Bethany Independent Presbyterian Church


As the Scriptures say…(9)

As the Scriptures say…(9)



Working on Sabbath

But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working”

(John 5:17)



There was a feast in Jerusalem. This feat is not identified though. Jesus healed an invalid man for 38 years on that Sabbath day at the pool called Bethesda. The Jews sought to persecute Jesus simply because He healed the man, told him to walk home taking up his bed on the Sabbath (John 5:1-16).



  1. The Old Testament forbids one to work on Sabbath (Ex.20:8-11)
    1. It however does not specify the kind of work which is forbidden
    2. It could truly be the kind of work by which one makes a living
  2. The rabbinical oral tradition guarded the Sabbath law with 39 stipulations
    1. 39 activities were forbidden on Sabbath (Mishnah Sabbath 7:2, 10:5)
    2. One of them is carrying a thing from one area to another



  1. The man was not identified
  2. But he was well known to many around
    1. He was lying invalid for 38 years
    2. Many had seen him
  3. The man did not break God’s law of Sabbath
  4. He broke only the oral law of the Jewish rabbis regarding the Sabbath as he carried his bed walking home



  1. He did not break the law of Sabbath

The law of Sabbath does not prohibit doing good things (Mk 2:27)

  1. He did break the oral law of the elders with reference to Sabbath

(Cf. Matt 15:1-9)

  1. What did Jesus do?
    1. He simply imitates God His Father
    2. He does what He sees His Father doing (John 5:19)
    3. He does things not of His own accord, but in accordance with the will of His Father (John 5:19)
  2. Why did Jesus do what He did?

Because God the Father is working non-stop in all things for good through and in Jesus His Son (Cf. Romans 8:28)


One should always be conscious of what God is doing here and now. And he then is to excel in what he is doing as the Spirit of God works within him (Col.1:29).

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