Jesus Christ: 11th Journey
We start in John 5:1-47, which is where Jesus has journeyed from Capernaum, passed through to Jerusalem, and onto Bethesda.
In a nutshell: Jesus goes up to Jerusalem for a feast, on the Sabbath. He heals a man with a thirty-eight-year-old infirmity. The Jews rebuke the man for carrying his bed on the Sabbath Day. After being found by Jesus in the Temple, the man tells the Jews who healed him. This enrages them, so they try with effort to kill Jesus. In a long discourse, Jesus reveals the secret of His Ministry.
Jesus came to Jerusalem for a feast, which was on the Sabbath Day. While visiting, He saw a pool where many blind and crippled people gathered around hoping to find healing. One of them asked Jesus for help, not to heal him necessarily (as this man did not know Jesus or who He was), but assist him to get inside the pool. Jesus responded otherwise by healing him instantly, and as that took place on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders became anxious to know who had done this.
Jesus urged the healed man to repent for his wrongdoing, as his troubles must have partly been the cause of wrongdoing of some kind. However, the man was so glad that he actually reported Jesus to the authorities that were looking for Him, and therefore, when they accused Jesus of breaking Sabbath Laws, He replied that His Father also works on the Sabbath.
Every day, the Father maintains the world, and cares for the creatures of the world; making the sun rise, rain fall, grass to grow, etc. on the Sabbath—which doesn’t break the Law. Jesus is united with His Father, and does not sin when He carries out mercy on the Sabbath. The Jews objected to Him even stronger, because they did not understand, especially when He said God was His Father.
Jesus told them that the work of the Father and Son are united, and they are separate, but one God (referring to two parts of the Trinity nonetheless). In healing on the Sabbath, Jesus was not acting against God’s Commands, but rather, being obedient to what He wanted. Because Jesus is God, He would do even greater works than this, including resurrecting the dead and bringing in final judgment.
Those who reject the Son reject and dishonor God; however, those who receive the Son pass immediately from spiritual death to Spiritual Life. When the dead are raised for final judgment, the Son will be the One to Judge them. However, there will be no condemnation for those who have received Life in Jesus Christ! This is a good bulk of the good news the Gospel entails!
Jesus simply acts with God’s authority; however, He would not give evidence on His own behalf in convincing the Jews, because God was His Witness, and Jesus accepted His Witness when the Jews refused. God as His Witness requires no other witnesses; however, the Jews wanted Earthly witnesses, which were available. Jesus decided to give them three, which would satisfy their requirements for witnesses, according to the Jewish Law found in Deuteronomy 19:15.
The first witness would be John the Baptist, whose announcement of the Coming of the Messiah was as an introduction of a lamp in a dark room—to which, people first welcomed Him; however, when they saw that He was calling them to turn from sin, they became disinterested. Many people did not recognize the truly spiritual reward for leaving things they loved to do, even if it did violate the Law.
The second witness was the Work of Jesus, to which, His Miracles were powerfully visible proof of the Presence and Power of the invisible God. Then again, though, the Jews couldn’t care less in believing what He was saying.
The third witness was the Old Testament Scriptures; what the Jews studied most diligently, because they thought keeping such commandments granted them Eternal Life. However, their studies did not lead them to accept the Savior of the world that the Scriptures actually pointed. Their unbelief will cost them eternal life, unless they accept Him now as Savior of the world.
The Jews typically looked for praise for their activities; however, Jesus did not. The Jews would welcome those who called themselves teachers; however, they couldn’t care less about those whom God appointed. Jesus would like for them to understand The Law of Moses’ real meaning, instead of arguing the rules and regulations.
They would welcome Jesus wholeheartedly, if they would open their eyes to see He is the Real Messiah! This Divine Being, Jesus Christ, is the Messiah—to whom; His Disciples are starting to realize it well in their hearts. Per the Jews’ rejection of Jesus, they are also rejecting Moses, as well as being condemned for the very things of the Law.
What can we learn from this?
All of us, in general, are immature in spiritual things; however, full provision is made to cure us of this, and that is our Messiah. Because many are spiritually blind, they need provision to unlock that darkness so that it may be removed, to which, they can see the Savior. Those that are so pained and afflicted now have a Healer, who is also our Savior, who is willing to touch us and provide healing. We can live more freely with our Savior helping us, which is part of the value of having such a Savior.
People place such value on things that are visible, but neglect spiritual things. However, those who do not neglect spiritual things will recognize the full value of spiritual things, and be able to access the Divine Benefits because of it. The Grace of God is sufficient for us to be able to have healing glory overspread our lives, so that we may thrive on our testing ground.
Christ saw it necessary to caution the man to repent, as being free from sin is part of His Will for us. Christ spoke of the wrath to come, and it is necessary for us to repent and move forward in His Will rather than continue one in condemnation. People that are loosed of the bondage of sin have the potential to return to their sin like a dog to his vomit (2 Peter 2:17-22; Proverb 26:11)—but Christ does not want this to occur, so He says, “Go and sin no more.”
