Question Time

April 27, 2009

Again for Matthias ESM people: What did you think of Eddie’s question on Sunday night? It was something like: “What do you think about Jesus breaking the Sabbath as he is a human as well as divine?”

Your thoughts?

Was Jesus bad in breaking the law?



  1. which law exactly do we think Jesus was breaking?

    • Good question Kysha. One could argue that he is breaking Ex 31:14 where no one is to work on the Sabbath. However, Jesus is arguing that God works on the Sabbath and so Jesus works as the Father does. The healing of the invalid man is part of this ‘work’. (And on Sunday, we’ll hear of the greater works Christ will do).

  2. Can healing someone really be considered ‘work’ though? Particularly that He was God incarnate, it would have been much less, than the effort I put into blinking my eyes …

  3. I think the main thing for the story’s purpose was that the Jews considered healing as ‘work’, maybe as it would be for a doctor. And even if something is very easy, it may still be considered work. But it’s because the Jews disapproved of it that they began to persecute Jesus.

  4. Nice thoughts. A random one now – could we be getting tied up in the intellectual discussion of “Was it work?” or “Is healing work for God?” (while these are excellent discussion points) and miss the basic rebuke Jesus was giving to those who had twisted the Sabbath’s meaning?

    If you look at the purpose of the Sabbath from the OT, it was a day to remember the way that God had saved the Isrealites from slavery in Egypt. Quite poetic – a day of rest to remember the freedom from a life of no rest at all (i.e. slavery)! The fact that people would disapprove of someone healing someone on this day to the point that they would question them and chastise them, shows that they have lost the meaning of the day. Another revelation of their legalism.

    While this is a fairly basic point and should be taken as read when looking at the passage, would it be fair to say that our analysis of the ‘letter of the law’ (is Jesus healing work? etc) is just as legalistic as that of the Pharisees?

  5. I think you’re right, Luke. The Pharisees were interested in law keeping, which we saw in last Sunday’s sermon (John 5:38-47), while Jesus wants us to see who he is – the Son of God. That’s where our attention should be.

  6. […] here. So feel free to check it out. You might also like to have a look at the comments made from the previous week’s question time. Thanks also for all the words of encouragement following my sermons ESM! Let’s continue to […]

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