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Did Jesus set the law aside at the Bethesda pool?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Saint Steven, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    In this gospel account (text below) of the healing at the Bethesda pool, Jesus commands the man to, "Pick up your mat and walk." In obeying Christ, the man broke Sabbath law. No load is to be carried on the Sabbath. Jesus could have asked the man to rise up and walk. Why did he include the mat carrying?

    Notice that the gospel writer adds the note that the day on which this took place was a Sabbath. Why is this significant? There is no dispute in the passage that this was not a violation of Sabbath law.

    Was the law set aside when Jesus commanded this act of Sabbath-breaking?

    John 5:8-11
    Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
    9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
    The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,
    10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed,
    “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
    11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Jeremiah 17:21-22
    This is what the Lord says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem.
    22 Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors.
     
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  2. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jesus said God gave the Sabbath for man, and not that he gave man for the Sabbath. But the Jews broke the Sabbath in their hearts while keeping it legalistically. Because love would lift a helpless animal out of a pit on the Sabbath, and also heal a person. As Paul says, love fulfills the law.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  3. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Who is Lord of the Sabeth?

    Who can make exceptions to the rule?

    Have you never read Jesus's critism of the same upholders of the sabeth law who would also break this law.
     
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  4. bcbsr

    bcbsr Newbie

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    It wasn't contrary to the spirit of the law. Picking up his mat and walking was not only not a burden to him, it was a joy. Jesus relieved his burden, which was not being able to walk or carry things walking. Are you a Pharisee?
     
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  5. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You're looking at this very legalistically and not allowing God's intent to be revealed. You can do good on the Sabbath Steven. If one can specifically be told (as an example) to help his neighbor get his Ox out of a pit on the Sabbath... then the Spirit of that certainly allows for God in the flesh to heal a man who is NOT at rest because of his infirmity, and then pick up what he was sitting on and take it home which brings glory to the name God in the process because the healing was supernatural and everyone will see him healed! Again.... there is NOT COMMANDMENT in the Torah that says anything in relation to how you have taken it. You have seen the ENGLISH WORD "load" which was taken from Hebrew Jeremiah and Greek in the NT passage and instead of going and looking at those words and how and where else they were used in Scripture... you just hang everything on that one English word and assume load means the same thing wherever you find it.

    You're a smart guy... you know words have more than one meaning and you should know that languages don't always translated over perfectly to other languages. And to make the point... God made a b'rit with Abraham, right? A b'rit is an agreement between two or more, usually a greater and lesser, and the agreement is sealed in blood. So, God makes this promise to Abraham, there is the killing of the animal, the walking between the pieces by God ALONE (which is a whole sermon), and that was a b'rit. What do we translated that into English as? Covenant... but covenant does NOT require blood, a b'rit does. There is >>NO<< English equal to b'rit. Whent that word is taken into Greek, it became diatheke (if I remember correctly, no time to look it up) and that goes into English best as testament... which means a will. Not an agreement cut in blood but a will? No.... this is why we have to look at the words that are beneath the English.

    Will be gone a few days if you respond. Be blessed.
     
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  6. icxn

    icxn Bραδύγλωσσος αἰπόλος μαθητεύων κνίζειν συκάμινα

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    The only load or burden that is forbidden to carry on the Sabbath, which is the condition of those who have conquered the passions of the flesh, is that of sin. That sin is a burden, Psalm 38 verse 4 says: "My iniquity has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear."

    Like others have said, Christ kept the Spirit of the Law, the Letter He rendered obsolete.
     
  7. Small Fish

    Small Fish Matthew 16:17

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    Good question. I thought of this too. The other thing that comes to mind here is that Jesus did not overide any of the other commandments that I know of. Thou shalt not lie, thou shalt not steal etc. Only the Sabbath day. Or am I wrong?
     
  8. frater_domus

    frater_domus Faith is all that matters. Supporter

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    Jesus did not set aside God's law. He challenged the false perception of the law that the Pharisees had. Remember that Jesus is blameless in the eyes of God, ergo it is the Pharisees that did something wrong on/with the Sabbath, not him.
     
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  9. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    The mat is not a load (Which would be regarded as carrying out manual labor). It is merely his sleeping mat. Nobody who carries a sleeping mat does so with the intention of carrying out physical labor. Well, unless one is a sleep doctor or something. But I don't think they had those back then.

    Besides, even if it was a violation (Which it wasn't),

    "...the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day." (Matthew 12:8).

    "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:30).
     
  10. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Yes, it seems Jesus was making a point here. The question is, what point was he trying to make?

    Asking (commanding) the man to carry his mat created a huge issue. Why did Jesus do that? Obviously the Father was directing him in this. So that begs another question. Why did God the Father direct Jesus to do this, thus creating a huge issue? What point was the Father trying to make here?

    The bigger overriding issue here is that the law itself was being set aside. Something that didn't happen at a single moment in time but rather incrementally throughout the life of Christ and beyond.

    Galatians 3:24-25
    So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
    25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
     
  11. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Do you believe that the Sabbath is for all humankind? (man) Even today? From the beginning, or from when?
     
  12. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    Amen. For it is true, the letter kills, but the spirit gives life. Under the Law, a man was stoned to death for carrying a bundle of sticks. Under grace, Jesus intentionally breaks the letter in order to reveal the intention behind it.

    When Jesus was challenged about healing the woman with the hunched back, He didn't reply by legalistically parsing words, He instead radically refocuses the intent of the commandment, and subjugates the letter to the spirit: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath".

    We have a continuous "sabbath-rest" in Christ, which does not depend on the letter any longer.
     
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  13. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Ten Commandments were the Old Covenant. Christ replaced them with the New Covenant. But the New Covenant imports some of the Ten we use in Christian ethics. And all of the Ten are good for instruction and commentary.
     
  14. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No, the Ten Commandments were for those God brought out of Egypt until the New Covenant replaced them.
     
  15. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Am I a Pharisee? That's a strange question to ask me.

    Jesus created an issue by doing this. Why do you suppose he did that? What point was he trying to make?
     
  16. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    While I do not believe Jesus telling this man to pick up his mat was a change of the Law yet, Jesus was making changes to the Law even before the cross.

    The New Way:
    "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matthew 5:38-39).

    The Old Way:
    "And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again." (Leviticus 24:19-20).

    The New Way:
    "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." (Matthew 15:11).

    The Old Way:
    "And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

    These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall bean abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

    And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; Every raven after his kind; And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat."
    (Leviticus 11:1-18).
     
  17. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Thanks, Ken.

    That's the thing about the law, it's very "legalistic". If something is against the law it is illegal, right? Hard to discuss the law seriously without being legalistic. Not what you meant, I know.

    Was the statement in Jeremiah not the command of God? (see OP) It says
    "Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath..." - vs 22

    Was the gospel writer remiss in not making clear what was happening here? He made a point of noting that the day on which this took place was the Sabbath. Why? No one in the passage says that this was not a violation of Sabbath law. It seems quite the contrary.

    What was Jesus intention here? He created a huge issue here. Why?
     
  18. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    What do you make of this?

    Jeremiah 17:21-22
    This is what the Lord says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem.
    22 Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors.
     
  19. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    What do you make of this?

    Ephesians 2:14-16
    For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
    15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,
    16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
     
  20. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I agree.

    It is interesting that Jesus was treating the law as hearsay in Matthew chapter five. And replacing the statements with his own. (the law set aside)
     
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