by Suellen Estes

II KIngs 24-25

Well, the end finally comes.

This is the nation which was started by God Himself, in covenant with Abraham. He had faithfully fulfilled all of the plan that He said He would.

God had supernaturally brought these people out of the land of Egypt- by mighty signs and wonders. Just think about the magnitude of having more than a million people, with all of their gear, walking out of a country? And having the giant Red Sea part so that they could walk through on dry ground. This was huge.

Then, even though the Jews didn’t believe Him so that they could immediately go into their new land, the Lord provided for them in the wilderness. Manna fell from the sky and covered the ground every morning. They would gather each day what was needed. During those years, their clothes didn’t wear out and neither did their shoes. What God did for those people was so extraordinary.

Then when it was time, the Lord took them into the land of promise, driving out nations before them. His hand was so strong for these believers.

It’s human nature, however, to take everything for granted. Several generations pass and the Jews forget their covenant. They begin to worship the gods of the surrounding lands, and are no longer faithful to their one true God. So sad. How could they forget?

Now all of Judah is taken into captivity by the Babylonians, the temple is destroyed, and the walls of Jerusalem are torn down – then the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and every great house Nebuchadnezzar’s captain burned with fire. Only a few poor people are left in the area.

The rest of the people go to Egypt because they are afraid of the Chaldeans. Israel has already gone to Assyria. Now Judah goes to Babylon.

Sad days, indeed, for those who have discounted the covenant of God.

Hopefully we will learn some lessons from this. Let’s not forget our covenant with Almighty God.

John 5:1-24

Jesus is such an aggravation to the Pharisees! He has the audacity to heal a man on the sabbath one more time.

Here comes “religion” again. They are holding to what they consider the law, but ignoring the spirit of the law. Any of these Pharisees should have known the nature of their God enough to understand that He would want this man healed at any time. He has been paralyzed for 38 years!

What an extraordinary moment for this man. Healed, finally!

So the Pharisees get our their magnifying glass to see what else Jesus does wrong. What’s this? He is calling Himself the Son of God? Another strike against Him.

They just don’t get it. They don’t recognize the day of their visitation. The very Son of God is walking among them, and they are offended. Even jealous.

In this gospel, the spiritual side of Jesus’ walk with his Father is amplified. “The Son of God can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner…Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He wishes.”(V.19-20).

Jesus is once again alluding to the zoe (life of God) which comes into man at the new birth. He is also introducing the concept of being led by the spirit of God. This is a new concept to these Jews, but He is getting the point across. They will understand it better later.

After He is resurrected and sends back His Holy Spirit, His disciples will understand what He is saying. Just as with us, we are able to understand when we receive Him. “Oh, that’s what He meant.”

More life, oh Lord. More zoe.