Google+ 12/08/12 Always Working?

John 5:14-18

 

But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him,

“Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”

Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.

So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules.  

But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”

So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him.

For he not only broke the Sabbath,

He called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God. 

 

I am often asked why I "work" so much.  It is true that most days will find me working for God in some capacity 12-15 hours per day.  By worldly standards, I am labeled a "workaholic."   When I owned a business, I often would ask my employees which half of the day they would like to work, 8-8 or 8-8?  They didn't like that much!  Good news for all my fellow "workaholics" in the audience.  Jesus was a "workaholic" too.  Look at our Scripture passage for today.  According to the chief priests and the Sanhedrin, Jesus really messed up on that Sabbath.  First, Jesus healed the man in our lesson today in the temple on the Sabbath.  The Pharisees had many oral traditions connected with the original law.  That's a nice way of saying that "they made it up as they went along."  One oral tradition was that no medical practices were permitted on the Sabbath, except to prevent death.  The man in our story is clearly not going to die.  Secondly, there could be no "burden-bearing" on the Sabbath.  No one could carry anything, not even a needle.  They certainly could not carry their beds!  Lastly, on top of all of this, Jesus declares that God is His Father.  The Jews would have considered this blasphemy.  We so often have our own "oral traditions "as it applies to the Bible.  If you read Genesis 2:2 carefully, you will see that God rested from His CREATION work on the Sabbath.  John 5:17 finds Jesus telling us that He and God never stop working.  So which is it?  In this case, both.  On the Sabbath, we are to cease our "creation" work.  We are to stop those things we have done all week.  Why?  The answer is to make the Sabbath Holy and set it apart.  We are to especially honor and praise God on that day.  We are supposed to do "His" work.  By the way, this is not true of those of us that are of the tribe of Levi.  Because we are always doing God's work, we do it all seven days a week.  It is what we signed up for when we answered God's call to gospel ministry.  I realize that this is not a popular opinion with most people.  Our culture tries to find ways not to work.  We have taken real holidays like Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and George Washington's birthday and made them into "3 day weekends" simply to find another way to not work.  It would be another thing if we actually did something on these days to celebrate, but most of us do not.  Who decided that public education was not a year-round event?  No wonder our kids have such a problem with routines and learning.  The young people that I help homeschool, learn all year round and take off the time to celebrate Christian holidays as the Bible instructs.  Summer is not a holiday!  There is great "rest" in continually doing the Lord's work.  He strengthens us and gives us the rest that we need.  For me, that is 4-5 hours per night.  It is why I accomplish so much for Jesus.  So, look at your life in Christ and evaluate it carefully.  If you are not as productive as you would like to be for God, look at the amount of time you actually work for Him.  Look for opportunities to work in His Kingdom.  You will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams.  I'm going to continue to be a "workaholic" like God and Jesus.  I hope you will join me.