Declaring Your Purpose
The time is approximately 28 A.D. Jesus and His disciples return to Jerusalem to celebrate a feast (Some scholars think it was Passover, others the Feast of Harvest). On the Sabbath, Jesus visits a pool called Bethesda, where many people would go to be cured of their infirmities. How so? God regularly sent an angel to Bethesda to ‘stir the waters;’ and the first person to enter the pool would be restored to health.
He came upon a man who was had been sick for 38 years. His sickness had weakened him so badly that he could never move fast enough to be the first in the pool and no one would carry him to it. Jesus healed him immediately. Well, that certainly did not bode well with the religious leaders of the day because Jesus broke the Rabbinical interpretation of the 4th of the Ten commandments, which declares that no work be done on the Sabbath day.
The Rabbis took it to the extreme, saying that no labor of any kind was to be done – including healing or saving lives. So they were frothing at the mouth over what Jesus had done. Indeed, at this point, some were even entertaining the idea of killing Him.
[On another occasion, our brave and bold Savior strutted right into a synagogue on the Sabbath and healed another man. He faced down the Pharisees, telling them that the Sabbath was made for man (as a time to reflect and bond with God), not to be terrorized by it; and He declared that He was Lord of the Sabbath. Thus, He was the final authority. (Mk. 2:27) Jesus further defied their twisted view and told them that doing good things on the Sabbath fell within the Mosaic Law. (Mt. 12:11, 12.)]
Getting back to our timeline, Jesus answers the wrath of the religious leaders over His poolside healing, by declaring who He is and what His purpose was:
My Father has worked [even] until now, [He has never ceased working; He is still working] and I, too must be at [divine] work. Jn. 5:17 AMP
This is the turning point in Christ’s ministry. He is now claiming His deity – saying that God is His unique Father and that He, Jesus, is doing His Father’s work.
Needless to say, His adversaries were lathered into a frenzy because He placed Himself on the same level as God. Jesus does not relent:
“Truly, truly I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” Jn. 5:19 ESV
Christ is proclaiming that He is a direct extension of God’s will and that His Father’s power courses through Him. Why does God do that?
“For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all the things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.” Jn. 5:20 NKJV
In other words, God will enable Jesus to work more miracles in order to try to open the stubborn hearts of the Jews, so that they might choose to enter into His kingdom.
Jesus then elaborates about the magnitude of the authority conferred upon Him by Jehovah God:
“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” Jn. 5:21 – 23. NASB
This is HUGE. Jesus is saying that He has both the power over the resurrection process in God’s ultimate end plan for all the people He has and will create and that Christ is in charge of the subsequent dispensation of those resurrected.
Note too that Jesus says that we are to honor Him just like we would God Himself. This is a big bone of contention with the Jewish and Islamic faiths, as well as some Christian sects. However, Jesus has just said (and He is the living word of God) that when we honor Him, it is a direct honor to God as well.
Jesus winds this up with a jab at His naysayers, trying to get them to see what will happen to them when they stand in opposition to His purpose:
“…the very works that I do – bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me…You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” Jn. 5:36 – 40. NKJV
“Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father, the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe in Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” Jn. 5:45 – 47. NASB
You can’t say that Jesus didn’t give them a chance. He stood right in front of His detractors and offered life. They refused. He told them that the Old Testament was filled with prophecy about Him – even from Moses himself. (Dt. 18:18)
What does all this have to do with you? When you make your Jesus contact, you become an official child of God. That is your declaration of who you are.
When you are a follower of Jesus, you also have a purpose to declare. What is that purpose?
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded of you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Mt. 28:19, 20. NKJV
And because you are a chosen declarer of that purpose, God equips you to carry it out:
“…do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Mt. 10:19, 20. NKJV
Furthermore, you must also declare your purpose, which is God’s purpose, by living it out in your actions:
“…what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD…” Dt. 10:12, 13. NKJV
“…to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked that you cover him, and not hide from your own flesh?” Is. 58:6, 7. NKJV
…to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Mic. 6:8 NKJV
“…love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jn. 13:34, 35. NKJV
If you’re letting Christ shine through you in these ways, people will want to come to you to see what you’ve got and where it came from. Surely then, you are carrying out your purpose by offering them the eternal life of the Light…
Goodnight and God bless.