Tuesday after Misericordias Domini
Scripture: St. John 5:18-30 (NKJV)
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”
Jesus wasn’t through with the Jews. After all, it was the Sabbath and the proper keeping of the Sabbath, as we heard yesterday, is the preaching of the Word. Jesus “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” so He preaches to them.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Had the Jews listened to the Word of the prophets, they would have recognized the signs Jesus did as testimony of His deity. Had they listened to the voice of the prophets, they should have shouted praises to Jesus for healing the man who lay next to the Pool of Bethesda. They would have recognized Jesus for who He is, “Immanuel…God with us.” Rather, the prophecy of Isaiah held true for those Jews, “Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.”
There is no middle ground when it comes to the True God. You either believe in Him or you don’t. You will either face the judgment of Christ or pass “from death to life.” That simple fact ought to bring great peace to every Christian. We need not fear Judgment Day. Judgment Day only exists for the ungodly. We who have been baptized into Christ simply pass “from death to life.” No more should our consciences bother us for “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
“Though great our sins and sore our woes, His grace much more aboundeth; His helping love no limit knows, our utmost need it soundeth. Our Shepherd good and true is He, Who will at last His Israel free from all their sin and sorrow.” Amen.