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The Scriptorium


Why were these people seeking Jesus?

The Gospel of John: John 5.1-15

Read and meditate on John 5.11-13.
Great! More people seeking Jesus! But wait…

                                                                         11Then to
them he replied, “But He Who made me well
told me to take my bed and walk.” 12“So tell
us Who this is Who spoke to you this way,
that you should take your bed and disobey
the Law,” they said to him. 13He did not know,
however, Who it was Who made him so,
for Jesus had withdrawn, to get away
from all the crowds.

- John 5.11-13

1. Can you see the hardness and self-interest in the Jews’ reply to this man? What did they not ask? How can we tell when our own hearts are becoming hard like this? Complete this prayer: Help me, Lord, to take a sincere interest in others and their needs and blessings, and not just…

2.  By contrast, how would you describe the response of this man to their accusing him of breaking the Sabbath? How could he so easily have preferred Jesus’ commands to man’s traditions? What about me, Lord? Teach me so to love Your Word that…

3.  The Jews are seeking Jesus, but why? Do they want to be healed from their infirmities? Do they think they even have any need for healing? Why do they want to know about Jesus? I know that people today find Jesus a little unsettling, Lord, but still, I need to…

4.  Why do some people today find Jesus a bit unsettling? Should that keep us from obeying His Word? Explain. Lord, give me the courage to unsettle, and the grace to…

5.  Why do you suppose Jesus didn’t hang around to get the credit and glory from this good work? Bring together your prayers from questions 1-4 into one prayer.

“The healed one did not know who it was who healed him because Jesus hid as soon as he had healed him. It would have been typical of someone looking for glory if he had stayed around with the one whom he had healed. It would have been typical of someone who desired public exposure. But we see our Lord cautiously avoiding this. In fact, it would have been easier to have himself seen as God. Since, however, he appeared as a man and many had this opinion about him, he protected himself from the opinion of those who saw him.” Theodore of Mopsuestia (350-428 AD)

The Jews were so fixed on maintaining their relatively comfortable status quo, that they could not even see the good that had been done for this man. All they wanted to do was maintain control, keep people in line, and root out the trouble-makers. Do we ever fall into this trap in local churches today? How can we recognize when this might be happening with us?

Closing Prayer
Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high.
I will praise the name of God with a song,
And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bull,
Which has horns and hooves.
The humble shall see thisand be glad;
And you who seek God, your hearts shall live.
For the LORD hears the poor,
And does not despise His prisoners.
Let heaven and earth praise Him,
The seas and everything that moves in them.
For God will save Zion
And build the cities of Judah,
That they may dwell there and possess it.

Psalm 69.29b-35

Psalm 69.13-15, 34-46 (Greensleeves: What Child Is This?)
O Lord, we make our prayer to You; receive our words, O Savior!
Let lovingkindness see us through, and answer us with favor!
Lord, lift us above the mire; deliv’rance is our one desire!
Let not the floods conspire to swallow us forever!

Let heav’n and earth now praise You, Lord, the seas and all their creatures,
For You will save us by Your Word and build Your City’s features.
There we will with Jesus dwell and know His blessings full and well.
His glorious Name we’ll tell to every man and creature!

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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