By Recognizing the Deity of Christ

Dustin Folden March 14, 2021 John 5:1-24
Outline

3 ways we recognize Christ’s deity

I. Recognize His Authority Over Diagnosis (5:1-9)

A. The diagnosis of the people

John 5:3 - In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters…

B. The diagnosis of the man

John 5:7 - The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

C. The diagnosis of Jesus

John 5:14-16 - Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.

II. Recognize His Authority Over the Sabbath (5:10-17)

A. The purpose of the Sabbath

Exodus 20:8-11 - Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

B. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath

Mark 2:23-28 - And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?” Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. “So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

C. The Lord is always working (v17)

John 5:17 - But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”

John 4:34 - Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”

III. Recognize His Authority with the Father (5:18-24)

A. The reason for seeking to kill Jesus (v18)

John 5:18 - For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

B. The relationship of the Father and Son (v19-20)

John 5:19-23 - Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

C. The power over life and death (v21-24)

John 5:24 - Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Are you superstitious? Or do you know someone who is?

I grew up playing baseball, tennis, golf, and Hockey…People who play sports tend to be a bit superstitious….Baseball players are superstitious, many will not step on the foul line when they take the field…but there is nothing like hockey players….

Some guys had to put their left shin pad on first….some guys could only use black tape on their stick, and they had to tape it a certain way…some guys would only wear 1 t-shirt under their pads all year and never wash it no matter how many holes were in it, some guys had to skate around a certain way in warm ups, everybody seemed to have their thing….

I was not superstitious, but there was one thing I did, that I got into a habit that I would do each time I got a new pair of skates…I would tape a 1980 Penny under the sole of my skate and the penny had to be taped face down, so when you turned the skate over, the penny was face up. But I was not superstitious.

Why do people do things like that….well some might say it is just part of a routine to get you mentally ready to play, or just something quirky people do, but many would say they want to not offend the basketball, baseball or hockey gods….they want to exercise some level of control where they do the same thing or do things in a certain way, to bring about a favorable result.

  • Well there are no basketball gods, baseball gods, or hockey gods, there is only the true God of the universe who is in control of all things….but mankind is so quick to put their trust and their hope in so many things, when what they need to do is recognize the true God of heaven…
  • …and to do that they must recognize the Messiah, the Christ for who He actually is….He is not just a prophet, not just a king, but God in the flesh…the one who is equal with the Father.

What we are going to see today, is that superstition is not a new thing…and putting your trust in man centered systems, whether they are superstitious, or very logically crafted and legalistic….well putting your trust in the wrong place is something people struggle with across time and culture, and yet the Lord is calling men and women to put their trust in Jesus, to believe in His name…because of His authority over everything, and ultimately because of His deity.

So with that in mind please turn in your bible to John Chapter 5 verse 1

We are continuing our series Enjoying Life in His Name through the book of John, and today we will be enjoying life in His name…. by Recognizing the Deity of Christ

  • You see when we are superstitious, or legalistic…we think we have some kind of authority, some kind of power to bring things about…when really we need to recognize the Lord Jesus, the third member of the trinity is the one who has power and authority to heal, save, forgive sin, and ultimately bring the dead to life….

With our time this morning, let’s look at 3 ways we recognize Christ’s Deity

The first way is we….

Recognize His authority over diagnosis (5:1-9)

We have studied Jesus interaction with Nikodemus, and also the Samaritan woman at the well….after leaving Samaria, Jesus went to Galilee, there he healed a nobleman son….and he healed the son with just his word, and he healed the boy not even when he was in his presence…they actually did some time matching and determined the boys fever left him when Jesus said “Go your son lives” which display’s the power of His word.

In addition Jesus said “unless you people see signs and wonders you simply will not believe”

You see the signs and wonders are amazing, but they are there to point us to who Jesus is…and we see in this section Jesus going out of his way to make himself know…and to make sure it is clear that he is not just a healer…but He is God in the flesh.

Now to do that he meets the people where they are…and he shows his power by healing people…but it starts with how people diagnose their situation and what we see is the people’s diagnosis are very different than Jesus…and the People’s solutions are very different that Jesus, but in process as well as effect.

So first consider….

The diagnosis of the people

Jesus has returned to Jerusalem for a feast…we do not know which feast it is, but the focus quickly moves from this unnamed feast to the sheep gate pool…where there are a lot of people, multitudes of sick people.

John 5:3 - 3In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters;

The prophet Nehemiah talks about the sheep gate a fair amount in the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and this is in the north east corner of the city.

The pool near here is called Bethesda or the house of mercy…. the pool had 5 porticoes or covered areas…when this site was excavated there were actually 2 pools, they were quite large, and connected and on each of the 4 sides there were these porticoes, with one additional covered portico between the pools. So there was a lot of space around these pools for people to sit, lay and be in the shade…you could not sit by the pool all day in the heat.

  • There was actually a roman temple to the pagan goddess of healing right next door….and later additional pools were added as the water was though to have healing properties…so what is clear is the people looked to this area for healing.

It is very likely that these pools were also fed by mineral springs, and occasionally the water would be stirred up when these hot springs would periodically inject water into the pool.

