They persecuted Him because He was healing on the Sabbath (John 5:16). But they were seeking all the more to kill Him because He was making Himself equal with God (5:18). And, let there be no doubt, that He did.
Jesus was clear. They weren’t misunderstanding Him . . .
. . . whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise . . . (5:19)
. . . as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will . . . (5:21)
. . . the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself. (5:27)
. . . that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father . . . (5:23)
And I’m in wonder this morning as I think of their rejection in light of my belief.
They sought to kill Him, I long to worship Him. The wanted to string Him up, my inclination is to go facedown. They sought an end to His audacious claims, I long to hear His voice. They were bent on doing what had to be done to get rid of Him, I’m moved to cry, “Even so, Lord Jesus, come!”
How come? How come those religious elite of that day and this church-going guy of this day are so different? And it’s not so much, how come they aren’t more like me? No, I wonder at how come I’m not more like them and didn’t follow in their footsteps?
For the first third of my life, I was more like them. Rejecting the claims. Despising the Christ. Driven by self interest. Condescending towards those who pursued heaven’s call.
So how come I’m reading John 5 this morning in awe of the Son of Man, the One in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9), and not instead seething at the claims of some wannabe son of God? How come?
Because the hour is now here.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” ~ Jesus
(John 5:25 ESV)
Once blind, now I see. Once deaf to heaven’s call, now given ears to hear. Once an enemy of the King, now claimed not only as His servant, but as a joint heir. So much so that He is not ashamed to call me brother and friend. Once His name used in vain, now His name no sweeter name. And all this and more because, though I was once dead in trespass and sin, now I have been made alive in Christ. And that, because the hour is now here.
The hour of redemption. The hour of restoration. The hour of regeneration. The hour of resurrection.
No way I’m sitting here this morning, thinking what I’m thinking, worshiping who I’m worshiping, unless the Father had determined to give me life through the Son by the Spirit. Because no one says, “Jesus is Lord,” except in the Spirit (1Cor. 12:3). And because flesh and blood cannot reveal that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God–only the Father who is in heaven is able to do that (Matt. 16:16-17).
A reminder that the hour is now here. And that this is eternal life.
And a reason to worship.
Only by His grace.
To Him be all the glory.