an answer for he didn’t yet know who it was since Jesus had already slipped away into the crowd.

14A short time later, Jesus found the man at the temple and said to him, “look at you now! You’re healed! Walk away from your sin so that nothing worse will happen to you.”15Then the man went to the Jewish leaders to inform them, “It was Jesus who healed me!” 16So from that day forward the Jewish leaders began to persecute Jesus because of the things he did on the Sabbath. – John 5:9-16 TPT

John 5:1-24 (TPT)

17 Jesus answered his critics by saying, “Every day my Father is at work I will be too!” 18 This infuriated them and made them all the more eager to devise a plan to kill him. For not only did he break their Sabbath rules, but he called God “my Father,” which made him equal to God.

19 For Jesus said, “I speak to you timeless truth. I never act independently of the father or do anything through my own initiative. I only do the works that I see the Father doing, for the Son does the same works as his Father.” …

22 “The Father now judges no one, for He has given all the authority to judge to the Son23 So that the honour that belongs to the Father will now be shared with his son. So if you refuse to honour the Son, you are refusing to honour the Father who sent him.

24 “I speak to you an eternal truth: if you embrace my message and believe in the one who sent me, you will never face condemnation, for in me, you have already passed from the realm of death into the realm of eternal life!

Key points

  • Jesus represents God the Father perfectly well.
  • Jesus is full of kindness, mercy, and grace.
  • Nobody ever speaks of Jesus as being full of anger and judgment.
  • To speak of an angry, unkind God misrepresents both Jesus and His Father.
  • If God the Father ‘now judges no one’, and ‘has given all the authority to judge’ to Jesus, why is the Father blamed for judgment?
  • Believers in Christ can now call God ‘Father’ (‘Abba Father’ – Rom 8) placing them in a wonderful position of ‘no condemnation’.
  • If there is now no condemnation for believers, why the fear of an angry God?
  • It is genuinely wonderful news!

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