Wednesday after Jubilate
Scripture: St. John 7:14-24 (NKJV)
7:14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”
16 Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”
20 The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?”
21 Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
“I did one work, and you all marvel.” The one work to which Jesus refers is the healing of the infirmed man by the pool of Bethesda in chapter 5. The Jews sought to kill Jesus because He had done this on the Sabbath (5:16). The Sabbath was the rest day and no work was to be done on the seventh day. Jesus points out the hypocrisy of the Jews by pointing to their practice of circumcision. All newborn males were to be circumcised on the eighth day of their life, even if the eighth day fell on a Sabbath. The Jews did God’s work on the Sabbath! Now they want to kill Christ for doing the same, for the work of God is the restoration of sinful mankind.
The Sabbath is for man’s benefit, as Jesus points out in the other gospels. The Sabbath was to benefit man by being a day set aside for rest in order to hear God’s Word. Through the preaching of the Word, God heals sinful man by proclaiming the gospel of the free remission of sins for Christ’s sake. This makes sinners whole because God declares them righteous when they believe that for Christ’s sake they have a reconciled God who is a gracious Father and not an angry judge. This faith brings rest to the soul and peace to the conscience burdened with sin, guilt, and regret. Jesus’ healing of the infirmed man at the pool of Bethesda is a picture of the work He does in His earthly ministry and now through the preaching of His Word. He makes sinners whole, gives them rest, and restores their souls.
We pray: Lord God, heavenly Father, grant us faith so that we may daily flee to Christ for true rest of soul and peace of conscience. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.