Day 14: John 5:19-47

The speech Jesus gives in this passage offers some of his strongest claims to divinity in the Gospels, and Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees. Jesus explains that the miracles he has just performed are actually the work of God. Everything he has done was in harmony with the Father.

Jesus commanded the man at Siloam to carry his bed, knowing that this would provoke the Pharisees. Here Jesus delivers his strongest claims of divinity to the Pharisees, knowing they are the people most likely to kill him for it. The Pharisees were willing to accept John the Baptist because he called fro repentance, but Jesus claims too much for himself. His claims of unity with God the Father are too much for them, and they hate him even more.

Why would Jesus give such a speech when it would certainly antagonize? First, because the message in it is part of God’s plan for salvation, not only for us but for the Pharisees. Jesus’ speech is a harsh mercy. But second, because Jesus knows that his purpose can only be fulfilled by the cross. His union with God the Father includes a unity of purpose: both the Father and the Son are moving to redeem the world through Jesus’s death and resurrection. From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus consciously moves toward his own execution, and this frank speech is one part of reaching that goal.

Question: Are Jesus claims in your life too much for you? Do you want to tell him he can only have this much and no more?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give us the faith to accept your claims about yourself. Help us to acknowledge your claims over us, whatever they may be. Give us the humility to honor you and the Father in every corner of our lives.