Mike Gerhardt, 11-08-20, Series in John, John 5:16-30, Speak the truth in love. Heaven and hell are real. They are often used as a comedy punch line. A drunk got on a bus and sat next to a woman who was clutching a Bible. She looked at the man with disdain and said: I have news for you, mister, you’re going straight to hell. The man jumped up with a sober expression and said: Oh man I’m on the wrong bus again! Telling the truth isn’t always received well. Especially when you’re speaking to people who are out to get you. Jesus had his opponents. Not only did they persecute him with slander, but they wanted him dead and this is only the 5th chapter in John. The personalized expression My Father made Jesus equal with God. The Father works on the Sabbath and so does the Son! They work well together. Remember that God doesn’t need a day of rest, so Jesus is claiming to be God for working miracles on the Sabbath!! Sometimes our perceptions and preconceived convictions can keep us from the truth. This group of religious leaders so focused on keeping their Sabbath rules that they could not see the man was miraculously healed, they only saw the mat he was carrying!! Some say Jesus never claimed to be God, yet these Jewish leaders were ready to kill him because he did just that. The Pharisees and Sadducees were angered by the mat and ready to kill Jesus over blasphemy. In Mark 2:27-28, Jesus said: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Luke 14:1-5: Jesus was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus asked the Pharisees and the experts in the law, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not? They remained silent. So, taking hold of the man, Jesus healed him and sent him away. Then Jesus asked: if one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out? And they had nothing to say. Jesus is like His Father. God the Father does not relinquish his duties of holding the universe together because it happens to be the Sabbath. Since humanity sinned against God, the Father and the Son have been working to seek and to save the lost from destruction. Jesus’ miracles are works of grace in unity with what the Father has ordained the Son to do. Jesus gave new life to the invalid just as God the Father gives new life. Jesus is a Son, not a slave, he said: The Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Jesus is God the Son, working in harmony with God the Father to redeem a people for His name.
A striking statement is that the Father has entrusted all judgment to the Son verse 22 & 27. Jesus will judge us.
July 2005 Bernie Ebbers asked a judge for mercy. The former CEO of WorldCom was indicted for an 11 billion accounting fraud that shut down the firm in 2002. The company’s collapse was the largest bankruptcy at the time and devastated the lives of thousands of employees. Yet Ebbers asked for mercy. His attorney cited 169 letters from supporters, gave details of Ebbers's heart condition, and listed his charitable gifts. The attorney finished: If you have an unblemished record, and people who attest to your goodness, doesn’t that count? The judge said NO and sentenced Ebbers to 25 years in a federal penitentiary.
God the Father has entrusted all judgment to God the Son. On the day of judgment, humanity will face Jesus, the one who lovingly gave His life to die for everyone’s sin. He will be the perfect and merciful but also righteous judge. I have said this before, your children and grandchildren need to know that unconditional and sacrificial love comes from you and from a loving God. They also need to know that justice and consequences for wrongdoing come from you and a righteous God. Unconditional love and justice go together. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit represent perfect love and perfect justice.
Jesus gives life. Jesus will judge. And Jesus is to be honored. Read 5:23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. If you honor God, you will honor Jesus. I find it hard to agree when anyone says that Jesus was a great teacher, a moral individual, a champion for the poor, a loving example for those who hurt, and a martyr to a great cause BUT he is not God. Sad to say in September 2020, LifeWay Research found that only 66% of evangelicals disagreed with the statement Jesus was a good teacher, but he was not God. Another stat 65 percent of evangelicals AGREED that Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God. If Jesus is GOD the Son, he has always existed. He was not created. When you speak of Jesus, do you speak of Him with honor and reverence as God the Son? I believe if you do, people will notice.
Read verses 24-30. Jesus spoke of the resurrection of all people, those obedient to the call of God to be saved, and those disobedient and remained lost. Several TRUE THAT statements follow: Hear and believe and you have eternal life, if you do not hear and believe you are condemned already. A time is coming when the dead will hear and will live AND when all who are in their graves will rise to live or to be condemned. Jesus finished with: I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me. 25 times in this Gospel Jesus asserts that He was sent by the Father. The judgment is coming. Daniel 12:1-2 At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. The Jews knew of this passage, the resurrection, and the coming judgment. Are you ready? God the Son’s judgment will be just…Have you ever yelled at a referee, line judge, umpire, or whoever was calling the fouls? I was very vocal to my players about not being vocal to the ref. As a soccer coach for five or more years, I bit my tongue sometimes literally to refrain from yelling at a bad call. I can’t say that to the parents. I have heard everything! They curse the ref if it is against their son or daughter. They sometimes praise the ref when it favors their child. Years ago, the Nigerian Football Association said referees should feel free to take bribes as long as it doesn’t influence their calls. How can that be good? One thing for sure God’s judgment will be just. No bribes will be taken, for all our sins have been paid in full. He will ask: have you trusted Jesus to save you?