Let me ask you a question: if you were told today you only had six months to live, what would you do? How would the priorities in your life change? How important would family be? How important would work be? How important would your faith be?

We have the luxury in life of arguments, not taking things as seriously as we should, of thinking we always have tomorrow. The Pharisee had first world problems of being able to argue with Jesus or worse yet not be obedient to the Father’s heart because they had their own opinions that were so precious to them….not realizing what is really important and wasting time demanding their own way rather than following Jesus. Let’s not get caught in that trap.

Jesus is working very hard to reach the religious leaders, those who believe they already know everything about faith. Those are often the hardest to reach….let’s see if anything He has to say applies to those around us or perhaps even to us.

John 5: 21,22

For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. 22 In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge,

Jesus is once again saying that He and the Father are one….Throughout the Old Testament it was God who raised people from the dead and Jesus can do the same as he has given life to this man’s limbs

You might think this passage clashes with Jesus saying in John 3:17 that Jesus did not come into the world to judge the world….but it doesn’t it is merely saying Jesus maintains the right the judge as he is ruler and judge of all life but he does not choose to judge.

Jesus further explains this…

John 5: 23,24

so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him. 24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

Jesus is saying even though we battle with our own sins, because we believe and are choosing to live life every day working to become more like Jesus, we will not be condemned because God has us in the palm of his hands and our sins have been eliminated by Jesus’ blood. We already have eternal life!

John 5:25-30

And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. 26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. 27 And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man. Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, 29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. 30 I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.

Notice when Jesus is talking about giving life he calls himself the son of God and because he has the ability to relate to mankind as the son of man he goes by that title when he is talking about the authority to judge….once again he is making it clear he has the right to bring life to this man’s limbs because the Father gave him the power. He is almost desperately trying to help them get over their religion that was willing to kill a man who had been healed of a 38 year lameness because he was carrying his bed mat.

Jesus is making it clear when all is said and done their judgments mean nothing and as the Son of God there will come a time at the end of the age when He will not just heal a man like this but raise everyone up those who are followers of Christ will have their physical bodies rescued from this world for completeness and those who have rejected Christ (the ultimate of doing evil) will be finally judged and cast into the lake of fire….so in comparison this little judgement they are making about a healed man walking is foolish.

John 5:31-38

“If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid. 32 But someone else is also testifying about me, and I assure you that everything he says about me is true. 33 In fact, you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true. 34 Of course, I have no need of human witnesses, but I say these things so you might be saved. 35 John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message. 36 But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, 38 and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you.

In the Jewish law a man could not condemn or approve himself by his own words, part of the problem of the way they will handle Jesus’ trial later….but it must be done by at least three witnesses and Jesus is once again trying to reach them by saying look at this miracle, could anyone but God do it, you also heard John the Baptist testify as to who I am, God spoke when Jesus was baptized and the pharisees were there, the wisemen came, the shepherds proclaimed…

We may give these Pharisees a hard time but we need to decide we are going to trust who Jesus is in our daily live…in everything we walk through is he guiding, providing, protecting, teaching, correcting and so many other things as we see through the Holy Spirit…the Holy Spirit is also the witness of Jesus…

Now Jesus shifts to the word of God to remind them they are missing something important…

John 5:39-40

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.

Jesus challenge is you think because you know the words on the pages that you have eternal life but you are totally missing the meaning and the one the words are written about!!!! In other words…can’t you see by this man being healed that the scripture is being fulfilled about the messiah.

We can know the words but do we have real relationship with Jesus….do you get the message of the text and the messenger or do you simply read the words for knowledge….

– Does God’s word bring you life every day? 

– Are you getting to know God, Jesus his son, and the Holy Spirit…. or 

– Are you just reading words?

What makes the difference? What shows we are getting the relationship rather than just religion?

John 5:41,42

Your approval means nothing to me, 42 because I know you don’t have God’s love within you.

The leadership thought Jesus was upset because they had not officially endorsed him but he has already shown the character, power and anointing from God in his life. He is not looking for approval from people that don’t know God. If we just know the words but don’t live the words….if we just read without developing connection…we have religion which is deadly even condemning verses relationship which is life giving and life affirming

I know this all sounds very critical but you have to remember these are leaders in Israel and they are not looking for the Lord, they are simply pleased with themselves and maintaining the status quo…our relationship with the Lord must be a continual learning and growing not just in the word but living the word out, loving like Jesus, serving like Jesus, giving like Jesus so much so that people see Jesus in us.

John 5:43,44

For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. 44 No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God.

Jesus is saying you put more weight on the words and opinions of others than you do on Jesus’ words and life….They knew the scriptures better than anyone and were caught up in patting each other on the back, agreeing with the status quo rather than saying we must follow Jesus…they were comfortable but they weren’t following Jesus.

Many view this as a prophecy of the anti-Christ to come that they will listen to him rather than listening to Jesus

In fact their hero would have loved to have been alive during this time and would have recognized Jesus

John 5: 45-47

“Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. 46 If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. 47 But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

Moses pointed to Jesus with the burning bush, the law, the bronze serpent, the manna from heaven and so many other ways. If they spent the time to really read Moses’ words because they came from the Holy Spirit, they would see Jesus in everything…..Like many of us they only looked at things through mind and not the heart….remember last week Jesus said to the Samaritan woman those who worship the Lord must do it in spirit and truth….they looked on through their intellect, patting each other on the back but if they truly read the scriptures through the Holy Spirit guiding them they would have seen the heart, God’s personality and they would be serving in a way that reflects Jesus.

Jesus deep dive was always to help people see past their prejudice points of view, it is easy to get caught up in traditions, rituals, and to find the real Father’s heart through love, love of His word, love of serving, love of relationship

We need to take time to get to know the real Jesus and to be about his business….the pharisees were caught up in all kinds of good things but like Nicodemus they needed to find what it meant to have real relationship with the Lord and then like the Samaritan woman, learn how to live it out….it is absurd to think of accusing someone of doing things against God that are really the Father’s heart but if you don’t fall in love with Jesus, really know him and his heart you two can get caught up in life apart from the Lord….

The pharisee’s were really doing anything bad except they didn’t really know God if they did they would be doing his will, serving his way but they were selfish just doing things that pleased themselves busy judging others based on their knowledge of God which was faulty….Jesus was about the business of the Father and they didn’t see it why because they were caught up in their life rather than knowing God?

Where are you this morning? Would you too be an accuser of those who are serving the Lord or almost worse would you do nothing for the Lord and feel comfortable or will you choose today to be open to all he has for you…..The Lord is always making a deep dive of love into our hearts to get us to understand our gifts, our call, and His great love for us so we can share it with others….look around you, see what the Lord is doing and do that