Tuesday 29 October 2013

John 5:16-30 - Jesus explains

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It's clear that the religious leaders were offended by Jesus and wanted to silence him. They were offended mostly because people were following him and hanging on his every word. They were upset by his authority, or rather, they were upset at being eclipsed by him. They were looking for justifiable criticisms that would prove he could not be the Messiah.

One of these was that he broke the Law. Working on Shabbat was not allowed and Jesus had been healing people without regard to this day of rest. As upholders of the Law they were representatives of Moses and thought themselves responsible for keeping everyone in line. Jesus was blatantly disregarding their teaching, he was undermining them. They saw him as an arrogant upstart.

And what Jesus says to them in John 5:16-30 makes it even worse! He claims to be the Son of Elohim. He claims to have been entrusted with judgement. He claims to deserve the same honour as the Almighty. He claims that hearing him and believing him is a matter of life and death.

The religious leaders (most of them) reject all of this as dangerous nonsense and a direct assault on their authority.

Everyone faces the same choice that they did. Jesus is either who he says he is or he is a fraud. [Tweet it!] He speaks the truth or he is a dangerous liar. He comes from beyond this world or he is delusional. What he is not (and never claimed to be) is what the Victorians sometimes made him - gentle Jesus, meek and mild.

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