Sermon: Jesus, the Eternal Son of God John 5:8-18

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Jesus, the Eternal Son of God

John 5:8-18

Primary Truth Taught- Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son of God, equal to the Father in His essence.

Introduction

John’s emphasis on this event doesn’t hone in on the man healed as much as he focuses on Jesus’ glory, power and Person. As with so many passages in the Gospel of John, he highlights who Jesus is. Here, Jesus is shown to be the Son of God.

When we use the title Son of God what we must have in mind is the fact that Jesus, as God’s eternal Son, has all the qualities and traits God the Father has. In other words, Jesus is as much God as the Father is God. He is as much God as the Holy Spirit is God. They are all three equal in essence yet different in person.

Those who were His enemies understood exactly what He meant when He said that God was His Father. This was their conclusion to Jesus’ words and actions…He is making Himself to be equal with God. In their minds this was blasphemy and Jesus deserved to die.

Can you see how this was playing right in to God’s plan? Jesus was sent to die and shed His blood for those He would save. Make no mistake, Jesus’ death sentence was God’s plan all along and the Jews were simply going to eventually carry out God’s plan of redemption, which had to include the death of His Son.

Human Need Met

Our need today that is met by this text is our need to see Jesus in terms of the Divine Son of God. The implications of this are enormous. Too often when we consider Jesus, I’m afraid we can be tempted to think too lowly of Jesus. Many fail to see Him for who He really is.
In Revelation 19:16 Jesus is given the full title “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 17:14switches it: “Lord of lords and King of kings”). The title indicates someone who has the power to exercise absolute dominion over all His realm. In the case of the Lord Jesus, the realm is all of creation. In John’s vision, Jesus is returning to judge the world and establish His earthly kingdom, as He predicted in Mark 13:26[1]

John 5:8–18 (ESV)

Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’ ” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

  1. Jesus’ Command to Break with Sabbath Tradition

Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’ ” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.

When Jesus commands this man to get up and pick up his mat or bed and go He is showing us the great reversal salvation makes. The mat that once carried this paralyzed man will now be carried by the man.

John brings the fact that this took place on the Sabbath to show us Jesus is well in control and He understands exactly what He’s doing. The Sabbath was created by God and God will bring clarification to it. While we realize God is in control we also are to see that this creates a complication for Jesus. Why did Jesus walk up to this man and heal him on the Sabbath? Why didn’t he do it a day before or a day after? Jesus did this to purposefully create this complication.

When He heals, He is clearly doing something that only God can do. When He does this on the Sabbath He is proving that God affirms Jesus’ actions by the fact that the man is visibly healed by the power of God proving that His activities are in direct connection to God’s activities.

For us, we see that because God does works of mercy on the Sabbath we should to.

So, the Sabbath is a day when works of mercy are to be done. In other words, God’s people are to be engaged in acts of love and mercy and not take a Sabbath rest from them.

Verse 10 shows us the response of the Jews. When this man picks up his mat to carry it, their anger is intensified because it is clearly seen as a sign of Jesus’ power over sin and the curse. It is intended by Jesus to be a sign of victory of sickness and a picture of the power and authority of Jesus as the Son of God. What do you think the reaction was when those who knew him saw him walking around, not with a mat but with his own mat. The mat he laid on for years. He was a walking billboard advertising the glory of God and God’s power over sickness and sin.

According to Jewish tradition carrying an object from one place to another was expressly forbidden. That rule was manmade and not from God and secondly this man wasn’t carrying a mat he was carrying his mat.

Jesus’ purposes were being fulfilled. When this man passed by carrying his mat there were basically two responses: First, the people who knew him and loved him rejoiced in the amazing work of God. Second, the Jews, those who did not know him or know God rebuked the man. Can you imagine the cold-hearted commitment to ritual and tradition? This is always where those who believe you can do enough good things to please God end up. This is where religion takes us.   When we think that good works save us then we begin to oppose God’s grace more and more.

Is your heart warmed and are you excited when you see God work in the life of someone else? Or does this make you jealous and bitter? If we are a people saved by grace alone through faith alone then every time God’s grace is made manifest we should rejoice and give Him glory…every time even when someone else experiences it.

  1. Jesus’ Command to Sin No More

14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

Bible scholars and commentators are across the board on this section. Here’s what Jesus is talking about.

The first thing to see here in verse 14 is that Jesus finds this man. The healed man did not go seeking Jesus, but rather Jesus seeks him out and finds him. God was not done with this man. He needed more clarification, more instruction.

We should also note the place Jesus found him, in the Temple. The Temple was the place where this man was forbidden to go before due to his illness and the fact that he was seen as ceremonially unclean.

This healing and the words, literally, rise up point to more than just physical healing. Our Lord’s words to the man here as well point to the fact that the real healing that took place was a spiritual healing.