The Divine Power of the miracle Jesus conducted proved Him the Son of God, which, we must declare Him the same per the miracles He provides, because He is the Divine One who makes intercession for us. Honor the Son and commit your plans unto Him just as the Son committed His Plans to the Father.
We need to do as we see Jesus doing, just as Jesus saw His Father doing. In all His Obedience to the Father, we must be obedient to our Lord as well; doing as He does and becoming more Christlike day by day.
Our Lord’s authority is as the Messiah, and the time was, is, and will continue to come when the dead should hear His Voice as the Son of God and have New Life and Life more abundantly.
Those in condemnation need to be rescued from the darkness and into His Marvelous Light, and live! Oh that we may all continue to hear His Voice and be continually drawn to His Immense and Infinite Power, so that we may recognize His Glory and Glorify Him even more!
Lastly, those that search the Scriptures must search diligently, not for how to improve their life by rules and regulations, but by recognizing that Christ is the Messiah proclaimed all through the Scriptures and see His Glory before us as He heals, saves, and frees the captives of bondage and condemnation.
Many people would like to keep it easy: “If I could just follow rules and regulations, I will guarantee myself a good life and live forever, because obedience to rules and regulations is easy.”
Instead, Jesus wants us to say, “All the Scriptures point to Jesus, who is the Savior, the One who forgave our sins and frees us from being captives of the Law; because the Law brings sin and death, but Christ brings life and life more abundantly.”
If such people would recognize the value of the Savior Jesus Christ, they would be freed of bondage to the Law and be able to live life eternally as they wish. If we’re going to reap the reward of everlasting life, we must do it the right and only way: Through Christ!
Jesus heals the paralytic
We begin this journey in Mark 2:1-12; Matthew 9:1-8; Luke 5:17-26, where Jesus comes from Galilee back to Capernaum.
Back in Capernaum, Jesus preaches to a large crowd that fills Peter’s house and overflows. Pharisees and educators were there from “every town of Galilee,” and from as far away as Jerusalem, thus revealing how well known Jesus was becoming. Healing power was, in a special way, ready to operate.
A paralytic is lowered through the hole in the roof, and Jesus forgives his sins and heals his body. The Scribes and Pharisees mentally charge Jesus with blasphemy in claiming power to forgive sins; but Jesus, knowing their thoughts, claims that the power to heal the body is evidence of power to forgive sins.
Jewish opposition has begun against Jesus, as a group of leaders has found out Jesus’ Works and Preachings. A paralyzed man had friends who had asked Jesus to heal him. They stopped at nothing bringing this man to Jesus—as they lowered him through a hole in the roof of where Jesus was. Soon, Jesus heals this man, and then He even forgave his sins.
The Jewish leaders noticed Jesus claiming to be God—for they knew only God could forgive sins. Therefore, the leaders determined either Jesus was really God, or that He was just a blasphemer. Of course, they thought just anyone could say someone is forgiven or healed. The healing can be proven visibly, though, however, forgiveness cannot—they thought. Those that saw the man was healed knew that Jesus is just as He says He is.
What can we learn from this?
Seeing these men carry the paralyzed man, we can see they indeed had faith. Through this, and other situations reviewed already previously, true faith and strong faith work in various ways—however, Jesus is willing to accept any of it and help. Christ proved the power to forgive sin by showing that He could cure the paralyzed man—for they had no techniques that could cure paralytics medically. We see that there are physical afflictions; however, sin is an affliction of the soul, to which, Christ can only resolve. The ones who need help will show their faith unto Jesus Christ by humility unto Him.
Call of Matthew and a special dinner
This journey begins in Mark 2:13-17; Matthew 9:9-13; Luke 5:27-32. The next one to join Jesus’ group of Disciples was a tax collector named Matthew, who many people knew as Levi. Matthew took Jesus to his home for a meal and invited fellow tax collectors, as well as other friends to join Jesus and him.
Jesus calls Levi (Matthew) from his customs office to be a Disciple. Levi gives a great dinner in His honor at which many “publicans,” and “sinners” were guests.
This, of course, riled up the Jews, because they disliked or even hated the tax collectors and wished that all Jews would stay away from them. Therefore, when Jesus was having dinner with several tax collectors, this caused a ruckus in the Jewish leadership.
The Pharisees saw Jesus eating with them as well, and soon despised Jesus. However, He replied to them that if the tax collectors were really as bad as they claimed, then tax collectors were the ones that truly needed His help. God was pleased in Jesus’ showing of mercy to outcasts; however, He was not pleased with sacrifices of those that feel they are better than others are.
What can we learn from this?
People of many age groups become outcasts, and many times, it is by accident. Sometimes, it is on purpose. However, we must realize that if someone is being an outcast accidentally or on purpose, there has to be a reason internally that someone acts the way they do.
Pharisees and Jews despised these tax collectors, which only made the problem worse for the tax collectors. They did not care about the tax collectors, and commonly spoke against them—which only made the problem worse for them as outcasts.
