TEXT: John 5:15-18
15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 51.
Rick Warren said, “With God working in your life and in faith you can choose to look expectantly toward the future. You can live life to the fullest, without fear of making mistakes or stumbling into some terrible circumstance that takes you out of God’s control. Even when things appear to be terrible, you can trust that God is working out some divine plan through you.”
The story of Jesus healing the sick man at the Pool of Bethesda gives us a handoff into the next conflict in John’s Gospel. As you recall, the healed man did not know who Jesus was when the religious leaders asked him about the matter. After Jesus went back to speak with the healed man in the Temple, the man went immediately to the religious leaders and told them that Jesus was the one who told him to pick up his bed and carry it on the Sabbath day.
The religious leaders immediately go after Jesus for this (in their minds) severe violation of their law. F.F. Bruce said, “Inciting others to break the law was worse than breaking it oneself. Therefore they launched a campaign against Jesus which was not relaxed until his death some eighteen months later.” Already, the religious leaders did not like Jesus because He upset the status quo; now they had legal basis for going after Him. Verse 16 says, “therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.”
Jesus worked many miracles on the Sabbath. He healed a demoniac; He healed a blind man; He defended His disciples who picked grain; He healed a man’s shriveled hand; He cured a woman who had been crippled for 18 years; He healed a man with dropsy — all on the Sabbath. Warren Wiersbe said, Jesus “deliberately challenged the legalistic traditions of the scribes and Pharisees. They had taken the Sabbath — God’s gift to man — and had transformed it into a prison house of regulations and restrictions.”
When the religious leaders confronted Jesus regarding the man whom He told to carry His bed, Jesus said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” The religious leaders understood these words to mean that Jesus was claiming to be God. Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy B. Zuck write, “To make oneself ‘equal to God’ was a claim of arrogant independence. In the Talmud, four persons were branded as haughty because they made themselves equal to God: pagan rulers Hiram, Nebuchadnezzar, Pharaoh, and the Jewish king Joash.”
Basically, Jesus tells the Jewish leaders, ‘Healing that man was the work of God. I just did God’s work. Do you want to stop God’s work, even if it is being done on the Sabbath day?’ The religious leaders must have been shocked, as they would have taken this to mean that God works on the Sabbath day. They, like us, had probably never thought of that.
So, does God work on the Sabbath? Although God established the Sabbath as a day of rest, God never stops working. The Sabbath was created for man. In fact, Jesus says this in Mark 2: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” God does not need rest; He never slumbers or sleeps. Adam Clarke said, “Though he rested from creating, he never ceased from preserving and governing that which he had formed: in this respect he can keep no sabbaths; for nothing can continue to exist without the continual energy of God.” ***Philo, a first century Jewish philosopher, said, “God never stops working, for as it is the property of fire to burn and of snow to be cold so of God to work.”
The Bible Exposition Commentary says, “British writer George MacDonald pointed out that John 5:17 gives us a profound insight into our Lord’s miracles. Jesus did instantly what the Father is always doing slowly. For example, in nature, as mentioned earlier, the Father is slowly turning water into wine; but Jesus did it instantly. Through the powers in nature, the Father is healing broken bodies; but Jesus healed them immediately. Nature is repeatedly multiplying bread, from sowing to harvest; but Jesus multiplied it instantly in His own hands.”
The fact that God is still working today is a powerful testament to us in modern times. Some believe that God is no longer working miracles, that God is not concerned with humanity, that we have been left to struggle on our own. But that is not true. God is still working! He has never stopped.
God is working every day in the hearts and lives of those who love Him, who believe in Him, and who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior. He gives hope, life, light, and assurance to His people in a dark world. You can invite God to work in your life right now, by believing in Jesus Christ and placing your life in His hands. I promise you that He will do a wonderful work in you that no one else can do.
Are you ready to give your life to Jesus Christ today and open your heart to let God work in you?
First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.