Day 18

Day 18

This is a big day for Jesus! Today he will appear before the religious leaders in Jerusalem. He is bring brought up on two very serious charges.

Charge #1: Jesus broke the Sabbath by healing the man and then telling him to carry his mat (working).

Charge #2: Jesus was claiming that God was His real Father and that He and God the Father were equals. Yikes! This is going to get tense!

Read John 5:16-47
  • What was the primary message of Jesus in this passage? (Vs. 18)

  • There are several witnesses that Jesus calls forward to testify on His behalf. Find them and write down the truth they tell about who Jesus is.

  • What do we learn about Jesus' character from his "answer" to the Jews (vs 19-47) 

There has never been and never will be a more powerful declaration of the person of Jesus Christ than what we see in this passage. Here we have Jesus Christ Himself, addressing the religious and political leaders of His day in an all-out defense of who He is. Like a masterful lawyer, Jesus works His way through point by point, witness by witness, to the logical conclusion that He really is equal with God. He argues that it is a fact and not blasphemous at all. Here is Jesus, fully God, and yet standing before them fully human. He is the God and Man, God made in the flesh, God come to live as His creations do and show us how to live in complete dependence on the Father.

How did you do with the five witnesses? Lets take a brief look at each one.

Witness #1: Jesus Himself (John 5:19-31). Jesus says that He is loved by the father (v.20), has an ongoing intimate relationship with Him, was given authority by the Faither to execute judgment and is willing to submit to the Father and do only His will (vs.19,30). He also says that He is equal with God (vs.23)

Witness #2: John the Baptist (John 5:33,35). John gave testimony of who Jesus was, back at the Jordan River (John 1:19-34). John testified that Jesus was the Messiah, the Lamb of God, Who came to take away the sings of the world. Unfortunately, John is now in prison, his light hidden from the people.

Witness #3: Jesus’ own works (John 5:36). Jesus says that greater than the testimony of the prophet John is Jesus’ works that God has given Him to do. The miracles of transformed lives all around Him bear witness of His authenticity, like the man who was sick for 38 years before Jesus healed him.

Witness #4: The Father Himself (John 5:37,38). Jesus now calls God the Father to witness about His true self. But when did the Father testify about Jesus? Go back to the river again (Matt.3:16-17). The father opened the heavens and said, “This is my son, Whom I love, With him I am well pleased.”

Witness #5: The Scripture (John 5:39-47). Jesus tells them,

But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me’” (John 5:45-46)

Wow! But what does He mean, that Moses wrote about Him? I have read the first five books of the Bible (Those that Moses wrote) and I have never seen anything about Jesus there.

 Unfortunately, our generation has long lost the fact that the Bible, the whole Bible, is really about Jesus, and not about us. In our individualistic society we have been taught to read and study the Bible looking for ourselves. What does it say about me? What am I suppose to do? What does God want from me? These are all good questions, but not the real point of the Bible. From cover to cover, the Bible points to Jesus. IT is the same with history, we tend to interpret history in terms of ourselves and not Jesus. We are self-centered, instead of Christ-centered. Really, all of history is simply His story (Jesus’ Story).

My challenge to you is the read the Word of God, not looking for you, but looking for Him. I guarantee a life change.

 In John 5, Jesus tells us that He is God and gives proof of that truth. At some point we all must come to grips with who Jesus says he is.

 You will have to come to the conclusion that either Jesus was (as C.S. Lewis famously puts it);
  • mentally ill and self-deceived, 
  • A demon of hell
  • He was telling the truth and He was God in an earthly body

So what is one to do with Jesus?

You know, part of being a disciple maker, part of sharing the gospel with those around us is choosing to be brave and give testimony to the truth of who Jesus is. Sometimes we're tempted to make apologies for Jesus and his teachings... especially when they are unpopular. What kind of witness are you?
As I said, sometimes we're tempted to make apologies for Jesus and his teachings... on the other hand, sometimes we're tempted to "defend" Jesus.

I'm reminded of the words from the famous preacher:

“The Word of God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself.”
― Charles Spurgeon

  Don’t even feel like you need to defend Jesus– He does a much better job than we could ever do.

As we start ministry training, ask God to open your eyes to opportunities to share the truth with those around you! 


Nellie parker - January 25th, 2023 at 4:49am

I know I wasn’t always brave enough to tell people I was a Christ follower In my younger years but as I witnessed more I was able to just put the whole truth about Christ out there as I saw an opportunity to reveal Jesus to those who I saw didn’t seem to see a need for him seeing family that still are trying to walk the straight and narrow before they can convert is a burden for many as for me this study reveals the basic need to bring Jesus with you where ever you go as the opportunity is there as much or more than it ever will be don’t wait Jesus will be with you when you lose your nerve

Mark Hudson - January 25th, 2023 at 8:17am

In reading today's lesson and another daily devotional, it appears to me that the Jewish leaders of Jesus' time were blinded by the law instead of using it to recognize what the law was designed to do. It was designed to help them (us) recognize the sin in our lives. They thought the law were rules made to follow instead of God's tool in helping us come to him for his grace.

Because of how the jewish leaders interpreted the law, they could not recognize who Jesus was, what his purpose was, and who sent him. Their pride in following the law blinded them to what Old Testament scriptures actually say about Jesus and God's plan.

Are we blinded by the law today? Probably so. We think it's all about following rules instead of putting our faith in God and his mercy through his son, Jesus. If we recognize we are sinners, ask God for forgiveness, and put our faith in his Word, then we will want to do what is right.

Marcy - January 25th, 2023 at 9:34am

Today's reading reminds me of the sermon series Sammy has been sharing, especially this past Sundays.

It seems the religious leaders skipped right to the "obey" part, focusing on the law, which is all about the "works"..and maybe missed the "believe" then "follow" part which has so much to do with the heart.

Certainly at times in my own walk with Christ I have been guilty of that very thing. When you act and move trying to follow all the "rules" many times you miss the whole part of being in "relationship" with Jesus. Your heart is in some ways disengaged, your so focused on trying to live it out so perfectly by the rules.

Just as the leaders "missed" that the Son of God was standing right in front of them..we often miss it too.

We miss just believing that He can use our broken lives to witness to someone else the amazing grace Jesus offers.

We miss following even when we can't see sometimes where He is taking us, because we haven't trusted in Him enough to just surrender and let go of all the perfection that we feel we have to present to others.

Therefore, when we try to all looks so skewed to a non believer, because sometimes they feel overwhelmed by all the "rules" they see us trying to follow.

We get it backwards so many times. If only we would let our heart dive fully into believing Him, following Him..the obeying part would come so natural and then others would want what we have..and sharing Him with others would be so much more natural. Alot of soul searching in this reading today.❤️

Larry - January 26th, 2023 at 8:16am

My unwillingness to lose my life in this present age is a very dangerous road to be on, Jesus words in Matthew 10, and Luke 9, about pushing through in denial of oneself and putting our hand to the plow (in joy) are a constant reminder to me of a life well lived, and a life worthy of our His calling.