The main effect of the invalid’s healing that we looked at yesterday is that it provokes the religious authorities to oppose Jesus. Jesus’ response to their opposition is to justify his actions in relation to what God decrees – “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too, am working” (v. 17). The concept of God working beyond the six days of creation was widely accepted by Jews but the idea that God worked on the Sabbath and thus broke the Sabbath regulations was problematic.
Most Jews seemed to believe that God continued his work of providence without ceasing and of course in the process did not break the Sabbath laws because he was above them. As the text goes on to show, the main issue for the religious experts quickly becomes the fact that Jesus claims to be in special relationship with God and to be sent by God – “For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (v. 18).
Jesus now explains the profoundly unique nature of his relationship with God: it is impossible for the Son to do anything independently of the Father because the Son only does what the Father does – i.e. he is therefore the perfect revelation of God; the reason that the Son can do what the Father does is because the Father discloses his will to him out of perfect love and this trust and confidence between Father and Son will lead to greater revelations by way of greater works to come; the greater category of ministry undertaken by the Son beyond that of physical healing will be bestowing spiritual life both now and at the final judgment; the Father entrusts all judgment to the Son in order that the Son may be honoured; the response to the Son is crucial; eternal destiny depends on it; the authority of the Son’s words have the power to grant eternal life to those who accept him; whilst completely dependent on the Father, the Son has his own independent identity and existence as well as divine authority to judge; once again reference is made to how the Son has the authority to separate at the final judgment those who will be condemned and those who will have life; the Son only judges in accordance with the Father’s will and is therefore completely just. Let’s praise God that all these things are wonderfully true!
Pray: Take some to time to praise Jesus for all he is and all he has done. Praise and thank him for all his interventions in your life.