The people are questioning where Jesus’ teachings come from because He teaches differently than what they have heard. Jesus shows them that He is not teaching for His own selfish reasons, but He is seeking God’s glory. He then uses their hatred of Him for healing on the Sabbath day to expose that they are breakers of Moses Law and stand condemned.
Moses gave the Law
Just as Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the Law of God, so Jesus has come down from the Father with Grace and truth (John 1:17.) Jesus is pointing out that He is a prophet like unto Moses that ushers in a New Covenant with God’s people, the Covenant of Grace.
No one keeps the Law
This statement has a two-fold purpose. One, Jesus is pointing out that the people and their teachers are not following the Law by wanting to kill Him. Two, Jesus is using the Law correctly. The Law shows that all men are guilty before God and stand in need of a Savior.
Jesus uses circumcision and the Sabbath to expose their sin
The Jews believed that the Law of Moses was given to make them pleasing in God’s sight. The two laws that most set apart the Jews from other nations were circumcision and the Sabbath. Jesus shows how the Law of God was given not so that people could please God, but the Law was given to show that they did not love God or those who bore His image.
The Jews believed that God allowed the work of circumcision to be done on the Sabbath so that they would not violate His Law. They hated Jesus and wanted to kill Him because He had healed a man on the Sabbath. In doing this they missed the whole point of the Law. The point of the Law is to show that we do not love God and those who bear His image. The Law only exposes our guilt; it does not establish our righteousness.
The Sabbath was given to show us that we do not love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are not even able to do this for one day, much less seven. Jesus here uses the Sabbath to expose that the Jews wanted to appear to be righteous in refusing to care for their neighbor out of a supposed love for God. This is really just selfishness. What would God do if He saw a hurting man? Check to see what day of the week it was before He helped him? No, God the Son shows us what God requires of us. We are to love Him with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves.
Jesus is what we need
We need a Savior because we are lawbreakers. Jesus shows the people that they are in need of a perfect man to stand in their place and make them right with God. He is that man.
Do you see your guilt from God’s Law? Have you received the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ? Do you long to love the Lord will all you heart, not just on the Lord’s Day, but every moment of every day?