Opposition Begins

Many of you can identify with the “Power of Faith.”  It can be different in each of our lives.  Lesson seven in our study on the book of John was centered on John 5: 1 – 47.  The title identified was “Opposition Begins.”  Some of the headings found in Chapter 5 in the book of John, in the bible are:  “The Healing at the Pool; Life through the Son; Testimonies about Jesus.

 

The many toils of strife were chronicled by the apostle John, among others.  John was the messenger who told of the Messiah.  Jesus was faced with opposition, even though he did good.  He healed the lame and cured the sick.  Even though he performed miracles, the Jews considered him a mere man.  Jesus realized that he would be fighting an up-hill battle at the very beginning.  Those in power did not want to feel challenged for their stations in life (positions).  They also wanted to limit anyone from gaining a position that they did not support.

 

Jesus saw an invalid lying by the pool at Bethesda.  Jesus learned that he had been an invalid for thirty eight years; which to many of us is a long time.  Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well. After listening to his reply, Jesus told him to get up and walk.  Ordinarily, Jesus would have healed the man based on his faith.  Faith would have been a requirement, a pre-requisite., for the man to be cured.  In this particular instance, the man did not even know who Jesus was.  Jesus is not limited by a person’s lack of faith, even though he usually heals in response to faith.

 

The Jews questioned the man who had been healed.  They wanted to punish him for performing work on the Sabbath.  Per the NIV footnote of John 5:10 and the Life Change study guide text notes on page 69; “The Law of Moses forbids work on the Sabbath. The rabbis minutely spelled out what constituted work (by 200 AD thirty-nine classes of work were defined). Nehemiah 13:15 and Jeremiah 17:21-27 condemn carrying loads for commercial business on the Sabbath, so the rabbis decided that “taking out aught from one domain into another”(1) was always work. This included carrying a mat. The rabbis had a theory that each commandment should be applied as widely as possible to avoid even accidentally breaking the law.”  They interpreted that the law forbade his carrying of the mat in his possession.  They interpreted that the law forbade the carrying of loads of any kind.  The Jews held Jesus accountable for permitting the man to carry the mat on the Sabbath.  The Jews then persecuted Jesus because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

 

Jesus was prepared for the opposition.  He was ready to do what it took.  He understood what lengths humans would go to, to maintain their authoritative positions, and positions of power.  Jesus understood that prophecy had to be fulfilled.

 

Sources:

Life Change Series, A NavPress Bible study of the book of John, NavPress, 1987.          (1) Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to John, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Eerdmans, 1971).

NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, 1995

 

WHO IS JESUS?

In Lesson 9 of the Life Change Series of the Book of John 7:1-52, the question is raised, Who is Jesus? Despite the earlier signs and miracles performed by Jesus, there continued to be division and doubt as to Jesus being the Messiah. John states that even the brothers of Jesus did not believe in him (John 7:5). Jesus’ brothers advised him to show himself to the world; (John 7:4) No one who wants to be a  become public figure acts in secret. Jesus responded, (John 7:10) However after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. Jesus stated earlier (John 7:6)My time is not yet here, for you any time will do Jesus statements and his subsequent actions were in accordance with the will of God, not the will of the Jewish people, and not the will of his brothers.   

One of miracles contested by the Jewish leaders was Jesus’ curing of the lame man on the Sabbath. Jesus responded in (John 7:21-24) that Jewish leaders circumcise on the Sabbath. He concluded in V.24 Stop judging by mere appearance, but instead judge correctly. Jesus asked them to look truthfully at his good and righteous act and not judge harshly because of their anger at him.

Who is Jesus? He is the son of God, teaching the word of God and doing the will of God, following what God wants him to do, in His plan and timing. .Jesus act of healing the lame man on th Sabbath was also the will of God allowable beacuse of its worth and merit to restore healing to a broken man.

References:

NIV Study Bible, Zondervan

Life Change Series, the Book of John,  NavPress

Testimony – John 1:6–8, 19-51

Are you being a good witness for God?  Are you providing a good and accurate account of God’s Grace and Mercy?  Looking at the scripture, John 1: 6 – 8; 19 – 51; the focus is on John the Baptist, as he testifies and witnesses of the coming of The Messiah.  In verses 6 – 8; he states; “There was a man sent by God whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.  He himself was not the light.  He came only as a witness to the light.” This gives us insight into the mission of John the Baptist, concerning the coming of the Messiah.  Through his testimony and witnessing; a road map has been provided as to how to be a good witness for God and to insure that your testimony is edifying God’s Grace and Mercy.  The next time that you are reading this chapter of John; think about some things that you can input, improve, and express when you are witnessing and providing your testimony of God’s Grace and Mercy, in your life.