In yesterday's reading, we read about the healing of a man at the pool of Bethesda.  We didn't get to see why Jesus healed this man or what happened as a result...until today.

This healing took place in an area and on a day (the Sabbath) which created quite the controversy.  Jerusalem knew that Jesus had arrived.  The religious leaders accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath and after hearing that Jesus regarded himself as equal to God, they immediately desired to kill him.  It is pretty amazing that the first recorded instance of Jesus performing miracles in Jerusalem in this Gospel is followed by calls for the Messiah's death.

The Apostle John gave us the perspective of these Jewish religious leaders in a great way.  From their perspective, they were amazed that this man had not only "broken" the Sabbath, but then even claimed that he was equal with God!  From the very beginning, the Jewish leaders knew what Jesus was claiming to be.  Sadly, they had a wrong view of the Sabbath...obviously Jesus had not violated his own law!

The Jews had distorted the Law God had graciously given to them and made people obey measures that were over and above what God had intended.  Jesus had not violated the Sabbath, he had merely violated the Jews' additions and traditions concerning the Sabbath.  This wrong doctrine made it harder for the people to see who Jesus really was.

This kind of thing can happen to us today as well!  Sometimes when people disagree on certain issues addressed in Scripture, we can begin to speak in terms which attempt to magnify the differences in order to separate ourselves from others who disagree.  Over time, this can result in doctrines shifting and becoming unbiblical.  We could even begin to argue for rules and/or doctrines that have no Scriptural foundation!

Let's make sure we go directly to the Word of God for all matters of faith and doctrine.

Jesus really is who he said he is!  He is God!  Remember, these things were written so that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, we can have life through his name.  (John 20:31)

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