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Week 79

October 7th, 2017
Controversial Compassion
John 5:16-30
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.” (John 5:16-23)
The Jewish leaders saw both a mighty miracle of healing and a broken rule. They threw the miracle aside as they focused their attention on the broken rule, because the rule of keeping the Sabbath was more important to them than the miracle.

Jesus wanted to teach that when the opportunity to do good presents itself, it should not be ignored, even on the Sabbath. He identified himself with God, his Father. There could be no doubt as to his claim to be God. Jesus does not leave us the option to believe in God while ignoring God’s Son (5:23). The Pharisees also called God their Father, but they realized Jesus was claiming a unique relationship with him. In response to Jesus’ claim, the Pharisees had two choices: to believe him, or to accuse him of blasphemy. They chose the second.
God is prepared to work in our lives, but we can shut out his miracles by limiting our views about how he works. Expectations can be a powerful barrier. Talk honestly to God about your expectations about him and any agendas you might have. In the battle of wills, are you willing for God to win?
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