John chapter 5 attempts to answer a question that I think has been asked since Jesus walked the earth. Who is Jesus? We read the Scriptures as see all the amazing things Jesus is doing. He teaches with great authority, he brings healing, justice and mercy. Jesus knows the thoughts and hearts of those around him. Yet we are left with the key question, who is Jesus?
Many have written trying to define who Jesus was and is. In the Western world there has been a long standing, centuries, drive to define and quantify who Jesus is. The range is wide a varied. There are those who would say he was a wise prophet, others who would say he was a moral teacher. One does not have to look far to find someone who will say Jesus was simply a good man who has many legends surrounding his death and resurrection. Still there are those of us who hold that Jesus is the messiah.
In this chapter of John we get Jesus presenting his resume. Just after healing the man at the pool, the religious mucked mucks of his day push Jesus on who he is. The response, I am the Son of God. To us this is not a scandalous claim, because whether we believe it or not we have heard this claim about Jesus for a good long while. In the days of his human pilgrimage, this was beyond scandalous. This was an outright proclamation of being the long awaited for Messiah.
The problem was Jesus did not play by all the religious rules of the day. He healed on the Sabbath, he picked grain on the Sabbath, Jesus was found sharing a meal with those considered off limits to religion. The way Jesus says it, he is only doing what the Father shows him to do. In other words, not following the religious traditions, but God. Not following the rules of humanity, but following the direction of God.
So who is Jesus. As I see it, Jesus is the son of God, who lived, died and was raised from the dead so that we could see who God truly is. Jesus is the one who is depressed by religion, and challenges empty devotion. Jesus is none other than the One we have been looking for, but often do not have eyes to see.