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Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading Isaiah 49:8-15
Gospel John 5:17-30

“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”

It’s common for Jesus, following a miracle/sign, to teach at length. Following the miracle that we yesterday heard Jesus perform, today’s Gospel passage is the beginning of a larger teaching discourse which makes us the remainder of John 5. What is Jesus teaching us here? The first two verses set up further conflict between Jesus and the Jewish officials. Through the rest of the passage, Jesus explores his claims.

In the first two verses of today’s Gospel passage, Jesus compounds the conflict between Himself and the Jewish officials not only by breaking the sabbath, but also by calling God His Father, “making Himself equal to God.”

Here is one of the most important themes of John’s Gospel account: the divinity of Jesus Christ. The prologue of John [John 1:1-18] illustrates this theme poetically, and today’s Gospel passage illustrates the same theme prosaically through Jesus’ own words.

One way of describing your spiritual life as a Christian is to say that the journey of your spiritual life is a journey into the relationship of God the Father and God the Son. This may seem like an abstract claim. In fact, it is profoundly personal. You grow as a Christian—and indeed, as a person—inasmuch as you grow into this relationship of the Father and the Son with each other. Re-read today’s Gospel passage with this in mind: that it has something to reveal to you about the depths of your inner spiritual life.