In this Chapter:
1-15: Jesus Heals the Crippled Dude
16-30: Jesus Claims to be the Son of God
31-47: Backing-up Jesus’s Claims
Jesus Performs and Proclaims:
This chapter starts off with another one of Jesus’ miracles. It’s pretty insane, which, like a crazy miracle should (like someone chucking a triple cork), catches the attention of the people around Him. Unfortunately, some of these dudes who take notice are the religious leaders who aren’t too stoked on Jesus.
There was a 38 year old crippled guy who never walked in his life. Jesus comes across him one day and sees him lying on the ground. Because He is full of compassion, Jesus heals this guy and tells him to pick up his stuff and walk, and the dude does it as if there hadn’t ever been a problem. Wait, what?! How sick is that?!
The religious leaders, however, didn’t think it was that awesome. Instead, they were all up in the dude’s face for violating one of their customary laws. They always seemed more concerned with their laws than what was actually going on in the lives of real people. Not Jesus, though. He was different. He was a radical.
These religious leaders end up talking with Jesus for a little while. Jesus tells them that these miracles are a sign that back-up His claim of being the Son of God.
Seriously, who else could do something like that?! We all know how hard it is to recover after a few months from a serious injury, let alone 38 years. It definitely takes more than a few words. If this miraculous healing, and all His other miracles, don’t show that Jesus is the Son of God then I don’t know what would.
Even after this conversation, these religious leaders still totally miss who Jesus is. Obviously. They are religious and traditional. Jesus wrecks their traditions by confronting their religious (but still wicked) hearts. Jesus is the One they have been waiting for, the One their ancient Scriptures were written about, but they totally missed the boat because He challenged their comfortable and control-able way of life. It just goes to show how a religious system can totally blind someone from the truth.
Let’s just reiterate here, “being religious” is not synonymous with “being in a right relationship with God”. Jesus wasn’t just a miracle healer. He was a revolutionary teacher. No one had ever spoken like Him before. Through his teachings and His supernatural insight, Jesus constantly exposed the conditions of people’s hearts. These particular religious dudes sure loved their man-made rules, but they were very far from God.
Jesus revealed that God is more concerned with real genuine relationships with people and not with people who enjoy being religious (and holding their religious stature above others). He took the time with a paralyzed man because He saw his need and wanted to help. Jesus said that He came to do the will of His Father, and that is exactly what He did: pouring out His love and compassion on those in need.
A lot of us miss the boat about who Jesus really is, because we don’t actually take the time to look at His life. We don’t look at what He did, what He stood for, or who He stood up for. Instead we get so caught up in what our buddies think about him or what some goofball on the internet said about Him. We get turned off by the concept of “following Jesus” because we think it just boils down to following a whole bunch of rules. All too often we miss God completely, because we believe false information about Him just like the religious leaders did.
Jesus is the Son of God and He came to bring us back to a right relationship with God, our Creator. Don’t believe what someone else says about Him. Believe what He says. Jesus addresses the heart of this issue for us when He said, “I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent Me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death to life” (John 5:24).