Continuing to sin may cause something worse

Posted by admin on 12 March 2023 in John, Luke, The Book of Romans |

John 5:9b-15 [1]

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, ‘It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.’

11 But he replied, ‘The man who made me well said to me, “Pick up your mat and walk.” ’

12 So they asked him, ‘Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?’

13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’ 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Last week, we studied Jesus healed a 38-year invalid man in John 5:1-9a.

“Jesus performed this miracle on the Sabbath and that became the point of argument in the next four chapters. Because people want rules, not grace. They want to boast about what they did to earn merit from God. This attitude opposes the gospel.” [2]

Today, let us study the subsequent scripture that the Jewish leaders contrasted Jesus’ mercy and grace, and the man’s illness was due to his sins (14).

I. The problems of the Jewish leaders and the sins of the invalid man

The day on which the invalid man was healed was a Sabbath (9b). The Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, ‘It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.’ (10)

Here, the Jewish leaders were not interested in the healed man’s joy or well-being but merely in their rules and traditions (10, 12). They were rigid, doctrinaire, noncaring religious leaders, who were responsible for the death of Jesus. [3]

What was the reply of the man? See v11.

11 But he replied, ‘The man who made me well said to me, “Pick up your mat and walk.” ’

He didn’t praise God and express his joy and gratitude for healing. He pointed his finger at the healer for the responsibility of breaking the law.  Regarding the man’s sin of ‘no glory and no gratitude to God’, see below.

The beginning of the sins: No glory and no gratitude to God (Romans 1:18-32)

Romans 1:18 declares,

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

People are without excuse that they didn’t know God because God’s eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from God’s creation (Romans 1:19-20).

The beginning of the sin is expressed in Romans 1:21, ‘They neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him although they knew God’.

The Sin of no glory and no gratitude to God progresses to idol worship and sexual impurity (Romans 1:22-25), unnatural sexual relations (Romans 1:26-27), and social sins (Romans 1:28-32).

When Jesus healed the ten men with leprosy, only one came back to thank him (=give praise to God) (Luke 17:11-18). Together with this example, today’s scripture teaches how important to thank God after receiving God’s grace and mercy.

The blaming, self-centred, self-preservation pattern of his former life

“The blaming, self-centred, self-preservation pattern of his former life continued after the healing as he turned from the Healer to investigators (the Jews) and reported Jesus to these authority figures.” [3]

See v12.

12 So they asked him, ‘Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?’

The Jewish leaders deliberately [4] didn’t ask the man about the healing. Nor did they praise God for the healing. But they looked for the identity of the man’s healer in order to persecute him (12).

“Their minds are fixed only on the supposed transgression, on this violation of their all-important traditions. For these Jews, Jesus is not the man who healed this great sufferer, who bestowed on him divine mercy, but a man who broke their traditions, who had to be punished.” [4]

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the man didn’t know who his healer was (13).

II. Continuing to sin may cause something worse

Later Jesus found the man at the temple and said to him, ‘See you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’ (14)

V14 shows the man’s illness was caused by his sins. We studied the sins of the invalid man in section I. He was physically healed but showed problems in his attitude (11).

On the other hand, the born-blind man in John 9:1-41, whose misery was not caused by the sins but for displaying the work (or glory) of God, defended Jesus (John 9:30-33) and showed a good attitude (John 9:9, 25, 27, 38).

References

  1. The Holy Bible: New International Version. Anglicised. Revised and updated. ed. 2011: London: Hodder & Stoughton.
  2. Gangel, K.O., Holman New Testament Commentary: John. Vol. 4. 2000: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
  3. Borchert, G.L., The New American Commentary: John 1-11. 1996: Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
  4. Lenski, R.C.H., The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel. Logos Research Edition ed. 1961, Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.

 

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