In our text last Sunday the Jewish leaders at Jerusalem

accused Jesus of breaking the law of the sabbath.  They

first charged the man whom Jesus healed because he carried

his bed on the sabbath.  Then, when they found out that his

healer told him to take up his bed and walk, they excused

the man but inquired who healed him.  When they found out

that it was Jesus who had healed the man, they accused Jesus

of breaking the law of the sabbath.

    In our text today I want us to review the charges that

were made against Jesus and see the hatred of the Jewish

leaders for Him.  Then I want us to hear the answer which

Jesus gave to those charges.


I.  The hatred which the Jews had for Jesus and the charges

    which they made against Him,


    V. 16, "And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and

sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the

sabbath day."  The hatred which the Jewish leaders at

Jerusalem had for Jesus started long before these charges

were made.  They started when He made the first trip of His

ministry to Jerusalem.  He had made many trips to Jerusalem

down through the years starting from the time that He was

twelve years old.  But this was the first trip there after

His ministry started.

    When He went into the temple He overturned the money

tables and drove out those who operated the tables.  He

drove out the sacrificial animals which were for sale within

the temple and drove out those who sold the animals.  He

really upset the apple cart for the Jewish leaders, because

they were going to make a bundle from the money tables and

from the sale of the animals.  He made bitter enemies of

them and they would never forget it.

    Even after He left the temple and went out into the city

of Jerusalem, their hatred from Him was heightened.  He

performed many miracles in Jerusalem among the common people

and became very popular among the common people.  The people

immediately began to think of Him as a prophet come from God

and some few of them began to say that He is the Messiah,

the Christ of God.  The Jewish leaders hated Him all the

more, because they saw that their leadership in the land was

being threatened.

    When Jesus left Jerusalem, He went out into the

wilderness of Judea near to where John the Baptist was

preaching and Jesus drew larger crows than John the Baptist.

He made and baptized more people than John was baptizing.

This alarmed them all the more and stirred their hatred for

Him all the more.

    The Jewish leaders must have breathed a sigh of relief

when Jesus left Judea and went back to Galilee, but that

relief was short lived.  Soon they began to get reports of

the great miracles that Jesus was doing in and around


    As the time drew near for this religious feast at

Jerusalem, the Jewish leaders knew that Jesus would come to

Jerusalem because all the men of Israel were required to

come.  They must have been looking for Jesus with the full

intention of trying to put an end to His ministry.  So when

a report came in that some of the officials had seen a man

carrying his bed on the sabbath day and they found out that

somebody had healed this man on the sabbath day, they were

very confident that the healer was Jesus.

    They inquired who the healer was but the man did not

know at first.  When he did find out he told them that it

was Jesus and they immediately set out to find Him and bring

charges against Him.

    The term "these things" in verse 16 shows that there was

more than one thing on which they based their charge of

sabbath breaking.  The first thing on which they based their

charge was healing on the sabbath day.  They considered

healing on the sabbath day to be a breaking of the sabbath


    The second thing on which they based their charge was

that Jesus had told the man to take up his bed and to carry

it on the sabbath day.  They, thus, considered Him to be the

instigator of what they considered to be a crime on the part

of the man who carried his bed.

    They must have been tickled pink because they now had

charges against Him that carried the death penalty.  If they

could get Jesus stoned for breaking the sabbath, they would

have Him out of their hair.


II. The work of God the Father on the sabbath day,


    V. 17, "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh

hitherto..."  Jesus answered their charge against Him by

pointing out that God the Father is His Father.  He said,

"My Father" and, thus, was calling Himself God's Son.

    He did not claim to be God's son in the same sense that

any saved person is a son of God.  Rather, He was calling

Himself "The Son of God" in a special sense.  In the next

verse we will see that the Jews understood Him to be

claiming to be equal with God the Father.  We will talk more

about that when we get to that verse.

    The point that He is making right here is that God the

Father works on the sabbath day.  The word "hitherto" means

"To this point of time."  That is, God the Father has worked

right up to this very point of time on this sabbath day.

    God works on every sabbath day.  He does not, of course,

do creative work on the sabbath.  God did creative work on

six days and refrained from work on the seventh day.  That

is how the sabbath day got started.  God set the example and

designed that all mankind should follow His example.  From

that time forth God has never done creative work on the

sabbath day.

    But He does do governmental work on the sabbath.  God

still rules the universe even on the sabbath.  God still

makes the sun to rise on the sabbath day.  He cause it to

shine on the sabbath.  He causes the wind to blow, the rain

to fall and the plants to grow.  He still hears and answers

prayers on the sabbath day.  When anybody gets well of some

disease on the sabbath, it is because God made him well on

the sabbath day.  God gives orders to the angels on the

sabbath day and they carry out His orders on the sabbath.


