Read: John 5:1-18
He was even calling God his own Father. (v. 18)
John recorded fewer miracle stories than other gospel writers, but each one is full of meaning and grows our belief in Jesus. In this miracle, Jesus disrupted the false narratives of both the 38-year-old paralyzed man and the self-righteous religious leaders. The man on his mat placed his confidence in the false hope that if he could be the first one to the pool when the water stirred, he could be healed. Jesus disrupted the narrative by stirring the man to his feet: “Get up, take up your bed, and walk” (John 5:8). And he did!
The Jewish leaders placed their confidence in the false hope of their interpretation of God’s law. Jewish oral traditions contained 39 categories of work that broke Sabbath, including the carrying of mats! Jesus disrupted the narrative by not only healing on the Sabbath, but also by commanding the man to “take up” his bed, thus breaking the Sabbath. The disruption only grew when they confronted Jesus. He stunned them with the claim, “My Father is working until now, and I am working” (v. 17). This moment brought a tipping point. Jesus was claiming equality with God. They couldn’t see how this could be, so they began “seeking all the more to kill him” (v. 18).
It all makes me wonder, what false hopes am I placing confidence in? How do I assume my interpretation of God’s Word is correct? The solution is to have eyes like Jesus. He only does “what he sees the Father doing” (v. 19). —Jon Opgenorth
As you pray, ask for eyes to see what Jesus sees.
About the Author
Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.