Video Host: JoAnn Johnson - So Cal Network
Student Ministries Director
Big Scripture: John 5:16-24
16 So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. 17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” 18 So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God. 19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. 21 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, 23 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. John 5 (NLT)
Right before this part of John, Jesus healed a man who had been sick and unable to move for 38 years. The religious leaders were convinced that Jesus had broken one of their rules in healing the man and instructing him to carry his mat on the Sabbath. Now, we read Jesus’ response to those angry men. His response definitely did not calm the leaders—it actually made them angrier! They were angry that Jesus called God his Father, implying that he was equal with God. They thought this statement was a terrible sin called blasphemy. They didn’t realize or believe Jesus was God’s son.
The Jewish leaders knew exactly who Jesus was claiming to be here and it’s the reason they ended up killing Jesus. Nice men and good teachers don’t get murdered by the established governmental powers. Only threats to their power could put Jesus in danger of death from them. The religious leaders saw Jesus as a threat—not just because of his popularity and influence, but because He
repeatedly claimed to be equal with God the Father. Jesus claims were radical, but his life backed them up, and his influence is still seen all over the world.
Jesus goes on to explain his relationship with God the Father, and we learn three important truths:
1) Jesus always obeyed the Father. Jesus did nothing on his own, he completely and joyfully surrendered his will and what he wanted to do to the Father. He did this perfectly to take our place. He knew we wouldn’t always obey. He also did this as our example, showing us how to surrender and to do what God wants us to do.
2) Jesus and the Father love and know each other. Jesus and his Father perfectly love each other. This amazing relationship of love and trust is one that we get to join in on and experience! Later in the gospel of John, Jesus prays that we would all be one just as he and the Father are one. (John 17)
3) Jesus and the Father work together. The Trinity (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) have the same heart and mind. Together they share and carry out the plan to rescue humanity and restore creation. We should be so grateful for that plan!
· What qualities do you think make a good father? (or mother/grandfather/grandmother)
· What is one thing you learned today about Jesus and the Father?
· How did Jesus obey the Father?
· Why should we be grateful that the Trinity works together?
Thank you for being a good Father. You are a good Father to Jesus your son and you are a good Father to me. Thank you that I can become your child because I believe in Jesus—who he is and what he has done. Thank you that I am not your enemy, but I am your son or daughter. Thank you for welcoming me into your
home and into your family. Help me to live out my new identity as your child. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(I don’t know if we want to include this or not)
A Little Extra:
This story addresses one of the main objections to the validity of Christianity. Many people agree that Jesus was a good man who came to teach important truths, but they insist it was his followers that made him out to be God. He never actually claimed to be God. This story stands in clear contrast to that belief. The Jewish leaders knew exactly what Jesus was claiming here and it’s the reason they ended up killing Jesus.