Lots to unpack here. Do you notice the theme again… Jesus is making reference to the fact that he healed a man on the Sabbath. It’s like an issue that he can not shake. He won’t be moved. He was justified in healing on the Sabbath and yet he is condemned by people who are claiming to uphold the Law of Moses.
Jesus points out that they don’t even uphold the Law (John 7:19)… not that he is removing the law, but questioning how they judge the law (John 7:24). He points out that even when the law appears at odds with itself they show preference to care for people over the sabbath (7:23).
This isn’t a side show debate. Jesus is forcing the real issue. The real issue is that we have unclean hearts and we cannot see just how sinful we really are. These men were no zealous for the law, they were zealous for the reputation they had gained in interpreting the law. They had become experts in a law that foretold of Jesus everywhere, yet when they were confronted with him they did not recognize him.
Jesus sets himself up against this backdrop of dead religion and offers salvation to all those who would believe. He had come to set captives free. He had come to satisfy the thirsty. He had come to set things right. Yet, somehow his righteousness exposed them for the fraud they were and they could not handle being in the presence of the king, so they set about with a plot to assassinate him.
Application: When you see others growing in Christ are you provoked to joy or bitterness? If provoked to bitterness examine your heart for dead religion. It comes in all shapes and sizes but at the end of the day claims that God owe’s you. God doesn’t owe you any thing and you owe him everything. Repent today and cling to Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith.
I cling to you today. I have tried to be righteous by my own merit. I have tried to live as though the world were mine and I were in charge. I was so foolish. thank you for loving me, even in my worst state and still offering to me eternal life if I would but trust you and believe. Thank you.
Morning: Psalm 9
Mid-Day: Psalm 57
Evening: Psalm 109