Friday, May 6, 2011

Jesus Re-Casts the Sabbath

At first the religious authorities were persecuting Jesus because He was, “Doing these things” on the Sabbath. Jesus had already healed a demoniac on the Sabbath, recorded in Luke. He was healing people on the Sabbath, and in Matthew’s gospel, defending His disciples for picking grain on the Sabbath. The Lord was honoring the Sabbath according to the heart of God, but He was also deliberately challenging the legalistic scribes and Pharisees.
Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working." [John 5:17]
This absolutely infuriated the Jewish leaders
This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. [John 5:18]
The Lord used the word “work” on purpose. The rabbinic tradition said, “God still does two works on the Sabbath: He creates and He judges.” The Psalm says God never rests but is always watching over and caring for His creation.

The authorities didn’t seem to even notice God’s power at work, the amazing healing. They were angry because Jesus claimed to be Who He truly was: God the Son, co-equal with God the Father.

God the Father is considered to be the first Person of the Trinity. That doesn't mean the Father existed first. God is eternal, with no beginning of any kind. There is no such thing as God having partly existed as the Father, and then later more fully existing as the Son and the Spirit. God, the triune God, fully existed as we know Him now, from always, from before the beginning.

As Jesus told the religious rulers, God the Father has been working all this time. The Father is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. After Adam and Eve sinned, bringing corruption and death into the world, God has been working towards the restoration of His creation.

The scribes’ traditions were a burden for the people, but God is reaching down to liberate people. Since God was working on the Sabbath, of course Jesus, visible God, fully man and fully God, would also be at work doing what God is doing.

Merciful and compassionate God had found this man and healed him.

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