The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed."
He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'"
Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."
The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working."
Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
[John 5:10-18 NKJV]
We find from the outset of Jesus’ ministry that the Jewish authorities must have considered Him a threat to the established order. These verses do not make clear who exactly these Jews were, should we conclude therefore that those who spoke against Jesus were ordinary citizens like you or me?
We have already seen that Jesus Jesus found it necessary to leave Judea because He (or rather His disciples) were baptising many and had incurred the wrath of the Pharisees; and now He was healing people on the Sabbath — the day of rest. For such crime they sought to kill Him.
Jesus answer — that He was working; a similar response to that given in Luke 2:49 (And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?”) — only exacerbates the problem and they ‘sought all the more to kill Him.’
Would it be any different today? We may like to believe that we would see the truth and recognise Him when He returns, but the likelihood is — if we held strongly to our personal beliefs about Him — that we might not. We must see Him as He is, not as we believe Him to be.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
[1 John 3:2 NKJV]
PRAYER: Lord, help us to see You as You really are — to recognise Your voice, Your presence and Your life in us. Let not doubt or fear come between us, Lord, and bring us to the certainty of knowing You as You really are. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
You can never make yourself holy by external acts, but, if you are holy, your external acts will be the natural expression of holiness.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART