Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 5:1–6:23

Reading for Today:

2 Samuel 5:1–6:23
Psalm 63:1-11
Proverbs 16:16-17
John 5:1-23

2 Samuel 5:1,2 all the tribes of Israel. The term “all” is used 3 times (vv. 1,3,5) to emphasize that the kingdom established under King David was truly a united monarchy. The “elders” of Israel (v. 3), representing the “tribes” (v. 1), came to David at Hebron with the express purpose of submitting to his rule. Three reasons were given by the Israelites for wanting to make David king: 1) he was an Israelite brother (Deut. 17:15); 2) he was Israel’s best warrior and commander; and 3) he had been chosen by the Lord to be the king of Israel.

Psalm 63:1 Early will I seek You. Eagerness to be with the Lord in every situation is more in view than the time of day. My soul thirsts. David longs for God’s presence like a wanderer in a desert longs for water. In a dry and thirsty land. David writes this psalm while hiding in the wilderness of Judea, but longing to be back worshiping in Jerusalem.

John 5:10,11 The Old Testament had forbidden work on the Sabbath but did not stipulate what “work” was specifically indicated (Ex. 20:8–11). The assumption in Scripture seems to be that “work” was one’s customary employment, but rabbinical opinion had developed oral tradition beyond the Old Testament which stipulated 39 activities forbidden (Mishnah Shabbath 7:2; 10:5), including carrying anything from one domain to another. Thus, the man had broken oral tradition, not Old Testament law.

John 5:14 Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you. The basic thrust of Jesus’ comments here indicates that sin has its inevitable consequences (Gal. 6:7,8). Although Scripture makes clear that not all disease is a consequence of sin (9:1–3; Luke 13:1–5), illness at times may be directly tied into one’s moral turpitude (1 Cor. 11:29,30; James 5:15). Jesus may specifically have chosen this man in order to highlight this point.

DAY 17: Why did Jesus not back down to religious hypocrisy?

A careful reading of John 5:17–47 reveals the ultimate reason Jesus confronted the Jews’ religious hypocrisy, i.e., the opportunity to declare who He was. This section is Christ’s own personal statement of His deity. As such, it is one of the greatest Christological discourses in Scripture. Herein Jesus makes 5 claims to equality with God: 1) He is equal with God in His person (vv. 17,18); 2) He is equal with God in His works (vv. 19,20); 3) He is equal with God in His power and sovereignty (v. 21); 4) He is equal with God in His judgment (v. 22); and 5) He is equal with God in His honor (v. 23).

In v. 17, Jesus’ point is that whether He broke the Sabbath or not, God was working continuously and, since Jesus Himself worked continuously, He also must be God. Furthermore, God does not need a day of rest for He never wearies (Is. 40:28). For Jesus’ self-defense to be valid, the same factors that apply to God must also apply to Him. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath! (Matt. 12:8). Interestingly, even the rabbis admitted that God’s work had not ceased after the Sabbath because He sustains the universe.

In response to Jewish hostility at the implications of His assertions of equality with God (v. 18), Jesus became even more fearless, forceful, and emphatic.“ Most assuredly”(v. 19) is an emphatic way of saying “I’m telling you the truth.” Jesus essentially tied His activities of healing on the Sabbath directly to the Father. The Son never took independent action that set Him against the Father because the Son only did those things that were coincident with and coextensive with all that the Father does. Jesus thus implied that the only One who could do what the Father does must be as great as the Father.


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