So all these people were looking to this pool for healing…their diagnosis was that this pool was the answer….in the text it says that an angel came down to stir up the waters…many of you will see in your bibles there is a bracket around this section, and a footnote indicating this portion is not in early manuscripts…it may have simply been a comment in the margin that this is what the people believed that got added to later manuscripts…what is clear is that the people believed an angel stirred up the water and that the water than had some healing properties.

Apparently, you had to be the first people to step in the water, and you had to be well enough to step into the water…

So this pool, was not very good at healing people…but the people believed in it.

One man in particular….we see

The diagnosis of the man

This man had been ill for 38 years, and he cannot get to the pool very fast. Jesus asks Him if he wants to get well…

John 5:7 7The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

His answer reminds me so much of Nikodemus answer and also the woman at the well…Jesus says you must be born again Nikodemus says, how can a man enter his mothers womb against…Jesus talks about living water and the woman says you have no bucket….Jesus asks the man if he wants to get well and he says he has no one to get him to the water in time….

The sick man diagnosis his problem as a problem of logistics….I just don’t have a man, a person to get me into the pool in time…that is my problem…

Someone is less sick then me, and so they can get healed because they can get into the water first.

Consider where mankind puts their trust…I just need a logistical solution.

He is at a pool that does not heal well, and he is looking for a man centered solution to a supernatural problem.

How many times have we put our hope in our schedule just calming down a bit…or a new job, or some other man centered solution we put our hope in.

[Develop worry, how we think about things in a man centered way believing it will fix things and make things better]

We see Jesus’ view is very different…

The diagnosis of Jesus

There were multitude of people, but Jesus selected one man to interact with and to heal…

He knew this man intimately, knew how long He was ill…just like He knew Nathaniel, Nicodemus, the Woman at the Well…He knew how long the man was sick and exactly why he was sick.

And he had the power and authority to actually heal Him…not if he did something first…not because of a superstitious trust…but because of His grace and Mercy and the healing power of His word.

Jesus spoke and commanded the man to get up and walk…and He did…He was now not just strong enough to walk, and go do a cannon ball into the pool….but he was now strong enough to carry his mat that he had been lying on…

What was Jesus diagnosis?

  • Well The man gets in trouble for carrying his mat on the sabbath, with the Jewish Leaders, and He totally gets out of trouble by saying he was told to pick up his mat and walk by the one who healed him….
  • But and get this He has no idea of the identity of the person who healed him….He knows all about his pool…but the person who just by his word instantly healed him…no clue who He is.

So what does Jesus do…He makes Himself known…later he goes and finds the man at the temple, and tells him “You have become well…do not sin anymore so that nothing worse happens to you.”

John 5:14-16 14Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.

  • Now later in chapter 9 we will see a man born blind that people believe was blind because He sinned or his parents sinned…Jesus in chapter 9 says, that is not the case…and in fact tell him to go wash in the pool of Siloam to be healed….

But in this case Jesus seems to allude that the reason this man from the pool of Bethesda was ill was because of His sin…and said do not sin anymore so that nothing worse happens to you.

Jesus diagnosis is that sin needs to be dealt with…..We saw this when Nikodemus needed to be reborn, the woman at well’s adultery was addressed, and now this man was healed and Jesus seeks him out to address sin.

Sin is the ultimate cause for suffering and death….it can be a specific sin, or simply living under the curse of sin.

Jesus did not heal everyone at that pool…and he sought out the man and wanted the issue of Sin to be front and center in His mind.

Well, what does the man do…he goes and tells the authorities’. Because He knows who healed him now…

These religious leaders see Jesus as the bigger threat than the man because he told the man to pick up His mat on the Sabbath.

What we see is Jesus has the authority to diagnose the real problem sin, and to heal…and He also has authority over the sabbath and so we need to ….

Recognize His authority over the sabbath (5:10-17)

It is helpful for us to first consider…

The Purpose of the Sabbath

Exodus 20:8–11 - 8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

The word Sabbath…means to rest or stop from work…not only did this require you to trust the Lord rather than your own diligence, but it gave you a built in time each week to especially focus on the two great commandments…to love God and love others. It also reminded people of the creator who made the world in 6 days and then rested, or concluded the creation process and set apart a day in a special way for people to especially focus on God.

There is always more work to do….if you wait to finish all your work to focus on God, you will never focus on God…and it is so easy to wrap up your identity and your security in your work and paycheck so God built into the week a reminder for His people.

However, we see the Pharisees not happy that Jesus heals on the Sabbath…and this begins the opposition to Jesus.

You see the Pharisees created 39 categories of work and if you were doing one of those categories, then you were breaking the sabbath….one of which is carrying something from A to B. Now it can be argued that the man was not actually breaking the sabbath, because he did not carry mats as part of his weekly work…He did not earn a living carrying mats, but he broke this man-made category of work, and so He was in trouble for breaking the sabbath according to the Pharisees.

When the Pharisees go after Jesus…Jesus does not engage them in a theological debate on what constitutes work on the sabbath...Just the woman at the well…Jesus goes directly to talking about who He is rather than having a theological debate.

We see that….

