Jesus and God cannot be seperated!


            For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him because he had done these things on the Sabbath.  But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”  Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God […] “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom he will.  For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father.  He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent him” (John 5: 16-23.)


            Jesus healed a man on a Holy Day, and instead of rejoicing, the religious leaders condemned him for ‘working on the Sabbath.’  This was a day of rest was for men and not God.  He continued to work when the Jews were at rest.  Jesus proclaimed himself to be God, and as such, was exempt from resting on the Sabbath.  (In this culture, if one was to call God their Father, there was no mistake; this meant the person was making a statement of equality in comparison to God.)  Only God could give life, only God could judge, only God was worthy of honor.  Jesus was claiming to give life, to be able to judge, and was also making himself worthy of the honor.  The Pharisees were seeking desperately to keep Jesus and God separate; they were supposed to be ‘men of God,’ but they hated Jesus because he saw their hearts and their hearts were wicked.  They couldn’t hate God because they professed to love him.  Jesus reminded them that to love God was to love him, and as such, their hatred for him constituted a hatred for God.

            For quite some time I helped feed the homeless in downtown Santa Ana.  I was blessed to be able to serve in the line, and as people would come through, I would engage them in short conversations, often saying, “God bless you.”  There happened to be one particular man who came through the line, who replied to “God bless you” with “Hare Krishna.”  He was a Hindu Hare Krishna (They don’t believe in Jesus Christ or the God of the bible, as I understand.)  The way the man would correct me each week, suggested that he didn’t want to acknowledge Jesus Christ.  It appeared that he was not pleased that Christians were feeding him (and therefore Jesus Christ was feeding him.)  He wanted the food, but he didn’t want the one who was providing it. 

            Today, people still want God, but they refuse to acknowledge Jesus, as if the two can be separated.  Many follow false religions while they sit and receive treatment in hospitals named after Christian saints, run by Presbyterians, or Catholics.   Many have devised spiritual programs based on the bible to overcome some addiction, but to mention church, or Jesus might bring scorn or resentment from others in such programs.  Many people want to teach their children good morals, so they drop their children off at Sunday school but refuse to attend the services themselves.  Today, we as Christians can put Jesus Christ back in to the places where he has been squeezed out; we can accomplish this by doing good works in his name.  Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of cold water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.”  We can give money to a homeless man and say, “This is from Jesus.”  We can do the same whenever we help a friend in need, or give our time to a good cause.  When other people thank us, we can remind them that Jesus Christ is the one who deserves the thanks.  Whenever we lay down our lives for Jesus Christ, we also lift him up, so others see him in our actions, and give him and the Father the credit they so greatly deserve.  Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”  Let’s make sure he gets the praise and the glory for the good he does through our lives.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and we ask that You give us opportunities to give You and Your Son the credit for any good works that we do.  Help us Lord to be bold in making sure that we lift You up and honor Your Son.  Father, give us more of Your Holy Spirit and help us to continue on our path with You.  We love You Father, we praise You and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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