This was why the Judaeans began to persecute Jesus, because he did these things on the sabbath. This was Jesus’ response to them. ‘My father’, he said, ‘is going on working, and so am I!’ So for this reason the Judaeans were all the more eager to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath, but spoke of God as his own father, making himself equal to God.
‘My father,’ Israel’s God, is in the process of launching the new creation. This is taking over the old creation, including healing a sin sick world. It is time for the new creation.
You can’t expect this to be a popular point of view by the law-observant Judaeans. Jesus is meeting his sharpest resistance. As these miracles build up, their opposition will become fiercer.
People are realizing the cost of following where Jesus is pointing. These Judaean Jews become violently opposed to Jesus, especially the Jerusalem crowd, which eventually turns into plots to kill him.
So, if Jesus is bringing in healing and new creation, why is it being held up?
Jesus is meeting great resistance by the religious leaders. They suffer from the sin of having to be right. The sin of not seeing God at work how he wants to work, not how they want him to work. The Judaeans opposing Jesus are simply not ready for the new creation. In the first chapter of John we have already heard this warning.
“He came to his own, and his own didn’t accept him.”
They were not ready for the new creation, and they were not ready for the living Word to come to them with new words to say. They are stuck on what they know. This will reach its climax on the cross.
We continue to see this today.
With the resurrection, the new creation comes for the whole world. Jesus brings in God’s Kingdom and invites everyone to come in. People still react angrily to it.
We saw an example of this recently. Maybe you didn’t hear about it because the main stream media didn’t widely report on it. It is real news. Big news. Russell Vought was being vetted by the Senate to become deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. Sounds pretty boring, right?
Well, during the hearing, Senator Bernie Sanders expressed his opposition to this candidate, because, are you ready for it, because he is a Christian. What makes Vought unfit for office is he believes that it is only through Jesus that a person is saved. In other words, Senator Sanders is infuriated by basic Christian teaching.
Here is what Sanders said about Jesus being the only way.
“It is indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world.”
In other words, is Bernie Sanders saying the vast majority of all members of Congress, the vast majority of all people in political office throughout the United States, all of whom are Christians, are hateful, Islamophobic, and an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world?
Bernie Sanders has no idea what he is talking about.
All religions have exclusive claims. Certainly Islam does. And even if a religion or a philosophy says there are no exclusive claims, that in and of itself, is an exclusive claim.
No, you don’t get to vote on Jesus. God is inviting all people to come to him and be part of his family. This invitation comes through Jesus. “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
Yes, God will do whatever God wants to do. I am sure God will do exactly what’s right. But, I can’t teach any other way, but Jesus. I don’t know any other way but Jesus. And I trust in Jesus as the way more than I trust a politician trying to get his way.
Yes, people still get angry about the claim that Jesus rose from the dead and rules now. Jesus is God. He is not just God for me. He is God of everyone. And everyone faces the question. Do you receive what Jesus did for you and do you trust in him to rule in your life?
Be a light for Jesus this week and know he is there with you.