In the book that I have been using as a study aid for John 5, the author gives an explanation to how he used to watch lawyer shows on television when he was younger. The lawyer always found the ‘missing piece of evidence to rescue the innocent and convict the guilty.’ However, he also states that judges and juries often get things wrong and understanding that concept can help us to understand how Jesus was treated in John 5.
Granted, Jesus is simply facing questioning from the Pharisees, but he puts forth the idea of the difference between law and faith. Before Jesus died on the cross, humans faced the consequence of their sins. However, when Jesus died, He accepted the sins of the world upon himself and, essentially, changed how humans were to view the law. As Romans 5:13 states, “(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law)” (NKJV).
The Pharisees were people who followed the law so intently that everyone else couldn’t even come close. Granted, initially their intentions for following the law were righteous, but after they began adding law upon law, they lost sight of what they were initially trying to do (which was to live with God). Jesus comes and begins to ‘break the laws of the Sabbath’ that were (in the Pharisees’ eyes) put forth by God, but Jesus tells us that He is not breaking the laws of His father and the laws of man are completely different. The Pharisees had become a slave to following laws that were created by man, instead of living their lives for the glory of God and following the laws that God put forth.
Free life can be brought through accepting Jesus, for when that happens, people are no longer slaves to their sins, but set free. But it takes a choice in order to live following God, versus living how people tell you how you should live.
So, here’s the challenge: Think about what laws you may be following and are keeping you from doing God’s will. They may not be physical laws placed by humans, but they may be laws (or lies) that you have been telling yourself about God’s will…can you identify that?