One writer shows us,

Jesus’ works of healing do not occur outside the circle of forgiveness of sin. Rather, they are the outflow of it, proof that in Jesus God reaches out to humankind in its totality, which means, above all, in its estrangement to God. That which Jesus gives is more than healing and relief from suffering. [2]

The reason we should see this other than just physical healing is what Jesus tells him in these verses. “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

Jesus is speaking on the spiritual, eternal plane. He doesn’t say, See you are well, make sure and do your daily leg exercises. He doesn’t say you are well continue the diet and therapy I prescribed. He says you are well and make sure you do not keep sinning. What could be worse than 38 years paralyzed? One thing worse would be to experience God’s judgment.

I think this man misunderstood Jesus when Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed. Jesus had much more in mind. Jesus was speaking about the new birth and physical healing. It seems a closer look would bring us to the conclusion that Jesus was speaking about the whole man being restored.

The big picture here is found as we consider Jesus’ victory over sin and the curse. You see sin was why this man was paralyzed. It may not have been his sin but the fact that we live in a fallen, cursed world is why things like this happen. Sin is ultimately the cause of every heartache and trial. Suffering comes because sin is in the world.

Jesus removed this man’s sin and also the manifestation of the curse, namely, his fallen body so, it is very fitting for our Lord to express the danger of sin to this man. Don’t continue in sin, sin no more. The reason he is commanded to sin no more is because the thing worse than his former state is the judgment of God.

  1. Jesus Calling Himself God’s Son

16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

We need to make something very clear in these closing verses. John reports that Jesus was breaking the Sabbath. Now, what he means is that He was breaking the Jew’s Sabbath traditions and manmade rules. He was not breaking the Sabbath.
Here is the point of this entire passage…
Jesus as God’s Son, is the Lord of the Sabbath…
Matthew 12:1–2 (ESV)

12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.”

Matthew 12:8 (ESV)

For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

It all comes down to this: what type of work is permitted on the Sabbath? Jesus shows us that work of mercy and work of necessity are permitted on the Sabbath. When Jesus labors for the salvation of others He is not only working on the Sabbath but He is also fulfilling the Sabbath.

For Him to labor on the Sabbath does not violate the Sabbath; rather it fulfills it. Jesus points out that while God rested from creation, His work of redemption has gone on in the world. Thus, it is worldly work that is to cease on the Lord’s Day, not the work of Christ’s Kingdom.[3]

It is not a sin to heal, provide food, encourage the downcast, or perfom acts of mercy, on the Lord’s Day.
Notice how Jesus proves all this; He tells them that right now, on the Sabbath, God the Father is also working in the same way…
“My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
Notice what Jesus’ enemies deduced from this…
18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

The way He was making Himself equal with God here in this context was that He was calling God His own Father. This passage is very clear; Jesus said God was His own Father, which everyone in that context understood the implications to be that Jesus and God the Father are equal in divine essence.

The Scriptures make plain that He is the eternal Son of God (John 1:1; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Col. 2:9; Titus 2:13). Here in our passage today, Jesus makes things very clear.

Knowing then that this is the clear teaching of Scripture, what are the implications of Jesus Christ being God? Whatever Jesus says He came to do is indeed true and is therefore necessary for us to embrace.

He is the Perfect Savior
In preparation for the eternal Son of God’s arrival on earth, the Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said concerning Mary, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Here it is made clear, Jesus is going to be the Savior. This truth is again repeated soon after Jesus was born when an angel declared to the shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Jesus Himself understood that this is who He was and why he was on earth (Luke 19:10). Since He is the Sufficient Savior, He alone is able to make the exclusive means of salvation when He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

Only God is to be Worshipped
In the Scriptures, the concept of worship carries the idea of serving God by means of an attitude of fear and adoration. What is worship? Worship for the believer is the act of recognizing God’s worth and responding to that in service to Him. Worship is to be exclusively offered unto the Lord (Exodus 20:3Deut. 5:7; 6:13Matt. 4:10Luke 4:8Acts 10:26; 14:15Col. 2:18;Rev. 19:10; 22:8). Because Jesus is God He is worthy of our adoration. It is the duty and delight of God’s people to love Christ (John 14:15) and faithfully follow Him. Concerning Jesus Christ we read,

Philippians 2:9–11 (ESV)

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The day is coming when all will worship Him. However, for some this will be as a result of God’s saving grace in which it is their delight. However, for others it will be a duty that comes by means of their final submission to the Lord despite the fact that they are under eternal condemnation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Declaration of Grace

In the mercy and grace of Almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for His sake God forgives us all our sins. To those who believe in Jesus Christ He gives the power to become the children of God and gives to them the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, who has begun this good work in us, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

 

[1] http://www.gotquestions.org/King-of-kings-Lord-of-lords.html

[2] Ridderbos, The Gospel of John, pg.188

[3] Reformed Expository Commentary, John by Richard Phillips, pg 308

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