On what day did the healing of the lame man by the pool occur? Why did some Jews object?
How did the Jewish leaders treat Jesus as a result?
How did Jesus answer their charges?
In verse 17 Jesus answers the Jewish leaders by saying “My Father is always at his work and I, too, am working.” Essentially, he elaborates on the nature of his relationship with the Father. Jesus claims that everything the Son does he is able to do because he saw the Father do it first. Jesus identifies his work with that of the Father. God’s work did not cease at creation. He continues to be active and Jesus co-labors with his Father. But how does this relate to Jesus’ healing of a man on the Sabbath? The answer is, the one who created the Sabbath has authority over it. He determines its purpose, its use, and its limitations. This is the tragedy John detects in those who opposed Jesus’ earthly ministry. In their zeal for obedience to the law, they missed the one who is the lawgiver. In their concern for adherence to Scripture, they missed the coming of the one of whom Scripture spoke. Let us not fall into this trap.
What was the Pharisees goal in pointing out that the disciples did not wash their hands first? What problem in their own attitudes did Jesus strive to point out?
What can we learn about this woman from verse 22? What can we learn about her attitude toward Jesus? Why did Jesus not reply to her? What did His disciples want Jesus to do? Why do you think Jesus did not send her away, but instead engaged with her in conversation?
How is the feeding of the 4000 story similar to the feeding of the five thousand? How is it different? Are there any additional insights/lessons you can learn from it?
How is darkness portrayed in movies and other popular media? What does it represent?
What was the darkest day of your life? The brightest day of your life?
Do people in the dark know they are in the dark? Why do people in the dark think people in the light are blind? Extra credit: Read the allegory of the cave in Plato’s Republic.
Do you know of areas of your life where you don’t think or see clearly? How does spiritual arrogance cause blindness?
What accusation did the Pharisees level at Jesus’ disciples? Were they accurate in saying that the disciples were breaking the Sabbath? What was Jesus’ reply? Does He defend the disciples or agree with them?
What is the “that place” which Jesus withdrew from? Why did he warn them not to tell who he was?
What is the meaning of the words in verse 20 that a “bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out?”
Ask someone who knows you well and whom you trust as wise (whether Chrisian or not) what your blind spots might be.
What is the difference between God’s intention for the Sabbath and how man kept it?
Jesus is patient and kind and long-suffering. He doesn’t quickly snuff out or judge the spiritually immature, but instead seeks to rekindle the flame again. How can you apply Jesus’ character to your life?