DSG | Discipleship Study Guide | Vineyard Boise

doing what the Father is doing | John 5.16-18

Gospel of John headerFRIDAY
Reflection 55 of 240

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

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.  John 5.16-18 | ESV

And so the Jewish authorities, the strict sect, were now hot on the trail of Jesus, because he had the gall to do such things on the Sabbath.

Catching up with Jesus in those holy precincts, they pounced, and Jesus, unperturbed, stood his ground. “What? My Father is busy right up to this very moment, and so I’m going to be busy with his business.”

This didn’t help.

Actually, it just made things worse because now they had an even greater issue with this Jesus. Now he wasn’t just a Sabbath-breaker, he was a God-blasphemer! Imagine the gall – speaking of God in such intimate terms – calling God his own Father, Abba, Daddy – putting himself on the same level with God like a familiar son instead of a fearful slave.  MAV (Mike’s Amplified Translation)

I return to Edersheim. I doubt I could come close to saying better:

It was all utterly mistaken; utter, and, alas! guilty perversion, their elaborate trifling with the most sacred things, while around them were suffering, perishing

my copy...36 yrs old and counting...

my copy…36 yrs old and counting…

men, stretching ‘lame hands’ into emptiness, and wailing out their mistaken hopes into the eternal silence. While they were discussing the niceties of what constituted labor on a Sabbath, such as what infringed its sacred rest or what constituted a burden, multitudes of them who labored and were heavy laden were left to perish in their ignorance…But the God who ever worked in love, Whose rest was to give rest, Whose Sabbath to remove burdens, was His Father. He knew Him; He saw His working; He was in fellowship of love, of work, of power with Him. He had come to loose every yoke, to give life, to bring life, because He had life: life in its fullest sense…Translate this into deed, as all His teachings have been, are, and will be, and we have the miraculous cure of the impotent man, with its attendant circumstances. Or, conversely, translate the deed, with its attendant circumstances, into words, and we have the discourse of our Lord…Once more in that House, it was the same consciousness about God as His Father, and His Life as the business of His Father, which furnished the answer to the angry invectives about His breach of Sabbath-Law. The Father’s Sabbath was His; the Father’s work and His were the same; He was the Son of the Father. And in this He also taught, what the Jews had never understood, the true meaning of the Sabbath-Law, by emphasizing that which was the fundamental thought of the Sabbath – “Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it:” not the rest of inactivity, but of blessing and hallowing.

Jesus acts when and where as the Father leads and directs; the religious debate and haggle over the what, when, where, why and how.

We just have to decide which path we will follow.

What is the Father doing in the lives around you today? How can you enter into that “dance”?

Abba, deliver me from my obsession with religious debates over what you may or may not be doing or saying. Draw me into the dance itself – and make it a dance that truly hallows and blesses. Through Jesus.

feet dipping


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