trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Working Still

Jesus explains His working on the Sabbath.

The Gospel of John: John 5.16-30

Read and meditate on John 5.16, 17.
Jesus neither denied nor apologized for the good work He did on the Sabbath by healing the lame man. The Jews had become so ensnared in their traditions that they feared violating them more than showing grace to those in need. Jesus begins to more firmly establish Himself in relation to Jewish tradition and the Law of God, and the Jewish leaders don’t like what they see and hear.

for this, the Jewish leaders then began
to persecute Him, and they even sought
to kill Him, for they argued that one ought
not on the Sabbath do such things. 17But He
explained to them, “I work, and I must be
about such works as these, because till now
My Father works.”

- John 5.16, 17

1.  The Law of God plainly states that no one should work on the Sabbath. Jesus worked on the Sabbath, and did not deny it. What does this suggest about how we may best understand the teaching of God’s Law? Complete this prayer: I know, Lord Jesus, that You came to fulfill the Law, so as I work to understand the Law, I need…

2.  The traditions that had become established in Israel by Jesus’ day provided a convenient means for the religious leaders to exercise authority over the people. Does it seem to you that these leaders cared more about people or programs? Explain. Are we ever guilty of anything like this in the church today? Lord, I know even I get trapped in ways of doing things each day that make me insensitive to the needs of others. I’m so busy, and I have so much to do, that I often fail to show grace to others. Help me to…

3.  What rationale did Jesus give for doing this work on the Sabbath? What does this suggest about the kind of works God the Father does continually? Help me to pay more attention to Your work, Father, so that I…

4.  Jesus said, “My Father has been working until now…” God’s work involves, over and under all, His providential care of creation. How extensive is this work? How far does it reach? What is God’s purpose in doing this work? Lord, I know Your work is good and wise, and that I could not even exist unless You were still working. Give me eyes to see and a mind to remember Your works, Lord, and lead me…

5.  God’s work also involves bringing redemption to the world through Jesus Christ. Jesus does this work by His Word and Spirit, in imitation of the work God does in caring for and sustaining creation. From what we’ve seen thus far, what kinds of things go into the work of bringing redemption to the world? Why is it lawful to do such works on the Sabbath? Bring together into one the prayers you composed for questions 1-4.

“The Jewish elders were unwilling to be subject to the law of God, which was to prepare them for the coming of Christ. But they even blamed the Lord for healing on the Sabbath days, which the law did not prohibit. For they did themselves, in one sense, perform acts of healing upon the Sabbath day, when they circumcised a man [on that day]. But they did not blame themselves for transgressing the command of God through tradition and the previously mentioned pharisaical law. Nor did they condemn themselves for not keeping the commandment of the law, which is the love of God.” Irenaeus of Lyons (135-202 AD)

We’re beginning to see that we cannot know God, or understand His will and ways, apart from looking to Jesus. And this is precisely why Jesus came to earth. Man-made traditions and religious cultures can become a snare and a yoke, even when our intentions are good. Only Jesus can free us from all such burdens. How do you expect to experience the freedom and life of Jesus today?

Closing Prayer
I cried out to You, O LORD:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
Attend to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison,
That I may praise Your name;
The righteous shall surround me,
For You shall deal bountifully with me.”

Psalm 142.5-7

Psalm 142.4-7 (Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
Lord, look to my right and see: None takes notice of my plight.
Is there refuge left for me? Is my soul out of Your sight?
    Lord, You are my Refuge strong! O receive my plaintive song!

Hear my cry, Lord, I am low! They are strong who seek my soul.
Jesus frees from every foe; he will keep and make me whole!
    Lord, You are my Refuge strong! O receive my plaintive song!

Out of prison lead me, Lord; thanks and praise to You shall be.
Righteous men armed with Your Word will Your grace bestow on me.
    Lord, You are my Refuge strong! O receive my plaintive song!

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

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.