Morning Devotions: John 5 – Jesus is God
I greet you in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ.
It is Day 5 of lockdown, which means that we are on Day 5 of our devotional read and study through the Book of John. The sun has just come up. The suburb is amazingly quiet and we have time on our hands. It is a wonderful time for devotions. So I'm going to read from God's Word, explain the meaning, apply it, and then I'm going to close in a word of prayer. Let's read from John chapter 5 verse 1
5 After this, a Jewish festival took place, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 By the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool, called Bethesda in Aramaic, which has five colonnades. 3 Within these lay a large number of the disabled—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the disabled man answered, “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.” 8 “Get up,” Jesus told him, “pick up your mat and walk.” 9 Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat, and started to walk. Now that day was the Sabbath, 10 and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “This is the Sabbath. The law prohibits you from picking up your mat.” 11 He replied, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” 12 “Who is this man who told you, ‘Pick up your mat and walk’?” they asked. 13 But the man who was healed did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 After this, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well. Do not sin anymore, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.” 15 The man went and reported to the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 Therefore, the Jews began persecuting Jesus because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 Jesus responded to them, “My Father is still working, and I am working also.” 18 This is why the Jews began trying all the more to kill him: Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God. 19 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, the Son is not able to do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son likewise does these things. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing, and he will show him greater works than these so that you will be amazed. 21 And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to whom he wants. 22 The Father, in fact, judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all people may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 “Truly I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life. 25 “Truly I tell you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he has granted to the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has granted him the right to pass judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 “I can do nothing on my own. I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies about me, and I know that the testimony he gives about me is true. 33 You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 34 I don’t receive human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 John was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 “But I have a greater testimony than John’s because of the works that the Father has given me to accomplish. These very works I am doing testify about me that the Father has sent me. 37 The Father who sent me has himself testified about me. You have not heard his voice at any time, and you haven’t seen his form. 38 You don’t have his word residing in you, because you don’t believe the one he sent. 39 You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, and yet they testify about me. 40 But you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life. 41 “I do not accept glory from people, 42 but I know you—that you have no love for God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and yet you don’t accept me. If someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe, since you accept glory from one another but don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. 47 But if you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe my words?”
1. The Third Sign
As we look at this text, what stands out is this great miracle, this third sign, followed by this discourse of Jesus Christ. It is a response to the Pharisees who were bringing a persecution against Him in terms of the sign. It starts off with Jesus asking this man, "Do you want to be well?" His response is not exactly what you would expect it to be. He kind of gives an excuse as to why he can't get into water and there seems to be some kind of superstition going on in his head. Christ's response to him is a command, "Get up, pick up your mat and walk." The kids sing that song of another miracle of many going, walking, leaping and praising God when they are healed. As this man walk, he is confronted by Jews because it's the Sabbath day. These men are very concerned that his is carrying his mat is doing work on the Sabbath. So they challenge him, and he responds that he is doing what his healer told him to. The Pharisees do this instead of asking, "Who healed you? Who has the power of healing? They asked him the question, "Who told you to pick up your mat?" Because this is an accusation of breaking the Sabbath." The man doesn't know and he goes off into the marketplace and later, Jesus finds him and Jesus says to him that he needs to stop sinning.
"You have been made well. Do not sin, so that something worse might not happen to you."
Now the man knows that it's Jesus. He goes to the Pharisees and tells them that it's Jesus who healed him. Now they set themselves against Him.
The stage is now really sick for confrontation. This becomes one of the key themes in the rest of the book of John. The confrontation between the Pharisees who end up bringing charges against Jesus, that He makes Himself like God and that He breaks the Sabbath. They bring these charges against Jesus and ultimately crucify Him.
2. Equality with God
Jesus in His first discourse with them basically lays out that He is God. We read in John Chapter 5:18, that "he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God." The Pharisees got what Jesus was claiming. He was claiming to have: Sovereignty in verse 17, excellence in verse 19, the same power as God in verse 20, to be the Life-Giver that God is in verse 21, the Judge that only God is in verse 22, and that men were to honor him the same way that they honor God in verse 23.
3. Testimony to the Truth
Jesus doesn't just leave it there. He says that there are testimonies. There are witnesses that verify his claims. He says, don't just believe my words, but believe my miracles. And if you don't believe my miracles, the human witnesses, John the Baptist in verse 33, then believe the miracles and verse 36. If you struggling to believe in miracles in verse 36, then, believe Scriptures themselves in verse 39 because they testify Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Well, how do we apply this text?
Firstly, if you're an unbeliever reading this on this this morning, then I would encourage you to take a look at John 5:29. It says that there is going to be a resurrection of life for those who have done good things. But to those who have done wicked things, there will be a resurrection of condemnation.
Jesus Christ lived a perfect life. He died on the cross for the sins of many. He rose from the grave on the third day and the call on all men is to repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and me Saviour. Out of that faith and that trust, will flow works prepared before the foundation of the world, which verify our Salvation and give us assurance of Salvation. And one day at the Judgment Seat, as we plead the blood of Christ, as we demonstrate that our faith and our trust was in Jesus Christ, His righteousness will be what saves us.
But unbeliever, you on that day will stand in your own miserable works. A sinner and a wretch. On that day, you will be called to give an account and at the end a verdict will be passed and you will be condemned to an eternal hell because of your sin and how it separates you from a holy God.
This day repent, this day believe, this day trust in Jesus Christ and you will live!
If you are a seeker and you reading John 5 this morning, I'd love you to hear the words in verse 23, "Anyone who does not honor the son does not honor the Father who sent him." Friend if you are seeking for God, if you are truly looking for God, you just find him in the person of Jesus Christ. For Jesus is the fullness of deity. If you want to know God, you must know Jesus Christ.
If you're a backslider reading this and you're living your life in a wretched state, but you had at some stage professed Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, Remember the words of Jesus to the man that he has just healed in John chapter 5:14, "Do not sin anymore so that something worse doesn't happen to you." Your sin is a blemish against your profession. You need to examine yourself to see if you are even saved. The reality is you need to repent of your sin. And once again put your faith and your trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and your Saviour and then walking paths of righteousness that you might have assurance, in this life and that you might be able to live in that you might have eternal life.
If you're a new convert reading John 5 this morning, I would like to challenge you to dwell on John 5:17-23 for the rest of today. In them, you will see Jesus: a Sovereign Eternal Judge, a Life-Giver with all power. You will see Jesus Christ and you will grow in your understanding, your appreciation and your love for Him.
If you're a Believer reading John 5 this morning, then the words of John 5:39 should ring in our ears. "You pore over the scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them and yet they testify about me." I want to remind you why we read Scripture. We read scripture so that we can grow in our knowledge of Christ. That's because we love Christ and we want to see Him more and more with ever increasing clarity. So that we might glorify Him more in this life, even as we will glorify him in the life to come. Let’s close in a word of prayer.
Father God, I want to thank you for your Word. It is faithful and true and upon it we can build our lives and our testimony. I thank you Lord God that you have given us a Word which is sufficient for all matters of life and godliness. And I thank you Lord that it is without error that we can trust the truth of the witness that we have and hold in our hands. LORD God, this morning, might your Words speak to our hearts, might we have an elevated view of our Lord Jesus Christ and might our affections and our love for Him grow. I pray LORD God for those who might be reading this that do not know Jesus, that you would reveal him to them, high and lifted up, the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. This I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus. Christ, Amen.
May the Lord. God bless you.