“The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.” (John 5.15-16, NASB95)
Do what you are told.
Do it because I said so.
Because mommy says so.
In fact, this morning (6 Sept. 2007) I did a quick blog search and found 31,624 blog entries with the phrase “because I said so.” Now some of that may be about the movie by the same name but hey, that is a lot of blogging.
For the folks in John 5 it was not that Jesus was doing miracles that bothered them. That was ok. It was when he was doing them.
Their value was not violating what God said in the Scriptures.
Jesus’ value was to do what God does. His answer to their complaint: “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” (v. 17).
“…the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing”
“I can do nothing on My own initiative”
It was explained to me like this: The religious leaders of Jesus’ time were very serious about not messing up. They read the laws, they saw the history of their people and they did NOT want to mess up again. So, to protect the people and themselves they made some ‘buffer rules.’ Rules that would keep them from breaking the real laws.
Now Jesus was breaking those rules. But this was not just about individualism and living life to the fullest or tossing off the oppression. For Jesus it was about being “the Son of God.” He was and is equal with God. This was what John explained, ” For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” (John 5.18, NASB95)
What I do not understand is how the rulers here could be so blind. They saw miracles. They saw God doing something way outside the normal and they were worried about the rules. I can imagine their thinking was something like, If the rules were approved of by God and they were made so that God could be followed then God would not break those rules.
I guess they saw the miracles as coming from the miracle worker and not from God through the miracle worker…or worse.
I am left asking myself if I think like that about some things. Do I miss seeing God do some miracles like these guys did because of my own presuppositions?
The fix for this is looking to see what Jesus doing, what the Father is doing and what They and the Holy Spirit have done. If it does not fit with Him then it really is wrong.
Now I feel myself overwhelmed because God has done so many things. I could easily miss something just like the leaders in Jesus’ day on earth. May God help me think clearly, feel the way He does about people and things, and serve as He did..