Master to Messiah Day 9
Week 2 >> Day 4
The Healing at the Pool
Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”
But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.
The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.
Jesus Claims to Be the Son of God
So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.
So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.”
“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man.”
“Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.”
Here we find Jesus traveling to Jerusalem with his disciples a second time to celebrate Passover. Once arriving in Jerusalem for the festival, Jesus performs several healings. The second of these miracles is healing the paralyzed man. This not only creates amazement, but also opposition. Healing on Sabbath brings the strong opposition. The religious leaders accuse Jesus of breaking the holy day. Jesus continues to challenge this broken way of thinking by making the incredible claim that He and his Father are always at work. This claim leaves the Jewish religious leaders wrestling with the notion that Jesus is not only equal to the Father, but also is God!
As Peter and the disciples observe these healings and the disagreement with the religious leaders, they must have their own internal struggle. Having seen Jesus already heal his mother-in-law and other incredible healings, Peter knows Jesus has great authority. Now they are seeing and hearing Jesus extend this authority to even declaring He is God.
Often, in our lives, we allow Jesus to have authority in one area or another. Yet as Peter witnesses, Jesus is declaring He has all authority. Jesus is claiming to be God. Christians sometimes minimize or struggle to recognize God’s authority in all areas of their lives. This causes them to miss out on all that God has for them.
Give over a specific struggle you are having this week. We live in a world filled with struggles. Take those difficulties, and give them to the Lord.
- How did Jesus’ claims of authority thrust the disciples into “the fray?”
- How should knowing that Jesus has all authority affect your daily life?
- What have you missed out on by not allowing God to have authority in every area of your life?