THE WAY TO THE FATHER part 4 – Our God Gives Us Rest (Jn. 5:1-18) – Steve Sudworth
The Sabbath was an enforced day of rest but what kind of rest comes with following rules and regulations? True rest – rest for the heart – is found in Jesus. We can rest because Jesus is at work.
Connect Group Material- The Way to The Father (Week 4)
- Our God Gives Us Rest
The Gospel of John was the last Gospel to be written, as such, it’s audience is a church in turmoil whose first generation of believers were beginning to die and a new generation of believers were beginning to rise up. He wrote to a new generation, who were not eyewitnesses, to give further detail and explanation of Jesus as the Son of God. Johns approach is rational and with through philosophical evidence to Christ Divinity. His goal was to answer the questions and objections of Jews & Greeks and bring them into a greater understanding of who Jesus is.
The Gospel of John was written somewhere around 80-95 AD during intense persecution. Christians were being kicked out of synagogues and families leaving them with no community, social contact, or means of work. Many Christians were reverting back to the law in-order to regain standing in the Jewish community. John write evangelistically urging the Church to fall more in love with Jesus.
Much like the first 4 Chapters of the Gospel of John, in Chapter 5 Jesus is combating the religiosity and legalism draining it of it’s authority in the presence of Truth & Love.
Text: John 5:1-18
We can rest because Jesus is at work. The Sabbath was (and is) a Biblical mandate; we are told to rest but religion twists and distorts God’s word, turning something given for life into something that destroys. The Word of God – which creates, transforms and liberates- can be rendered powerless when we put our faith in meaningless traditions. The Pharisees sought to kill Jesus because he had broken a religious law of work. They had twisted and distorted the life given word of God and made rest into a set of rules and regulations.
Suggested Discussion Questions
- In what areas of your life do you have a hard time resting?
- In what ways have you been caught up in legalistic rules that have prevented you from truly resting in the Lord and allowing Jesus to work?