07.5 John – Not really wanting what we say we really want

While it makes no sense, we all can be guilty of the hardened heart of the jewish leaders and their hatred of Jesus.  They had spent their entire lives and profession wanting to see the Messiah.  They studied the scriptures and firmly held to the belief that all of the woes of Israel’s past had come from disobedience to the law.  They knew the law and they encouraged, by all means possible (including stoning), the extreme adherence to the law.

So when they see a man who has been lame for 38 years, walking unaided with the mat that he had laid on daily, their first reaction was not joy or wonder or celebration, but chastisement for breaking the law.

If you had asked them, they would have said that they anxiously sought the Messiah.  But, when the Messiah comes to them, they reveal it is not the destination they love, but the journey.  What could Jesus have possibly given them as proof that He was the Messiah?  For that matter, what could anyone at any time have given?  There was nothing, because they loved the anticipation more than they loved what they anticipated.

How about you?  Do you pray for Jesus to return, but secretly dread it?  Do you pray, thy kingdom come thy will be done, but hide in the darkness of your own sin hoping God doesn’t see?  What will it take for you to love Jesus more than you love “the life” you have created?  What will it take for you to stop judging others and start loving and celebrating with them while they are still sinners and unclean?

In the same way, we say we want joy, but are we willing to give up worry and gossip?  We say we want peace, but are we willing to address our own hatred?  We say we want love, but are we willing to let go of self-worth and self-reliance to trust in the source of love, God?

It’s not that we don’t want these things, we just want the wanting more.

My Answers:

33. John the Baptist – Human witness
36. The works giving to Jesus to perform by the Father – Signs and Wonders
37. God the Father – Divine
39. The Scriptures – The prophets and all the bible

My response is that I believe and testify

v42. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.  v37b-38, You have not heard His voice nor seen his form nor does His word dwell in you, for you do not believe.  v40 You refuse to come to me to have life

It is not lack of evidence or testimony, but a hardened heart that prevents people from coming to faith

They studied them diligently because they thought that in them you have eternal life, but they did not believe what they said (even the words of Moses)

07.4 John – Dead and Asleep

It is not just that we are dead but that we also asleep that is the problem.  We’ve all heard the phrase popularized in movies, “dead man walking.”  It took hold because it is a catchy phrase that applies to a lot of situations in our lives.

There are times that we find ourselves in situations where we feel like a dead man walking.  It may be as our company falls apart.  It may be in a time of caring for a loved one who is dying.  It may be in reaction to the threat of attack or terrorism.  But, most appropriately, it is an apt description of life without Jesus.

The phrase in movies represented an inmate who had received a conviction sentence of the death penalty.  They were still breathing, but their days were numbered.  Without Jesus, that is the state of all mankind.  We a born, we breath, we walk, we die.  But Jesus offers to take us from death into life, to enable us to cross over, from the land we are to one where we are forgiven and set free of our death sentence.

But for all too many people, they are not dead men walking, but dead men asleep.  They go through life in denial of death, not wanting to think about it.  They go through their days as if they will last forever, while knowing they won’t.  Routines govern our days, to do lists and tasks.  We sleep walk.

The greatest call to those around us is not “do you want to live forever?”, but “can you wake up out of the hypnotic sleep that sin puts us in to realize where we are, what awaits us and to understand that we have a choice?”.

My Answers:

crossed over from death to life – we live in the land of the dead / sin

If I hear and believe (Revelation: Reads, Hears, Heeds), then I am assured

It says all rise from the dead, some to eternal life, some to condemnation – v29.  This is contrary to what non-christians believe that there is nothing after death or that they miss out on heaven only.

That we have assurance. That He stated that He is God, the Son of God, the judge of the world and worthy to receive honor and praise as God the Father does.  These are not things someone else said of Him, but His words.  And in those words He promised to give us the ability to cross over from death to life.

07.3 John – Equal not Separate

In a series of verses that testify, in Jesus’ own words, His equality with the Father and His power and authority, verse 19 stands out as a bit of a quandary.

V19: Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

If he can’t do anything by himself and can only do what he sees his Father doing, then doesn’t that mean that he is less than God the Father?  But how does that fit with Jesus power over life and judgment of sin and that not honoring Him is the same as not honoring the Father?

I think there are two answers.

First, Jesus is equal to but not separate from the Father.  Unlike man, who in the temptation in the garden, left unity with God to become a god himself (Genesis 3:5).  Jesus refuses to separate from the Trinity.  He does not want to become a god, He wants to be what He is, an element of the triune God.

Second, can may also mean will.  For example, I cannot embezzle and be a good employee, I cannot cheat on my wife and honor my wedding vow, I cannot refuse to exercise and expect to be healthy.  Since the Father does only what is True and Holy, for Jesus to do anything else, anything different, would be a sign that He was not God.

My Answers:

He did “these things” (signs and wonders – healing), on the Sabbath (observance of the law of God was more important than God).  Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day and I to am working.”  Calling God His “father” put him on the same level as God, which was blasphemy to their ears because they could not accept the possibility that He was.

Son can do nothing by himself, Whatever the Father does the Son also does, The Father loves the Son.  He shows Him all that He does – greater works are coming.  Son can raise the dead and give life to whom he pleases.  The Father judges no one, that is entrusted to the Son.  Son is to be honored just as the Father.  Not honoring the Son = Not honoring the Father.

Power over death: the ability to give life – He is the Lord and giver of life
The authority to judge: Father judges no one – He is my brother and my judge.  He knows if He is in me or not.
Honor: Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father – Jesus is equivalent to the Father


07.2 John – Do you want to get well?

While I’m in complete agreement that the healing of the disabled man at the pool of Bethesda is a wonderful miracle showing Jesus’ power, authority and love, I think the central point is not what Jesus told the man, but what he asked him.

John 5:6, “Do you want to get well?”

Our first thought may be that this is a silly question.  They guy has been lame for 38 years, longer than the average life expectancy at that time.  And for many of those years he has been coming to this place of healing.  This routine had become his life.  This illness had defined him.  He had nothing else and no one else.

But those are exactly the same points that make this question so appropriate.  If he is healed, then what?  Who does he become?  Who does he “do life” with?

Isn’t the same true in our life?  How often do we lie to ourselves that things are “good enough”?  When there is a call for prayer requests, is our first thought, “I’m doing OK – I don’t need prayer”?

Jesus didn’t require the man to make a statement of faith to be healed.  It was not a quid pro quo deal – if you believe then you will be physically healed.  The man did not even know who Jesus was.  Jesus simply asked him if he wanted to be healed and then healed him.

But Jesus also did not leave it there.  Now that the man is healed of his physical ailment, Jesus comes back to him and gives him the bigger challenge: stop sinning.  Jesus didn’t make this conditional, in other words, He didn’t say I did this for you so you do this for me.  He simply said to the man the same He says to each of us.  Stop sinning.  If you do not choose to “get well” spiritually, if you do not choose to let go of your sin problem, then all the other problems you have faced and insignificant in comparison.  Physical and mental problems affect this lifetime only.  Sin problems affect eternity.

My Answers:

38 years, an invalid.  “I have no one to help me”, “While I am trying… someone else goes ahead of me.”

He first asked him, do you want to be healed.  He then told him to “get up, pick up your mat and walk”

Convict me that I want to be healed.  Heal me.

stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.  I am convicted not to fall back into habitual sin