The Battle Lines are Drawn
“16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:16-18 NIV
People had problems with Jesus Christ Himself. People have difficulty with Christians. Sometimes there are problems because people in the church are just weird. Other times, it is because of our beliefs. In John 5:16-18, the battle lines are drawn. Here are two reasons the Jewish leaders began to persecute Jesus and sought to kill Him in the passage of John 5.
1 – Jesus acted outside of the “religious” box.
Jesus violated the rabbi’s interpretation of the Sabbath. The Scripture says He did “these things (healing the paralyzed man) on the Sabbath.”
Carrying a bed was in fact a violation of the rabbi’s interpretation of the commandment against doing work on the Sabbath. It was not breaking God’s law, but the human interpretation of God’s law.
2 – Jesus claimed equality with God.
Jesus made “himself equal with God.”
Saint Augustine said of this passage, “Behold, the Jews understand what the Arians do not understand.” The descendants of the Arians are the Jehovah’s Witnesses that deny the deity of Jesus Christ.
People struggle with Christians that claim Jesus Christ is God because if He is God, what He says needs to be given attention.
The battle lines are drawn here between the Jewish leaders and Jesus. These battle lines are still being contended for today.
Lord Jesus give me courage to stand with You in all things. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.