Read John 5:1-18
God’s divine plan for rescuing people from the devastating effects of sin was executed in the sending of His Son (Jn. 3:16). His sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection from the dead were to provide the means by which believers could be reconciled to the Father. But God’s plan included more than just means. Repeatedly in the gospel of John, Jesus spoke of His “time” or “hour.” You see, the Father had both a specific method and time for the accomplishment of His plan.
Satan’s demonic plot, on the other hand, was the destruction of the Son of God. He was committed to eliminating Jesus. And He sought to use people to bring that to pass.
In today’s reading, John refers to the opponents of Jesus with the generic reference of “Jews.” They were already up in arms about the fact that he did good on the Sabbath. In their narrow way of thinking, His healing of men and women on that sacred day broke the fourth of the Ten Commandments.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…” (Ex. 20:8-10a)
On this particular Sabbath, their inner alarms sounded as they saw a man carrying a mat and then learned that Jesus had healed the man that very day. This led to the confrontation and persecution of Jesus (v. 16).
But as they began to speak to Jesus, there was another alarm that sounded. This one was louder yet. This one seemed to point to a violation that was even more severe. In their conversation, Jesus spoke of God with an intimacy that betrayed not only His relationship to the Creator but also His own identity.
“My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working,” He said (v. 17).
He called God His own Father. He was saying that He was equal with God. In their minds, this raised the stakes. Not only was Jesus to be persecuted; He was to be killed (v. 18).
Though “the Jews” sought to kill Him for His claim, don’t lose sight of the fact that it is the divinity of Jesus that places Him in a position to help you in your deepest need!