Jesus told the crowd “Why go ye about to kill me?” Several people responded, “Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?” Apparently there were several different people in the audience. When Jesus leveled the accusation that there were those who desired to kill Him, some were completely surprised and thought that Jesus was crazy, perhaps even demon-possessed.
Jesus then revealed who he was and further exposed the hypocrisy in the religious leaders thinking and lifestyle. A few chapters earlier, Jesus had been in Jerusalem and had healed the lame man by the pool of Bethesda. The religious leaders were appalled that Jesus had “violated” the Sabbath by performing the “work” of healing. There were several there who had not seen Jesus heal on the Sabbath, but had heard of it. Now standing in front of them was the one who had caused such a stir.
Why had he healed on the Sabbath? If He was truly doing God’s work, why would he work on the Sabbath? With clarity of thought and flawless logic, Jesus explained that the Law of Moses prescribed for religious ceremonies to be performed on the Sabbath. It was not a day where nothing was accomplished. It was a day that was supposed to be holy and set apart. There had been nothing more sanctifying than healing the lame man. Being healed by Jesus had accomplished the worship of God.
When Jesus finished his argument, the audience was stunned. Those that were from Jerusalem were the first ones to speak. They recognized the amazing ability to understand and interpret the Law of Moses. They recalled the day that Jesus healed and the unrest that it caused in Jerusalem as the religious leaders in fury and rage sought to execute wrath on Jesus for doing something that they thought violated the Law. Now, before they could stop themselves they admitted what many had challenged Jesus for just a few moments earlier, “Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?”
If I were Jesus, I would have paused and said something like, “I know, right?!!” But instead, Jesus continued to teach. The purpose for healing the man was so that after they saw the miracle, He could declare to them that He was in fact sent from God as the Son of God. Now, having articulated to an audience of hundreds in the heart of Jerusalem that according to the law there were actions that you could perform on the Sabbath and still not violate the command to “Keep it holy,” Jesus moved to the main point of His teaching- “Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true.” Without hesitation, Jesus reaffirmed that He was sent from God. The very thing that caused the religious leaders to want to kill Him earlier, Jesus was reiterating unabashedly.
He was not swayed by popular opinion. He was not stalled by threat of death or persecution. He was on mission to seek and to save that which was lost. He had come to bring life and hope to those who were condemned and hopeless. Endangering himself was a cost He was willing to pay to proclaim the undeniable truth of God the Father who had sent Him. He would continue to be bold, audacious, and fearless in the face of opposition. He was not at this alone, God in heaven had sent Him.
Food For Thought: What miracle did Jesus have to remind the people of in order for them to realize that the Pharisees truly wanted Him dead? What thing from the Law of Moses did Jesus use to teach that what He had done on the Sabbath was not wrong, but rather consistent with the Law of God?