"For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.John 5:21(NASB)
God will not share His glory with another and yet Christ demonstrated His deity when He healed the paralytic man on a Sabbath Day. No one but God can give life and health and the Jewish leaders knew about Christ's Messianic claims, but could not bring themselves to see the truth. They knew Jesus came from God, but were so bound up with legalism and religiosity that their eyes were blinded to the truth that Jesus was God incarnate.
"Now that you are well," Christ warned the man, "do not sin anymore, in case something worse happens to you." In this case it was his sin that had caused this man's paralysis, and Jesus connected sin to his sickness. Christ's Sabbath-day healing was linked to his sins being forgiven, which caused the religious leaders to become angry and fearful. Although Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, He was criticised and persecuted for breaking the Jewish Sabbath. It should be noted that the Jewish Sabbath had been changed and corrupted, over time, and had NO resemblance to the same command given to Moses.
"Is it better the do good or to do evil on the Sabbath?" was Christ's argument, but this beautiful healing was twisted by these legalists into something profane. They labelled Jesus a blasphemer and sinner, for He made Himself to be equal with God, which infuriated the religious leaders of the day. "For this reason, the Jews sought all the more to kill Jesus", as John records. "He not only broke their Sabbath, but it meant that He was calling God His own Father, which made Himself equal with God."
Jesus had every right to heal on the Sabbath Day and to forgive sin. He was not breaking God's law. He is equal with the Father - for Jesus IS God. However, in His compassion, the Lord took this opportunity to tell them the truth, even though most would remain blind to the truth and dead in their sins. "I tell you the truth," Christ explained, "the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does in like manner. The Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel."
But Jesus continued, "Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes." These were the words that sent these religionists into a tail-spin! Jesus not only healed on the Sabbath, forgave sin, and called God His Father, but He also had the confidence, or audacity, to tell them that He had the words of eternal life within Himself!
Such a statement would have been blasphemous, outrageous, lunacy and full of audacity if it were untrue. However, Jesus told the truth, for the Lord Jesus Christ is God - He is the Way and He is Lord of Sabbath. He is the Truth, and He is Lord of Life. And the Bible teaches, "NO man comes to the Father but through faith in Him."
Many did marvel at his words and work, and some believed, but the claims Christ continued to cause a clear line of division to be drawn in the sand. Jesus could do all that the Father does because the Father loves the Son and shows Him all the things the Father does! Jesus is fully God and fully man, but He chose to set aside His heavenly glory and come to earth in the form of a man, and live the perfect life the Father wants ALL His people to live - a life totally dependent on HIM, a life that listens to His voice, a life that obeys His voice, a life that is walking in spirit and truth, a life that dies to self and lives for Him, a life that is willing to say not my will but Thine be done, so the Father may be revealed.
JESUS is the God-Man, Who came to earth to reconcile sinful man back to a holy God. He opens the door for whosoever will to come to the FATHER and be returned into fellowship with Him, by faith in the SON. And just as the Son points us to the Father, so the indwelling SPIRIT, Who is given by the Father to all who believe, points us to Christ. What an amazing plan of redemption. No one but God could construct something so beautiful, so eternal, so life-giving and so simple.
It was the Spirit of God Who breathed life into the lifeless form of Adam in the Old Creation, after the Lord had formed and fashioned him from the dust of the earth, in His own image and likeness. And it is the same Holy Spirit of God, Who breathes the breath of NEW life into the lifeless spirit of a fallen man at redemption. At salvation, the soul that is dead in trespasses and sin, receives Christ's new, resurrected, eternal life, and the born-again child of God becomes part of His New-Creation-In Christ!
The NEW Life that Jesus promised to the narrow-minded religionists of His day, through faith in His name, is the eternal life that the Father gave to the Son, when He raised Him from the dead, to enable Him to give newness of Life to whomsoever He chooses - to those who believe on His name for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting.
What an opportunity those foolish Pharisees missed, when they refused to listen to the truth and believe on the Son, Whom the Father raised from the dead - for in the Son are the words of eternal life and He gives life to whomsoever He wishes. He gives life to ALL who believe.
Loving Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing lessons I learn from the Words of Scripture, the various people, the choices they make and the wonderful love of God that passes human understanding. Thank You for sending Jesus to become a man, so that He could not only die a sacrificial death for my sins, but also rise from the dead and become the Firstfruit from the dead. Thank You, that in Him are the words of eternal life, and by faith in Him I have already received eternal life, and because He lives, I too will rise from the dead in newness of life eternal. Keep me from falling into any legalistic thinking, and prevent me from missing an opportunity to come closer to Christ, in thought, word and deed. May many that remain dead in trespasses and sins, hear the good news with open minds and receive the blessings that are open to ALL who believe. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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