After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.…
The principle here is grand and far reaching, it applies to the whole life. He that saves has the right to command.
I. SALVATION, HEALING OF SOUL, IS THE FOUNDATION AND STARTING POINT OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN LIFE. We must be before we can do.
II. WHY DO I LIVE AS A CHRISTIAN?
1. Is it because it is safe, or prudent, because the evidence seems predominantly in favour of Christianity, because others are Christians? There may be something in these motives, but —
2. No Christianity can live and flourish which is not more deeply rooted.
3. What, then, is the root?? Gratitude, not fear, custom, or calculation. This animated the apostles — "We love Him because He first loved us;" the glorified "Unto Him that loved us," etc.
4. This motive of gratitude is the deepest, strongest, most constraining and abiding. If this ever dies Christianity dies with it.
III. CHRIST'S RIGHT TO RULE IS GROUNDED ON HIS SALVATION. He gives the life; surely, then, it is His to control and direct. He cannot have saved us that we may do as we like with ourselves. That is just what we did before we were saved. When we are saved, we are saved from our self-will. The man took up his bed and walked because he had been made whole, and that he might show that he was made whole. It was both obedience and evidence, and there is no Christian life that is not the same.
IV. HOW DOES OUR LIFE BEAR THIS TEST, that He who is the healer of the soul is also the authority for our life. We are challenged again and again as this man was challenged. The men of custom meet us as they met Him.
1. It is well not wantonly to defy a practice which is not foolish or mischievous. Many established practices should be respected because they exist and do no harm, and render intercourse possible and pleasant. Many of them Christ respected.
2. But the customs which seek to govern us with all the authority of a Divine claim when they have no such claim, eating with unwashed hands, etc., should be resisted as He resisted them. They make men slaves, turn religion into a torture, and quench the light of the sabbath. We are under the law to Christ.
V. It is a glorious thing to remember that WHAT CHRIST COMMANDS IS RIGHT, whether we understand His reasons or not. We must grow into the knowledge of them little by little.
VI. WHATEVER CHRIST COMMANDS HE GIVES US POWER TO DO. He never separates duty from power. "My grace is sufficient."
(E. Mellor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.