Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One of My Favorite Verses

"How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?" - John 5:4

** This verse is being amplified to me this morning.

In studying John 5, I am learning about keeping the Sabbath, but even MORE about the redemption and grace of Christ. The Jews were trying to persecute Jesus for healing a disabled man on the Sabbath... I mean, serious stuff! The IVP New Testament Commentary's explanation of rules concerning who could do what when makes my head spin:
According to Exodus Rabbah 30:9 the idea that God worked on the sabbath was held by rabbis at the time John is writing in the 90s. These rabbis argued that God is exempt from the prohibition to work on the sabbath (Ex 20:11; Deut 5:14) because "a man is permitted to carry on the sabbath in his own courtyard" and Isaiah 6:3 indicates that the whole world is God's courtyard when it says "the whole earth is full of his glory." Similarly, a person is permitted to carry "a distance of his own height," and since God fills heaven and earth (Jer 23:24) there is no limit to his carrying. These arguments may focus on "carrying" because God must continue to carry the universe even on the sabbath or it would collapse. The use of carrying as a reference point in rabbinic arguments in John's day may account for why John chose this type of story about sabbath breaking--in which a man carries his mat--to stand for all the instances in which Jesus challenged his opponents' ideas about the sabbath.

What??? Sounds like those dreaded math problems - "If train A left for the station at 4:52am going 80 mph..." (I always hated those questions!)

Point is, Jesus died on the cross to fulfill the requirements of the Law. We are no longer under rules and regulations because Jesus took care of all our sin & iniquities by nailing them to the cross. For further study, here is a great site to start.

Therefore, we try so hard to meet the world's standards, our peers, colleagues, loved one's expectations, etc. that life becomes one never-ending rat race. All we need to do is work for the praise of the only God! And He is MUCH easier to please than mere man.

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