|John 5:1-47||Read Online|
“I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life. … But I have a greater testimony than John’s because of the works that the Father has given Me to accomplish. These very works I am doing testify about Me that the Father has sent Me.”
—John 5:24, 36
“Just who do you think you are?”
“What makes you think you can do that?”
“Who died and made you God?”
Have you ever been asked such questions? Have you ever asked such questions? At times, maybe these questions were well-founded. At other times, maybe they were dripping with sarcasm, derision, and insecurity.
Jesus was faced with such questions quite often. Sometimes they came from people who were truly honest seekers. But often, they came from scoffers, people who wanted to trap Him because He threatened them.
He was never blindsided or fooled. He was never trapped or at a loss for words. He never scratched His head in confusion. He thought and acted in complete symphony with His heavenly Father.
In this passage, we read of an encounter Jesus had with a sick man at the Pool of Bethesda that led, in turn, to a lengthy opus where Jesus laid His soul bare and gave us great insight to how He saw Himself in relationship to His Father.
In fact, there’s much in this passage that tells us just who Jesus is! How important are His words. Jesus asked the man at the pool if he wanted to get well. That’s an interesting question.
He never had to ask questions for His own benefit. He already knew the answer. Rather, He asked questions to challenge and instruct. This man had been at the well for 38 years—it was his life. Jesus forced the man to examine his own heart.
He asks nothing less of us. Do YOU want to get well? Do you hunger and thirst for His righteousness and healing? Or is there something compelling about staying emotionally, spiritually or physically unhealthy? He does indeed come with “healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2).
After being challenged by the Jews, Jesus reveals much about Himself. We see here the symbiotic relationship that Jesus had with His Father. We see so clearly in this account Jesus’ identity and purpose.
We see that He came to seek and love all people, yet He wasn’t controlled by them or by what people thought or said about Him. Ironically, He was able to serve people most effectively because He wasn’t beholden to them. His allegiance was only to His Father. This is single-minded devotion.
Jesus sees Himself as the Source of Life in this passage. He makes some very bold statements that further enflamed the Jewish leaders of the day. But these same words also speak thousands of years later for they give us key concepts about the relationship between the Father and Son:
- To believe in Jesus is to believe in God and thus have eternal life.
- Jesus and the Father are One.
- The Father sent Jesus with specific assignments.
So, if we were to ask to Jesus, “Just who do think You are?” He would know exactly what to say. How about you?
- How is your identity and life purpose entwined with the person of Jesus Christ?
- The Jews were given every opportunity to declare Jesus as the Messiah. Why was it so hard for them to accept this incontrovertible evidence?
- Jesus makes it clear that He lives not for Himself but for the One who sent Him. Are you set on yardsticks such as this?