Jesus came, however, in His mercy, to pardon the greatest sins, and give grace to change the greatest sinners to make them holy.
To make these tax collectors more faithful and fair dealing, a change of heart was needed about them. Because the Jews hated them, the tax collectors obtained an ill name, to which, Jesus wanted to change, because He knew that inside they could truly change. This is why He called Matthew to be a Disciple, is because He knew that Matthew could change so much that it would truly glorify the Lord and improve his work overall.
We see multiple times that the Lord did not ever waver in connecting with and conversing with sinners and outcasts, because He knew He could help them. He was unconcerned with what society said about them, because He knew that there is no discrimination for the Kingdom of God, and as He is building the Kingdom of God, He knows that there is no difference in race or type of people.
Three parables that vindicate (clear blame of) fasting
We talk about this part where the parables are discussed of such: marriage, the old and new cloth, and wine skins. We read in Mark 2:18-22; Matthew 9:14-17; Luke 5:33-39.
John the Baptist’s disciples and the Pharisees agreed that Jesus’ Disciples did not fast or keep up with their normal ceremonies. They questioned Jesus, to which, He compares His Coming to the coming of a bridegroom to his wedding feast. In a time of such joy, no one really thinks of fasting, which is why Jesus’ Disciples did not fast while He was with them, but that Jesus eventually would be taken away from them and killed—to which they would fast again due to great sorrow.
Their eventual sorrow would be turned into joy again when they see Him rise again from the dead, victorious!
Jesus also reminded them that now that He had come, they should not expect the old tradition of the Jews to continue, because He had not come to repair, improve, or even update Judaism. However, Judaism was worn out and completely useless.
Jesus brought something new, to which, made Judaism as an old worn out coat (cloth) that could not be sown or as a brittle old wineskin that could not stand pressure of new wine. However, the Pharisees insisted upon their old worn out religion.
What can we learn from this?
Slanders will come against us, especially when we try to make a difference in people’s lives. It is up to us to bear them, so that, we keep things in order especially to the Will of God. We also should not cling to old traditions so much as to not accomplish what God wants for us. We must be willing to change, as God needs us to.
Touring Galilee and Meeting Fishermen
Jesus travels from Capernaum to towns and villages in Galilee. We read in the Scriptures of Mark 1:35-39; Matthew 4:23-25; Luke 4:42-44. Jesus prays before daylight. Crowds want Him to stay with them, but He must “preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also.” He goes over all Galilee, “Teaching, Preaching, and Healing.”
His mounting reputation attracts large crowds from the East, the West, the North, and the South, which follow Him and bring Him their sick, suffering, and demon-possessed. He preaches in the Synagogue of Galilee.
Jesus was staying in Capernaum, and went outside the town to pray. Peter thought he was losing opportunities (to minister), as the town was full of people wanting His help. Jesus replied to Peter and noted that no matter how many needy people were in Capernaum, He could not stay there always, because He had work to do in preaching in other towns as well.
What can we learn from this?
Jesus does good things for people wherever He goes; and we can depend upon Him to help us when needed. He does teach us, however, that we must make time for God in the midst of busyness of everyday life. He always intends to help us; however, we must be patient if He tarries, for He is doing a great work in all of us—and we need not worry, because He is our helper and provider.
The Leper Healed brings Tremendous Publicity
For this part, we are reading in Mark 1:40-45; Matthew 8:2-4; Luke 5:12-16. People with skin diseases, such as leprosy, were considered unclean and potentially dangerous to public health—therefore, they were considered outcasts. If they were healed, they had to offer sacrifices to symbolize their own cleansing and expressing of thanks (Leviticus 13:45-46; 14:1-20).
Additionally, Jesus would tell people not to publicize His miracle working and Salvation, because it would only cause people to be attracted to Him for a source of entertainment, instead of a real spiritual need. It’s not that He didn’t want people to come to Him for help, but that He didn’t want to attract the wrong crowd of people.
His audience were those in need of a Savior or for healing—to which, people would publicize about Him anyway, because the word of their testimony was too great not to hold in. Jesus was too great, and the measure of spirituality placed upon those blessed by Jesus caused the person to be so overwhelmed with joy that they could not hold it in, but to tell others!
On one occasion of healing for Jesus, He did what everyone avoided: He touched a leper to heal him. He then told the man to present himself to the Priest, so that he could be examined and confirm his healing.
After that, the man was to offer sacrifices required by the Law, and not to publicize what had happened, so that people would not be attracted to Jesus as a miracle-worker. The man disobeyed this, to which, hindered Jesus’ Work.
Many people were attracted to Jesus so much that He could not work in some towns as He wished. However, He continued to help those in need and also praying whenever possible.
What can we learn from this?
Christ’s cleansing of the leper teaches us to come to the Savior in great humility and full submission to His Will, so we can say, “Lord, if thou wilt…” as well. We should not doubt Christ’s readiness to help those in need, because He is faithful. Also, we should not hesitate to spread the praises of Christ.