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069 The Authority of Jesus

For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day’ Matthew 12:8

Key Verse:

“That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father, who hath sent him”   (John 5:23)

(Matthew 12; John 5)

As most of you know, right now, in our journey through the Holy Scriptures, we are looking into the book of the Gospel, which relates the Good News about Jesus the Messiah. He is the Savior who visited the world to free the children of Adam from the dominion of Satan, sin and eternal judgement.

In the past few lessons, we have seen how Jesus travelled throughout the land of the Jews, teaching the multitudes, and healing their sick. Thus,

a great crowd followed Him.

However, most of the religious rulers were jealous of Him, because they could not disprove the wisdom with which He spoke, nor could they deny the wonders He performed.

We will continue in the Gospel and see how the Lord Jesus was confronted by the religious rulers regarding the day of rest (Sabbath). The Sabbath was the seventh day of the week, the day which God gave the Jews as a day of rest, after they had worked six days. However, the religious rulers of that time, the Pharisees, accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath because He did good works on the Sabbath. They were using this as an excuse to blame Him, because

they could not find anything bad of which to accuse Him.

Let us read the Gospel of Matthew. The Scripture says: (Matt. 12:1-8) “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the grainfields; and his disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears of grain, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them,

Have ye not read what David did,

when he was hungry, and they that were with him, how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you that

in this place is one greater than the temple.

But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day”.

Jesus has hundreds of names and titles in the Holy Scriptures. One of those titles by which He often called Himself is the Son of Man”. This title, the Son of Man, reminds us that

the Messiah humbled Himself

to take on the form of a son of Adam. It also reveals His glory, because this One, who humbled Himself by becoming a man, is the same One who possesses all authority and all judgement over all the children of Adam.

Think of it!

The Word and Spirit and power and glory of God, yes, the Son of God, came to earth and took on a human body! Yes, Jesus Christ is the Son of Man, the Lord of the Sabbath and the Lord over all. However, the Pharisees did not accept Jesus for who He really was.

Let us hear what happened next. The Scripture says: (Matthew 12:9-15) “And when he was departed from there,

he went into their synagogue.

And, behold, there was a man who had his hand paralysed. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much, then, is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore,

it is lawful to do good on the sabbath days.

Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored well like the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from there; and great multitudes followed him, and

he healed them all”.

We see how the Pharisees accused Jesus of wrongdoing because He did not respect their traditions.

What hypocrisy!

These religious rulers had no compassion for the hungry or for the sick, yet they wanted to make people believe that their traditions, which prohibited good works on the Sabbath, came from God! However, Jesus,

who knew their evil hearts,

reminded them of what God declared in the Scriptures, saying, “But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day”

Reading on, the Scripture says: (Matt. 12:22-28) “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a demon, blind and dumb;

and he healed him,

insomuch that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub, the prince of the demons.

And Jesus knew their thoughts,

and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan cast out Satan,

he is divided against himself;

how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I, by Beelzebub, cast demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you”.

(John 5:1-18) “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and

Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is at Jerusalem, by the sheep gate, a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, lame, paralysed, waiting for the moving of the water. For

an angel went down

at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water; whosoever then first, after the troubling of the water, stepped in was made well of whatever disease he had. And a certain man was there, who had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been thus now a long time, he saith unto him,

wilt thou be made well?

The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool; but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made well, and took up his bed, and walked; and

the same day was the sabbath.

The Jews, therefore, said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day; it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me well, the same said to me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then they asked him, what man is that who said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed knew not who it was; for Jesus had moved away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made well;

sin no more,

lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 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”.

Let us pause here. Why did the religious rulers harass Jesus and seek to kill Him? Was it because Jesus healed the invalid on the Sabbath? That was not the real reason. They were seeking to kill Jesus because

He said that God was His Father.

They could not accept that Jesus was the Messiah, who came from the presence of God. Thus they accused Jesus of blasphemy {insulting God} and wanted to destroy Him.

But the Scripture says: (John 5:19-24,31-47) “Then Jesus answered, 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 whatever things he doeth, these also doeth the Son in the same manner. For

the Father loveth the Son,

and showeth him all things that he himself doeth; and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead,

and giveth them life,

even so the son giveth life to whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son; that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father who sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you,

He that heareth my word,

and believeth on him that sent me, shall not come into judgement, but is passed from death unto life … If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bore witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man; but these things I say,

that ye might be saved.

He was a burning and a shining light, and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, who hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you; for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

Search the scriptures;

for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

I am come in my Father’s name,

and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, who receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me;

for he wrote of me.

But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”.

Did you hear how the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees who wanted to kill Him? He told them that whoever rejects the Messiah whom God sent from heaven is rejecting the testimony of the Messiah’s incomparable words and works; he is rejecting the testimony of the prophet John, the testimony of the prophet Moses and the testimony of the Scriptures. In short,

whoever rejects the Messiah is rejecting God Himself.

He who dishonours the Son is dishonouring the Father who sent Him. To refuse the word and authority of Jesus is to refuse the word and authority of God—for Jesus is the very Word of God and the Person to whom God has entrusted all judgement and authority.

Whoever truly believes God and His prophets will also believe that

Jesus is the Messiah

who came from heaven, because all of God’s prophets testified of Him. Those who know and believe the Holy Scriptures also know and believe that Jesus, the son of Mary,

is the One whom God has chosen to be the Savior of the world.

That was what Jesus told the religious rulers when He said, (John 5:39-40, 45-47) “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life … Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for

he wrote of me.

But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”.

Oh that each of us might carefully consider these words, because God wants to give us understanding into their full meaning.

God wants the truth to be in our hearts.

If we say that we believe the prophets, then we must believe the One of whom they testified, that is, Jesus the Messiah! Friends, we conclude with this question: Do you really believe the prophets? Many are quick to believe the testimony of one man, but, strangely, few believe the confirmed testimony of God’s many prophets who wrote the Holy Scriptures. How about you? 

“Do you believe the prophets?” (Acts 26:27)

In the next lesson we will continue in the wonderful story of Jesus the Messiah.

May God bless you and speak to you as you consider what the Lord Jesus told the Pharisees: 

But if ye believe not [Moses’] writings, how shall ye believe my words?”. (John 5:47)

We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have to