Last time we met, we discussed John 5:1-17, Jesus healing a man by Bethesda Pool. Today we learn the repercussions of his final statement in that passage.
If you recall, that statement was: “But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Do you see it wasn’t just a Sabbath issue, though admittedly this was part of it. But the bigger part was this “he called God his own Father! That meant he was making himself equal with God. This was blasphemy in the eyes of the Jews. How dare a man do such a thing!!!!!
Because it was blasphemous, it meant he should die, ergo the Jews sought to kill him. They could not allow such a dangerous person to live, to spread such blasphemous thoughts.
I initially struggled to understand how to connect this passage to my life. I’m not a Jewish person, I have the freedom to call God my Father, to address him as such without fear. So why should this passage impact me? How can God use it to help me consider him more clearly?
I came to this thought. I HAVE the freedom to call God my Father. It’s a freedom that those in the days before Christ didn’t have. Christ changed the world for me. My belief in him gives me a kinship with him, and ergo, as he calls God Father, so can I. Kinship is a marvellous thing.
I recently read on facebook, a gal with a dilemma on her hands… her brother is getting married on the same weekend that her girls have the biggest event of their year to attend. Her brother knew this but needed to meet the demands of his lady and her family (her kin). This lady was caught between a rock and a hard place. How does she honour her brother (her kin) and how does she also honour her daughters (also her kin)? What does kinship matter to her then? How does she balance it out? Most of the respondents were somewhat less than kind regarding the brother, not seeing the dilemma he was in as well. Not an easy decision to make.
Why do I bring that up? Kinship with God means KINSHIP with him. Kinship with him trumps anything else we can be related to. If God calls us to travel or move or be in a different place, that matters more than family. If God gives us a ministry to do and if conflicts with our earthly family… his demands on our time matter more than the other. This kinship makes decisions easier.
If I always remember that kinship with him, so therefore his desires and will for my life matter most, that makes other decisions easier doesn’t it? Such, … will I follow the will of the land (this summer this came up for many faith-based ministries that ask the government for funding, but this year the government added a stipulation that by asking for dollars you agreed with abortion) or will I follow the will of God? For some of those organizations this was a hard but easy decision. Don’t ask for funding, other organizations struggled with it… do we just sign it knowing it’s just a form on a piece of paper that ultimately means nothing? Until they realized it DOES mean something. Then loving God makes it easy even though in the end, it was harder for them.
For me in my day to day life it means… will I stop and be kind to my son even though he’s driving me batty, OR will I take a moment and breathe (telling him what I am doing so he doesn’t misinterpret my action) and respond to him in a more pleasing manner? A manner that will help him mature rather than one that makes him angry and defensive? Which would God rather have me do? Kinship with God matters. It affects our day to day moments. Our minute by minute decisions if we always keep it in mind.
Sometimes I don’t think I realize enough what kinship with Christ matters. Knowing that GOD is part of my family. It’s like having the love of a good old brother or a loving, just, kind, firm and reasonably demanding Dad at my back ALL THE TIME. Sit and ponder that for a moment. Realize that kinship with God will have some people wanting you DEAD. Seriously. Martyrdom for the faith happens all over the world. But in the end, our kinship with God is what should matter most to us.
It mattered most to Jesus.
It should matter most to us as well.