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath

We see this in another Gospel how Jesus responds to this charge of breaking the sabbath…

Mark 2:23–28 - 23 And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; 26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 “So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Jesus emphasizes the need of man…in this case to satisfy hunger…the greatest need of man is a redeemed relationship with their creator….Jesus corrects their view of the Sabbath… it is for man to rest and to find His ultimate rest in the Lord…rather than the work of their own hand.

He goes on further to explain that the son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath…in other words…Jesus has authority not only over sickness, but also over the Sabbath. He is basically explaining that He created the Sabbath and is in fact not breaking it as it was to address mankind’s need for God rather than relying on their selves.

In this text Jesus says it in a little different way…we see that….

The Lord is always working (v17)

John 5:17 - 17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”

Even though the Lord rested on the 7th day, the Lord is always working to sustain creation…without the Lord sustaining creation we would not exist…so Jewish Rabbis recognize that God doesn’t stop and take a break from sustaining the universe…The Lord is also always working out His plan of salvation….and he is also as Ephesians says working all things out after the counsel of His will….So he is always working…and Jesus says…My father is always working and so am I.

In fact that is what he said just a chapter earlier

John 4:34 - 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

Jesus is connecting His work to the work of the father and saying that they are one and the same….

You see Jesus seeking out this man at the pool, healing Him, finding him again at the temple…Jesus is working to make Himself known and to show that He is the one with all authority to heal, and to provide rest…

  • § ???Hebrews 4:1–3 - 1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Jesus is working such that people would know Him…and not just know about Him, the signs He did…but Believe that Jesus is the Christ…God in the flesh, and that by believing they would have life in His name….

So to recap…we have a pool of healing that cannot heal…We have religious leaders teaching a sabbath approach that provides no rest….but we have the son of man who is working to provide ultimate healing and eternal rest for those who put their trust in Him.

[Gospel] - Have you done that…Have your put your trust in Jesus rather than putting your trust in the superstition of man….or the legalistic self-righteousness of man….if You have not, I pray that today you will place your trust in Who Jesus is and what He did on the cross to pay for your sin, and His resurrection showing His authority over life and death…

That is what Jesus talks about next…His relationship with the Father and His ultimate authority as the 3rd member of the trinity.

To trust Jesus that starts with admitting our need, our sin…but then we also must recognize Who Jesus is…believing what He says about himself…

We must…

Recognize His authority with the Father (5:18-24)

This is…

The reason for seeking to kill Jesus (v18)

John 5:18 - 18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

Breaking the man-made view of the sabbath was one thing…but they wanted to kill Jesus because he was clearly identifying himself as equal with God…

And he not just saying he is on par with God, but something much more significant….

We acknowledge and recognize the deity of Christ as we marvel at….

The relationship of the Father and Son (v19-20)

John 5:19–23 - 19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. 21 “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

Jesus is saying that their relationship is so intertwined, you can not view one without the other…you must view the Father and the Son together….He is saying that He and the Father are one…and to the Jewish audience this is blasphemy, but in fact it is the truth.

  • The Son can do nothing of Himself…but just what He sees the father doing...the Son does what the father does….
  • The Father Loves the son…they have a perfect relationship defined by Love.
  • The Father shows the Son all things He is doing
  • The Father has given all judgment to the Son
  • The Father and the Son are to be honored together, you cannot honor one without the other….
  • The Father raises the Dead….and so also the Son gives life to whom He wishes.

We should marvel at the works Jesus does…but also marvel at the revealing of the relationship between the Father and Son that we get to be a part of….

[Develop Gospel centered relationships that are marked with joy because of vertical and horizontal impact]

Jesus is showing the people the Father and how to have a relationship with the Father, and that it must be done through the Son and by believing….what you believe about Jesus is the only way to be reconciled to the Father…and ultimately address the biggest consequence of Sin…not just sickness and suffering, but death itself.

We see that Jesus is God in that he has…

The power over life and death (v21-24)

John 5:24 24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

So consider where your joy and where your trust is…is it in a superstition where you think you can control things?

Is it in legalism where you add things to the bible, but in reality that really just weighs you down…

Or is it in humbly admitting your sin, and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ…Jesus addresses our man centered trust, our legalism, but he addresses our greatest need….rescue from death itself…That is why we can enjoy life in His name….

We can have great joy in believing that Jesus is God…because

  • Jesus is the one who can heal and has authority over sickness.
  • Jesus is the one who can provide rest and has authority over the sabbath
  • Jesus is the one who is working out the father plan of salvation, and whoever trust in Him will receive the gift of eternal life…no pool necessary…just a cross and an empty tomb.

Authors

Dustin Folden

Roles

Pastor of Discipleship & Extension Ministries - Faith Church

Bio

B.S - Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary

Pastor Dustin Folden and his wife Trisha joined the Pastoral Staff in 2010. They have two children, Mackenna & Sawyer. They enjoy playing board games, cooking together and going on hiking adventures. Pastor Folden shepherds the 9:30 worship service, oversees the Adult Bible Fellowship ministry, the Wednesday evening Faith Community Institute as well as serves in Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.

Read Dustin Folden's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Folden to Faith Church.