III.  The work of Jesus on the sabbath


    (V. 17), "...and I work."  Jesus claimed a special

relationship with God the Father in heaven.  He claimed that

God in heaven is His Father and, thus, that He is the Son of


    He was not claiming to be the Son of God in the same

sense that any saved person is a son of God.  Rather, He is

claiming to be equal to God the Father.  He is claiming to

be equal with God in nature and character.  He is claiming

to be equal with God in power and authority.  As the Son of

God, He is claiming to share the ownership and rulership

with God the Father.

    Therefore, as the Son of God who is equal with God, He

claims to do the same works on the sabbath day which Gop the

Father does.  Therefore, He healed the diseased man on the

sabbath day and commanded him to rise and walk and carry his

bed on the sabbath day.

    His anwwer was not at all satisfactory to the Jewish

leaders.  V. 18, "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill

him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said

also that God was his Father, making himself equal with

God."  His answer infuriated them all the more and they were

more determined than ever to find a way to put Him to death.


IV.  God The Father setting an example for His Son to follow


    V. 19, "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily,

verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself,

but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he

doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."  Jesus said that,

as the Son of God, he could do nothing without the Father.

This does not mean that He is without power or authority to

do anything which He wishes.

    It means two things.  For one thing, it means that He,

as a man, has submitted Himself to God the Father.  As Deity

God, He has all power both in heaven and earth.  But as man,

He will not rely upon His own power, but He relies upon God

the Father to lead Him, direct Him and empower Him through

the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is one man who is totally submissive

to God The Father.

    It also means that even before He came to dwell in human

flesh, He was already submissive to the will of God the

Father.  As the Son of God, He would never go against the

will of God the Father.  He would never do anything without

first knowing that He was acting in complete harmony with

the will of God.

    So it was that when He healed the man on the sabbath

day, He was in complete submission to the Father's will.  He

was acting in complete harmony with the Father's will.  He

was not breaking God's law, but was in complete harmony with

God's law.  He was in harmony with all of God's laws.

    He had seen God the Father heal on the sabbath and He

just followed the example of God the Father and did



V.  The Father's love for His Son


    V. 20, "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him

all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater

works than these, that ye may marvel."  Jesus had done a

great work before them.  He had done a work that God the

Father had showed Him and He had just done the same kind of

work that God the Father had done.

    He says that the Father will show Him greater works and

that He will do those greater works.  V. 21, "For as the

Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even

so the Son quickeneth whom he will."  God the Father raises

men from the grave and Jesus will raise the dead.  He would

go to a home and raise a young girl back to life.  He would

stop a funeral in the streets and raise a young man back to

life.  At the tomb of Lazarus, He would call Lazarus back to

life after Lazarus had been dead so long that he was

stinking.  When Jesus returns to this world, He will raise

all of the saved from their graves.  After the millennium

when the Great White Throne appears, it will be Jesus who

will call all of the unsaved from their graves to appear

before Him.

    This brings up the judgment.  God the Father has

committed all judgment into the hands of Jesus, His Son.  V.

22, "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all

judgment unto the Son."

    Jesus is the ideal one to judge man.  As Deity God, He

has perfect knowledge of all things that all men have done.

He has perfect knowledge of what is fair and just.  He will

see that the cause of God is carried out perfectly.

    As man, He understands perfectly every human weakness.

He understands, not only because He has knowledge of all

things, but because He has experienced what it is to live in

human flesh.  He understands what it is to face temptations.

He experienced every human weakness that other men

experience, yet without sin.  He endured every temptation

that Satan can place before human beings, yet without sin.

He can be fair and equitable in all His judgments.

    V. 23, "That all men should honour the Son, even as they

honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth

not the Father which hath sent him."  God has plans that

will honor Jesus to the highest.  God wants all men to honor

His Son.  He would prefer that they honor Him both in this

life and also in the next.  But even if they will not honor

Him in this life, they will honor Him in the next.  Every

knee shall bow to Him and every tongue will confess that

Jesus is the Christ.

    V. 24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth

my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting

life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed

from death unto life."  God wants all men to hear His Son

and hear Him receptively.  God wants all men to believe on

God the Father as the sender of Jesus Christ, His Son.  God

wants all men to be saved and have everlasting life.  God

wants them never to come into condemnation again.  God wants

all men to pass from death unto life.