The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 55 of 210
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day, even though they were hungry. Christ had to remind the legalists of the example of
David and the priests (Matt. 12: 3-5), and also the fact that the Sabbath was made for man
as a refreshing rest, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2: 27). Under the yoke of the
Pharisees the day, instead of being a blessing, became a terrible burden.
The man who had been healed defended himself against the charge of sabbath
breaking, by the plea that he was acting under another's command.
"Later Jesus found him at the Temple and said to him, `See, you are well again. Stop
sinning or something worse may happen to you'. The man went away and told the Jews
it was Jesus Who had made him well" (5: 14, 15).
Christ did not take the attitude that all illness and physical suffering were caused by
sin (cf. the blind man in John 9: 2), but in this case He knew what was the cause of his
infirmity and warned him about it.
From this time onwards the religious leaders launched a campaign against the Lord
which grew in intensity as they planned His death, which came to pass about 18 months
At this point, three signs had been given by the Lord Jesus in witness. The first sign
made up a deficiency, and ministered to the people's joy. The second ministered life,
"thy son liveth"; the third sign ministered health. Each miraculous sign reflects some
phase of the Lord's fullness and contributed its evidence to the fact that this was indeed
the Christ, the Son of God, the King of Israel.
5: 16 - 47.
pp. 61 - 65
The reply of the Lord Jesus to the Pharisees who criticized Him for healing on the
sabbath day, which they regarded as "work", was:
"So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted Him.
Jesus said to them, `My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am
working'." (5: 16, 17, N.I.V.).
The activity of God over the creation was continuous. It was impossible for Him to
have a day off every week. The sabbath was made for man, not the reverse, so that he
could experience rest and refreshment spiritually and physically. Christ does not hesitate
to stress His unity with the Father, and justifies His action on the ground that He was
following His Father's example. But worse than this, from the Pharisees' standpoint, was
His reference to God as His Father which He was claiming in an exceptional sense, thus
making Himself equal with God.