Evening Reading for February 25

John 5:16-30
Suggested further reading: Mark 3:1-6

These verses begin one of the most deep and solemn passages in the four Gospels. They show us the Lord Jesus asserting his own divine nature, his unity with God the Father and the high dignity of his office. Nowhere does our Lord dwell so fully on these subjects as in the chapter before us. And nowhere, we must confess, do we find out so thoroughly the weakness of man's understanding! There is much, we must all feel, that is far beyond our comprehension in our Lord's account of himself. Such knowledge, in short, is too wonderful for us. `It is high: we cannot attain unto it' (Ps. 139:6). How often men say that they want clear explanations of such doctrines as the Trinity! Yet here we have our Lord handling the subject of his own person and, behold, we cannot follow him! We seem only to touch his meaning with the tip of our fingers.

There are some works which it is lawful to do on the sabbath day. The Jews, as on many other occasions, found fault because Jesus healed a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years on the sabbath. They charged our Lord with a breach of the fourth commandment.

Our Lord's reply to the Jews is very remarkable. `My Father', he says, `worketh hitherto, and I also work.' It is as though he said, `Though my Father rested on the seventh day from his work of creation, he has never rested for a moment from his providential government of the world and from his merciful work of supplying the daily wants of all his creatures. Were he to rest from such work, the whole frame of nature would stand still. And I also work works of mercy on the sabbath day. I do not break the fourth commandment when I heal the sick, any more than my Father breaks it when he causes the sun to rise and the grass to grow on the sabbath.'

For meditation: Those who are too busy to spend time worshipping God must not be surprised to find God absent from them.

These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