Thursday – February 18, 2016
Day 9 – John 5:18-47
Focus: vs. 18
“18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”
I’ve been told that every day above ground is a good one. Like you, I’ve had days where I questioned that logic but it is generally true. Have you ever woke up in the morning only to discover that you had died? This happened to me once while living in South Dakota. Another Daniel Benedict, located elsewhere in the state, had passed away and his obituary was posted in the Rapid City newspaper. I came into work that morning and was told about my untimely demise. We all had a good laugh and got on with our day – clearly I was still alive!
I recently read about the case of two men who arrived at the Leavenworth prison in Kansas in 1901 and 1903. Both were named Will West and they looked almost identical. These two men played an important role in bringing the use of fingerprint identification to the American criminal justice system. Can you imagine that there might be someone else out there who shares your name and looks just like you? Like a doppelganger. A quick Internet search reveals quite a few people with my same name so I hope they don’t look like me and start committing crimes!
Our scripture passage, from John 5:18-47, is all about the authority of Jesus that was derived from who He really was. The leaders of the Jews were upset because Jesus called God His father, which made Him equal to God. Of course, that’s who Jesus really was – he wasn’t lying! John is busy establishing this very point – Jesus is God. He is exactly who He said He was and we have to deal with that claim. The whole earth needs to figure this out. Is Jesus really who He said He is? There surely isn’t another like Him in all of history.
For Jesus it was a matter of who or what bore witness to His testimony. How do we know Jesus is who He says He is? In this passage He establishes several witnesses. John the Baptist bore witness to who He was and so did His disciples. The greatest testimony, however, was found in His works. All that Jesus said and did was the will of the One who sent Him. In verse 36 Jesus says, “But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.” Jesus establishes that His Father has borne witness of who He is by His voice, through His works and through the scriptures that have spoken of Him through the centuries.
The Old Testament bears witness of the Messiah to come. The New Testament bears witness to the Messiah that came. It tells the stories, from many witnesses, of the miraculous events of Jesus life and states the case that Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be. They bear witness just like you and I continue to bear witness to who Jesus is through the stories of our lives. We’re still talking about what He has done and is doing!
Can you imagine being confused for Jesus? As we follow Him, we are trying to live our lives like Him. We’re trying to look like Him and, with the Master’s help, the disciple’s life should eventually resemble that of the Master. I’ll never be God but I’d like it if I got confused for Jesus a lot more often than I do. It appears there is a lot more work left to do. How about you?
Prayer Focus: Dear Jesus, thank you for being exactly who you are. Your life is worth emulating and I desire to be more like you. But I need your power to live and walk in your ways every day. Please help me to become more like you so that people will see you in me.